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Various Artists

Blue Moon Keep on Shining: 12 Rockers from the Blue Moon and Bella Vaults (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

This new release from Bear Family is a 10-inch, 45 RPM vinyl record. The vinyl is stunning, sort of a yellow, green color. The music here is of the old-school rock and roll vein with quite a bit of variety included. There are some songs here that I like quite a bit, and none that I really don't like at all. It's another classy release from a label that's known for class, at least to me.

There is a Music Street Journal bonus video for this release located on Youtube at:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcT6YGhBOq0.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Side A
             
Johnny Amelio - Jo Ann - Jo Ann

Seeming to channel Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, this energized rocker is a lot of fun. I dig the saxophone sound on the cut a lot.

Gradie O'Neal & The Bella Tones - Baby 'Oh' Baby
I dig the old school rocking groove on this a lot. The guitar soloing is all class, too. This has plenty of rockabilly in the mix, but that wasn't a thing then. In those days it was just rock and roll.
Clyde Arnold & The Sharps - I've Got A Baby
The guitar sound on this has a really chimey quality to it. It's a more stripped back number (basically just guitar and vocals), but it has plenty of rock and roll energy. There is a drop back for the vocals approach to this.
Chuck Royal & The Sharpsters - Blue Moon Keep On Shining
Now, we get into some seriously country based stuff. This feels a bit like Johnny Cash, but also like even older country music.
Joe Jaros & His Orchestra - Bon Bon Baby
A bouncy tune, this has a lot of jazz in the mix. Sure, it's rock and roll at its heart, but the horns and general musical concept seems well rooted in jazz and blues. That's especially true of the instrumental section.
Toby & Ray - Bom Du Wa
More bouncing rock and roll is on the menu here. There are some doo wop vocals here, and I'm not a fan of doo wop, but I actually like this vocal arrangement. It reminds me quite a bit of "At the Hop." I love the retro rocking guitar solo on the tune.         
Side B
                      
Linda & The Epics - Gonna Be Loved
Starting with guitar, the female vocals on this lend a different kind of feeling to it. This has some killer old-school rock and roll at its heart.
Gradie O'Neal & The Bella Tones - Turkey Neck Stretch
While the guitar on this seems to land more in the zone of rock and roll, the vocals seem rooted in country music. This is a fun number, but not one of my favorites. Still, the guitar solo is cool.
The Downbeats feat. Johnny Amelio - Jugue
This has a lot of energy. It's a fun rocker designed to get people out and dancing.
Clyde Arnold & The Sharps - Scrounge

A nice change of pace, this is less intense, but no less cool. It has a swinging kind of groove to it and some interesting guitar work. It's an instrumental and so tasty.    

The Savoys - The Mortal Monster Man
I really like this old rock and roll groove so much. It's another highlight. It's just so much fun.
Chuck Royal & The Sharpsters - You're Like A Butterfly
With jazz, country and more in the mix, this is a rocker designed to get people dancing. It's an energetic and effective piece of music.
 
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