Jerry King and The Rivertown Ramblers

in Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews
Jerry King And The Rivertown Ramblers - Ocala Baby
Jerry King And The Rivertown Ramblers – Ocala Baby

Jerry King And The Rivertown Ramblers – Ocala Baby

ElToro ETCD4096 [2010]
Lie To Me ~ I Apologize ~ I’m Gonna Break A Heart ~ Her Whispers ~ Epilepsy Betsy ~ Don’t Be So Sure ~ Tell Me That You Love Me ~ Long Haul Trucker ~ Ocala Baby ~ Do You Mind ~ Kisses Of Fire ~ Will I Ever Love Again ~ Baby Please Come Home Again ~ Give Me What I Need ~ I Can’t Do This Anymore

After a detour via Wild Hare Records in 2006 to cut some hillbilly influenced rockabilly numbers, Jerry returns to Eltoro for an album full of originals.
For a few exceptions, the style is late 50’s/early 60’s rock’n’roll with the shadow of Elvis Presley all over it. And to be honest King would be wrong to play in another style because his voice is made for this kind of stuff and the Rivertown Ramblers provide the perfect backing, wether musically or when they sing those Jordanaires type of backing vocals. They perfectly at ease on ballads like Do You Mind, Will I Ever Love Again and the Orbison-esque I Can’t Do This Anymore.
Some songs are more straight rockabilly oriented like the fantastic Epilepsy Betsy, Long Haul Trucker (both are re-recordings from the Wild Hare sessions) and Baby Please Come Home Again. There’s also a bit of Johnny Cash too (Tell Me That You Love) and even bits of Don Gibson/Marty Robbins (Kisses Of Fire). Without a doubt one of the greatest vocalist on the scene today.


 

Jerry King And The Rivertown Ramblers - A Date With...
Jerry King And The Rivertown Ramblers – A Date With…

Jerry King And The Rivertown Ramblers – A Date With…

ElToro / Jewel Records [2006]
You Forgot Your Name – Party Line – Brown Eyed Baby – Rains – Honky Tonk Bop – I Want A Lover – Big Door – Bad Dreams – Devils Child – She Dont Live Here No More – Speed Limit – Price Of Love

This is the third cd from Jerry King and The Rivertown Ramblers and like the previous one it’s been recorded at the legendary Sun studios. Most of the songs are King’s own and that’s a good point ’cause he knows how to write good stuff.
There’re many rockabilly bands today and it’s sometime hard to find a sound and a niche. For this recording Jerry King and his gang have choosen to soften their sound and to lean towards a late 50’s kind of rock’n’roll. The opening track “You forgot Your Name” featuring piano and backing vocals ala Jordanaires shows this orientation. And they have more in common with Elvis than the word “King” and the name of this album, believe me ! This guy has a great voice. Presley is not the only obvious influence as you can hear a lot of Roy Orbison in “Bad Dreams”. But don’t think The Rivertown Ramblers gave up traditionnal rockabilly, songs like “Party Line” and “Big Door” are real rockin’ tunes and “Speed Limit” wouldn’t be out of place Rip Carson’s My Simple Life. You even have a hillbilly boogie song, the well named “Honky Tonk Bop”.
The records ends with “The Price Of Love” which is as good as “I Miss The Ring” from their previous album. Very good production work, amazing song,and once again, what a voice. A very good album indeed and in its own way very original.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis