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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Link Davis

Laissez Les Bon-Ta-Ru-La (Let The Good Times Roll)

Review by Gary Hill

This collection features a 10-inch vinyl record along with a CD. The featured artist is Link Davis, who plies an old-school rock and roll meets blues, Creole and many other styles. I really like some of this set quite a bit. As you expect from Bear Family, this is a classy release with a large booklet, post card and more. I should mention that since the first twelve tracks on the CD are the same as the tunes on the record, I've used the same track reviews for them in both spots.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Record
                
Side 1
                  
Come Dance With Me

The fiddle brings some bluegrass to the introduction and the instrumental break on this. Overall, though, this is a classy rock and roller. It's bouncy and fun. I dig the piano solo.

Permit Blues
I love the bass that drives the backdrop of this tune. The cut has a great energy and groove. It's a lot of fun.
Grasshopper Rock
The saxophone soloing on this stomper is so strong. This is another high-energy romp that works well.
Johnny Be Good
They put in a serviceable cover of the Chuck Berry classic.
Don't Big Shot Me
Here we get another high-energy old-school rocker. It's fun, but not really a standout. I do like the instrumental break a lot.
Bon-Ta-Ru-La (Let The Good Times Roll)
Here we get a fun rock and roll romp with some jazz and hints of Cajun culture. It's another entertaining one.
Side 2
                                  
Sixteen Chicks

I really love the instrumental section at the end of this, but everything about this song just says "old-school rock and roll cool."

Airliner
Starting with the sound of an airplane, this tune reminds me to some degree of Chuck Berry's music. This is good, but not a standout.
Rice And Gravy
There is a real blues angle to this cut. It has a rocking groove, too. This is one of the stronger pieces on the record.
Trucker From Tennessee
I love the rocking groove and classy jamming on this romp. The horn solo is strong, too. I love the guitar soloing on this, too. The tune is probably the best one on the record.
You Show Up Missing
A slower moving piece, this is more of an old-time gospel song. Mind you, that's from a musical point of view and not a lyrical one.
Grasshopper
A real country hoe-down thing is on display here. This is bouncy and a lot of fun. It's also a nice change from the rest of the music on the record.
CD
                 
Come Dance With Me

The fiddle brings some bluegrass to the introduction and the instrumental break on this. Overall, though, this is a classy rock and roller. It's bouncy and fun. I dig the piano solo.

Permit Blues
I love the bass that drives the backdrop of this tune. The cut has a great energy and groove. It's a lot of fun.
Grasshopper Rock
The saxophone soloing on this stomper is so strong. This is another high-energy romp that works well.
Johnny Be Good
They put in a serviceable cover of the Chuck Berry classic.
Don't Big Shot Me
Here we get another high-energy old-school rocker. It's fun, but not really a standout. I do like the instrumental break a lot.
Bon-Ta-Ru-La (Let The Good Times Roll)
Here we get a fun rock and roll romp with some jazz and hints of Cajun culture. It's another entertaining one.
Sixteen Chicks
I really love the instrumental section at the end of this, but everything about this song just says "old-school rock and roll cool."
Airliner
Starting with the sound of an airplane, this tune reminds me to some degree of Chuck Berry's music. This is good, but not a standout.
Rice And Gravy
There is a real blues angle to this cut. It has a rocking groove, too. This is one of the stronger pieces on the record.
Trucker From Tennessee
I love the rocking groove and classy jamming on this romp. The horn solo is strong, too. I love the guitar soloing on this, too. The tune is probably the best one on the record.
You Show Up Missing
A slower moving piece, this is more of an old-time gospel song. Mind you, that's from a musical point of view and not a lyrical one.
Grasshopper
A real country hoe-down thing is on display here. This is bouncy and a lot of fun. It's also a nice change from the rest of the music on the record.
Have You Heard The News (Good Rockin' Tonight)
Perhaps the most famous version of this song is the Elvis Presley one, but for people of my generation it might be the variant by Robert Plant's project The Honeydrippers that immediately comes to mind. Either way, this jump blues romp gets a solid treatment here. I wouldn't consider it competition for either of those others, but it's cool.
Allons A Lafayette
Jazz, Creole music and more merge on this entertaining romp.

          

Rice And Gravy Blues
This has a real down-home groove to it. It's a fun tune, but not one of my favorites here.
Beatle Bug
This instrumental tune is high energy and so cool. It's another standout. It seems to deftly merge old-school rock and roll with jazz. Both the horn playing and the guitar get a chance to be showcased.
Visions
This rock and roller is fine, but it's not really a standout by any means.
Joe Turner
More of a down-home blues cut, I like this a lot.
Ballad Of Jole Blon
This groove works pretty well. It's not a highlight at all, though.
Rice And Gravy Boogie
Now, this energetic jazzy groove with plenty of down-home sound in the mix is a standout track. In fact, I'd consider it one of my favorites on the set.
Memories With You
There is more of a doo wop vibe here. This is another that is reasonably effective but not all that special.
Jogging
Another that lands sort of as an "also ran," this is entertaining, but not all that special.
Cliff Bruner & His Texas Wanderers - San Antonio Blues (vocal: Link Davis)
I dig this classy groove. It's a fun romp that brings some down-home bluegrass angles and a healthy helping of variety. This is another highlight of the set.
Texas Swing
I'd consider this groove to be a little less successful than some of the rest. It seems a bit sloppy in some ways.
Slippin' And Slidin' Sometimes
I dig this tune a lot. It's a smoking hot old-time cut. It feels like something the "Darlings" from "The Andy Griffith Show" might do. The musicians seem to be having a lot of fun with it.
Big Mamou
There is a real Cajun sound to this. It's a tune that feels like the swamp-land. Rather than land on the Dixieland side of the equation, though, this is more like back-porch bluegrass with a Creole accent.

 

 
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