Various Artists - Lux And Ivy Dig Insane Rockabilly [Righteous/Cherry Red - 2021]
Here we have the next in the Lux and Ivy series of compilations, which finds respected music journalist Dave Henderson bringing together rare, campy and wacky 45’s from the 1950s and 1960s. As its title suggest the focuses is very much on rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll- with the two-CD set offering up a total of fifty-two tracks.
Just like the other compilations in this series the two CD’s come presented in a clear jewel case- this feature colourful retro fuelled artwork. The set comes with a glossy eight inlay booklet- this takes in a four-page write-up about the collection by Henderson, as well as a good selection of 45 record labels.
Each of the discs takes in twenty-six tracks, and of all the series thus far I’d say this is the most narrow/ less genre varied in its selection of tracks- which is of course fine. There’s still a good and quirky collection of tracks over the two-discs, with the quilty largely fairly good and consistent.
On disc one we go from strutting, jiving, and opening cockerel calling tones of Fat Daddy Holmes “Chicken Roll”. Onto bing, bang & slam guitar bass-meets dancing ‘n’ prancing piano runs of Joyce Green’s “Black Cadillac”. There’s the waving strumming-meets- wonky harmonizing of Tommy Wood’s “Can’t Play Hookey”, or the churning and twanging jiving of Nat Couty And The Braves “Woodpecker Rock”. With the first disc playing out with the storytelling banjo-fed- rock and roll hoe-down of Arkie Shibley’s “Hot Rod Race”.
Moving onto the second disc we have the cymbal spluttering meets jiving guitar and bounding bass of Sonny Fisher’s “Pink and Black”. We have the wonky reverbed guitar and skittering beats of Curtis Gordon’s “Dragging”, or jerking harmonies ‘n’ crashing biscuit tin groove of Jay Cee Hill’s “Bump”. Later on, we have the early swing-your-hips Elvis mimicking of Wayne Williams And The Sure Shots “Red Hot Mama”, or the woozy galloping groove and playful vocals of Lee Mitchell’s “Rootie Tootie Baby”.
Because of the less mixed and more rock ‘n’ roll/ rockabilly focused setting of this compilation, I can see I won’t be grabbing for it as often as some of the other releases in the series. But that said this is another well-sequenced collection of songs, and if you in an old school rocking ‘n’ rolling mood, this perfectly fits your needs.Roger Batty