25 YEARS OF ROCK N ROLL
ELLERSOUL RECORDS ELL 91201
I DON’T WANT TO BE ALONE–DARK TRAIN–WHO DRANK MY BEER–BROKE DOWN–ALL I NEED–WHEELS OF MINE–THAT’S RIGHT–CRAZY LI’L BABY–RED CADILLAC–VENTILATOR BLUES–MARIE MARIE–SWEET THING–LIFE OF CRIME–JENNY JENNY–GET RHYTHM–ON A ROLL–THE RACE IS ON
The Bopcats have been playing bars, clubs, and any place good rockin’ blues are welcomed since the Seventies. When the late-70’s–early-80’s rockabilly “revival” hit, they were right in the thick of it, and they are still blasting away today. The core of the band has always been guitarist Lindy Fralin, with Jon and Gary Fralin on keyboards. They have recorded most of their material for promotional purposes, but they have just compiled and released seventeen career-spanning tracks that date back to 1984, and it’s entitled “25 Years Of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Eleven of these cuts are band originals, and the fellows pay tribute to not only the rockabilly cats of the Fifties, but roots-rock and blues heroes as well. Take the leadoff “Don’t Want To Be Alone,” which sounds as if it could’ve been a long-lost Springsteen nugget. The pay homage to one of Americana’s best-loved groups, The Blasters, with a sweet read of “Marie Marie.” “Wheels Of Mine” and “Dark Train” are vintage rockabilly, as is their nod to the boys down at 706 Union in Memphis, “Get Rhythm.”
No Bopcats compilation would be complete without a ‘twangin” song, a la Duane Eddy, and “Jenny Jenny” fills the bill perfectly, while “On A Roll” has some cool whorehouse piano that’d make the Killer proud. The set closes with an amped-up version of an early George Jones classic, “The Race Is On.”
We had several favorites, too. There’s some cool two-part harmony in a song that addresses the age-old question of “why buy the cow,” entitled “All I Need.” “Sweet Thing” is just plain decadently shagalicious, while it takes a unique band to pull off “Ventilator Blues,” but the Bopcats make this “Exile-era” Stones gem memorable with Gary’s stripped-down guitar arrangement.
The Bopcats keep alive a tradition that’s been around since the blues had that baby. Grab a copy of “25 Years Of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” pull back the rugs, and …..”Let’s Rock!!” Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.