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Jerry Reed

The Rockin' U.S. Male (vinyl and CD)

Review by Gary Hill

This collection is all class. Then again, you expect quality from Bear Family Records, well at least I do. This collects Jerry Reed music onto a record and a CD. The record is a 10-inch, 45 RPM disc. The CD includes all the songs from the record along with a baker's dozen more tunes. The last four songs were not released by Reed himself, but by two other artists, but they all feature him playing with that artist. This runs the gamut from rock and roll to rockabilly, country based sounds and more. The set includes a postcard and extensive booklet. I should mention that since the first twelve songs on the CD are the same as the ones on the record I have used the same track reviews for the sake of consistency.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Record
                  
Side One:
                   
When I Found You

This is a swinging, rocking groove that really works well.

Guitar Man

I love the energy and groove of this screamer.

You Make It, They Take It
This has more of a doo-wop sound. It's not really my kind of thing as much as the first two were, but it's fun.
Bessie Baby
Another high energy rock and roller, I love the piano on this. The low register backing vocals are a bit over the top for me, but they really don't pull the song down at all.
Heart Appeal
We get a lot more doo wop on this number. I'm not a big fan of doo wop, but this works pretty well. I do love the guitar soloing on the track.
Twist-A-Roo
I love the deep notes on the instrumental arrangement here. The cut has some smoking hot energy, and a lot of cool. The organ lends some 1960s vibe to this non-vocal piece. This is one of my favorites on the whole set.
Side Two:
                     
I've Had Enough

This rockabilly number has some great hooks. It's a fun number.

U.S. Male
Here we get a tune with a lot of spoken or nearly spoken vocals, depending on the part of the song. This is acoustic based and energized. It's also entertaining.
Hit And Run
More of a ballad, this is effective and intriguing. It's not a standout for me, though.
Have Blues, Will Travel
This echoey cut makes me think of Johnny Cash in a lot of ways.
Rockin' In Bagdad
There is a middle Eastern musical angle to this, but you expect that given the title, right? It's a bouncy, energized rock and roller.
In My Own Backyard
This rock and roller has some tasty saxophone (particularly on the solo), and it works well. It's a fun tune.
CD
                  
When I Found You

This is a swinging, rocking groove that really works well.

Guitar Man
I love the energy and groove of this screamer.
You Make It, They Take It
This has more of a doo-wop sound. It's not really my kind of thing as much as the first two were, but it's fun.
Bessie Baby
Another high energy rock and roller, I love the piano on this. The low register backing vocals are a bit over the top for me, but they really don't pull the song down at all.
Heart Appeal
We get a lot more doo wop on this number. I'm not a big fan of doo wop, but this works pretty well. I do love the guitar soloing on the track.
Twist-A-Roo
I love the deep notes on the instrumental arrangement here. The cut has some smoking hot energy, and a lot of cool. The organ lends some 1960s vibe to this non-vocal piece. This is one of my favorites on the whole set.
I've Had Enough
This rockabilly number has some great hooks. It's a fun number.
U.S. Male
Here we get a tune with a lot of spoken or nearly spoken vocals, depending on the part of the song. This is acoustic based and energized. It's also entertaining.
Hit And Run
More of a ballad, this is effective and intriguing. It's not a standout for me, though.
Have Blues, Will Travel
This echoey cut makes me think of Johnny Cash in a lot of ways.
Rockin' In Bagdad
There is a middle Eastern musical angle to this, but you expect that given the title, right? It's a bouncy, energized rock and roller.
In My Own Backyard
This rock and roller has some tasty saxophone (particularly on the solo), and it works well. It's a fun tune.
Oh! Lonely Heart
This has a real old-time country vibe. It's a ballad, and not really a song that works that well for me. It's just not my kind of thing.
This Great Big Empty Room
More of a country rocker, this is a solid tune. I love the piano on it, but the guitar sound is also very cool. The whole number has a bit of a bluesy edge that just oozes style.
Little Lovin' Liza
An energized rock and roller, this is entertaining and effective.
Teardrop Street
I love the classic sounding guitar soloing on this rocker. It is a strong romp, but it needs that solo to really elevate it.
Your Money Makes You Purty
You have to wonder about the lyrical content on this tune. That said, this works reasonably well, but I'm not a big fan of the doo wop angles here. I also don't care for the low register vocal.
Pity The Fool
This balladic piece works reasonably well, but it just isn't really my kind of thing. That said, the variety it brings is good.
I Can't Find The Words
With a real rockabilly angle to it, this cut is a lot of fun.
Hully Gully Guitar
This cut makes me think of "Wooly Bully," but in more of a rockabilly style. It has only a few lines of female vocals, just singing the title. Otherwise, it's an instrumental. 
This Can't be Happening To Me
There is a blues meets country angle to this number. It's a solid one that works well.
The Rockateers - Rock Bottom -part I
There is a tasty rockabilly groove on display here. This instrumental is fun.
The Rockateers - Rock Bottom -part II
Another instrumental piece, this is based on a pretty standard blues progression. It has some cool piano work and is effective.
Ric Cartey - Heart Throb
This acoustic based rock and roller makes me think of Elvis. This is entertaining, but not a standout by any means.                    
Ric Cartey - I Wancha To Know
I really love the high energy acoustic guitar jamming on this thing. The number is a lot of fun.
 
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