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Various Artists

Elvis Presley Connection Vol.1

Review by Gary Hill

This new collection gathers up some music that is connected to Elvis Presley - as they describe it, roots and covers. I have to admit that I'm one of the people who has never really gotten Presley's allure. So, I'm probably not the target audience for this. That said, there is some interesting music here. There is also quite a range of sound.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Clyde Stacy - Good Rockin' Tonight (Demo)
While this says it's a demo, it sounds pretty good. It's a fun rock and roller that really jams. The guitar soloing is pretty fiery.
The Shelton Brothers - Just Because
Down-home hillbilly music is on display here. This has a real bluegrass vibe to it.
Vince Everett - Baby Let's Play House
This rock and roller gets a cool rendition here. This is fun stuff. I dig the bass work quite a bit.
Vernon Taylor - Mystery Train
This rock and roller is pretty much what you'd expect. I like the saxophone on it. I am a big fan of the UFO version of this tune, so this kind of brings a different level of appreciation for it.
The Eagles - Tryin' To Get To You
First off, no, this is not that "The Eagles," but rather an R&B act from the 1950s.  This is kind of bluesy boogie, just like you'd expect.
Hank Smith & The Nashville Playboys - Heartbreak Hotel
Based on acoustic guitar, I like this version of the classic tune quite a bit. There is a great gritty texture here. I'd say that this take has a lot more soul than the Presley version ever did.
Gary Engel & The Tophatters - Money Honey
Another old-school rock and roller, this one reminds me a bit of Jerry Lee Lewis. The cool, almost jazzy, jam later is interesting.
Carl Perkins - Blue Suede Shoes (Live TV Broadcast)
While people think of this as a Presley tune, Carl Perkins is actually the man who wrote it. There is a real old-school roots music groove to this version. It's a fun tune and a nice alternate to the more familiar version.
Loren Becker - My Baby Left Me

The arrangement on this is more of a jazz crooner does rock and roll. I like the guitar sound, and the horns bring something special to it. This is energetic and pretty cool.

Sonny Burgess & The Pacers - So Glad You're Mine
This fast-paced rock and roller is a lot of fun. It has a real Little Richard vibe to it.      
Roy Hamilton - I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry Over You
There is a jazz element to this arrangement. The cut has a real R&B groove, really.
Freddie Bell & The Bellboys - Hound Dog
I really like this version of the song a lot. It has a great energy and groove to it.
Jerry Lee Lewis - Don't Be Cruel
The "Killer" tackles this tune with a lot of style and passion. It's one of the highlights of the set.
Billy Williams Quartet - Love Me
A doo wop tune, this makes me think of Sha Na Na. This is definitely not my kind of thing, but it has its charms.
Mickie Most & His Playboys - Paralyzed
Guitar rock and roll is at the heart of this entertaining number. The double-time section late is cool, too.
Dorothy Collins - Too Much (Live TV Broadcast)
Here is a big change. This cut has a real jazz meets 1950s pop music arrangement. While I'm not a big fan of this kind of music, it works pretty well. It also brings some definite variety.
Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers - Ready Teddy
We're back into typical rock and roll zones here. This is energized and entertaining, but also lacking in any surprises. Still, there are some passionate moments. 
Lucy Lynn - Got A Lot O' Livin' To Do (Live Radio Broadcast)
I like the guitar soloing on this. There is a real country rock and roll element to this number.     
David Hill - All Shook Up
We're back into Little Richard sort of territory with this little number. This is bouncy and fun.    
Colin Hicks & His Cabin Boys - Mean Woman Blues
Fast paced rock and roll, this is pretty cool stuff.  There is some definite blues leaning here. The recording quality isn't the best of the material here, but it woks pretty well. I love the piano work on this tune.
Shorty Mitchell - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
This is another doo-wop tune. This has a bit more of a light-weight pop music (for the time) vibe to it. I am not a big fan of this rendition, but it does have some parts that work pretty well.
Young Jessie - Hot Dog
There is a cool groove to this piece. Beyond that, this isn't one of my favorites here. It has a lot of soul in the mix, so it does bring some variety to the table.
Jimmy Lane - I Beg Of You
It would be easy to believe that this song is being done by Presley here. The tune is very much set in his style and really sounds like him. This is pretty solid.               
Earl Robbins with Dave Remington & His Orchestra - Jailhouse Rock
This is a strong rendition of the classic song. I'd chalk this one up as one of the highlights of the set. It does rock.
Rodney Scott - (You're So Square) Baby, I Don't Care
Another that sounds so much like Presley that it's scary, this works pretty well.
Paul Rich - Hard Headed Woman
I like the energy and vibe on this rocker. It's another fun one.
Vince Taylor & The Playboys - Trouble
Now, this is very classy. There is a lot of old school blues in the mix. The piece has such a cool vibe. It's one of the highlights of the set. 
Dick Penrose - King Creole
This little rocker is so fun. It's not a highlight, but it works well.
Thursday's Children - Crawfish
There is a real psychedelic jazz rock groove on display here.  This is the biggest bit of variety here. It's also a highlight of the set.   
Lonnie Lee - Lover Doll
More 1950s pop music is the order of business on this tune.
Mack Allen Smith - Young Dreams
Rock and roll crooner sounds are on display here. I'm not a fan of this tune. It does bring some variety with it, though.
Jimmy Lane - Wear My Ring Around Your Neck
More old-school rock and roll is on display here. This is another that sounds a lot like Presley, really. It has some definite doo-wop in the mix, too, though.
Col. Joye & The Joy Boys - I Need Your Love Tonight

Another rock and roller, this is fun stuff. It's not a big shift or change, but it works pretty well. It's also another that feels a lot like Presley.

 
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