Orange Blossom Special: Johnny Cash

Rating: 90%

Orange_Blossom_Special.pngI found this record in great condition for .25c and I could not resist, I had to grab it. The year was 1965 and it saw the release of Johnny Cash’s “Orange Blossom Special” which is an album he collaborated with Bob Dylan backstage trading songs.

Musically, there is a good balance of styles ranging from Folk, Country, Gospel, and Rockabilly.  This album comes during the height of Johnny Cash’s career and drug use. The entire album is very good. Lot’s of good bass lines, soft drumming, and guitars. Vocally, Johnny sounds good. Lots of good material on this album including the title track. Lyrically, it’s both, dark and inspiring.

Track listing:

Side One:

1. “Orange Blossom Special”  3:06
2. “The Long Black Veil” 3:06
3. “It Ain’t Me Babe”  3:03
4. “The Wall” 2:09
5. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” 2:56
6. “You Wild Colorado”1:45

Side two:
1. “Mama, You’ve Been on My Mind” 3:02
2. “When It’s Springtime in Alaska” 2:36
3. “All of God’s Children Ain’t Free” 2:11
4. “Danny Boy”  5:08
5. “Wildwood Flower” 2:10
6. “Amen” 2:05

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Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell: Social Distortion

Rating: 90%

Social_Distortion_-_Somewhere_Between_Heaven_and_Hell_cover1992 was the year that “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” by Social D was released. The album features some very talented musicians. The musicianship is incredible. Lead vocalist and lead guitarist Mike Ness whose voice is whiskey drench sings the blues or country and punk as if those genres were created for him. His leads and riffs are so precise. Rhythm guitarist Dennis Danell throws out such good riffs. He actually compliments Mike Ness’s style. Plenty of great bass by John Maurer. The drum lines by Christopher Reece are wonderfully done.

Musically, this album is rock solid from start to finish. It flows very well. The influences from Punk, Country, Blues, Rock n’ Roll, and Rockabilly are  so balanced. It’s heavy, but it could be played on any radio station no matter the genre. It’s very energetic and powerful. Everything in so in tuned here from the melodies to the harmony of the instruments to the vocals.

Track listing:

“Cold Feelings” – 3:31
“Bad Luck” – 4:26
“Making Believe” (Jimmy Work) – 4:12
“Born to Lose” – 4:09
“Bye Bye Baby” – 3:06
“When She Begins” – 5:04
“99 to Life” – 4:28
“King of Fools” (W.E. Bruce) – 2:50
“Sometimes I Do” – 4:01
“This Time Darlin’ ” – 4:08
“Ghost Town Blues” – 4:38

Hell, Sweet Hell: The Hellfreaks

Rating: 80%

r-3639021-1338405574-1039-jpegIn 2010, Hungarian band the Hellfreaks released their debut record called “Hell, Sweet Hell.” This is their attempt at Psychobilly and Horror Punk. For the most part, their aim is pretty good. The music is enjoyable and sounds like the HorrorPops meets Hank III and Rev. Horton Heat.

The album credits as far as the musicians are concern, you have vocalist Shakey Sue, guitarist Freaky Tiki, bassist Bloody Holly, stand up bassist Kevin Crime, and drummers Willy Cruel and Sick Rick.  The musicianship is very good.

Musically, there’s lot’s of harmony, lot’s of great melodies. The stand up bass is excellent. I love hearing the rap-pa-tap- of the bass. With regards to the guitars, there’s lot’s of fast riffs, and some good lead solos. There’s a lot of good tempos being set by the drummer and I love hearing that double bass. The female vocals are OK. For Punk music they are right on. Shakey Sue’s voice is very whiny and Pop sounding. Their evil sounding and that balances things out.

3714d51964b8453db5ef75e2b90fbc73Highlights on this album include, “Queen Of The Psycho Scene”, “Boogieman” and “Psycho Wrecking Tonight.”

 

Track listing:

Intro
Go Go Hellfreaks
Hell Sweet Hell
If I Die Today
Boogieman
Living Dead Cat
Paperweight
Mr Dead Kiss
Sick Soul
Queen Of The Psycho Scene
Psycho Wrecking Tonight
We Prefer
Horrorshow
Outro

Born To Be Bad: George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Rating: 85%

BornToBeBadSo, many consider George Thorogood as a guy stuck in the same old rut and releasing the same old music since 1977. But, if he changed his style, everyone would’ve called him a sell out. So what would one expect? Well, you keep on keeping on with the boogie woggie music that you’re known for. “Born to be Bad” released in 1988 was no exception. Why sell out to the power ballads of the Hair Metal scene that was at it’s high-tide? George Thorogood’s own brand of the Blues and Rock n’ Roll is just that, it’s hard ass kicking music with attitude. George Thorogood never sold out his sound and his brand of music to make a buck.

This record never gets it’s due and that’s a shame. This record has some of the best Blues, R&B, County and Rockabilly music that came out in the late 1980’s. His slide work on the guitar is among the best of guitarist. Musically, the highlights are “You Talk Too Much”, “Born to Be Bad”, “Treat Her Right”, “I Really Like Girls”, and “I’m Movin’ On.” Although, the entire record is good.

The way he plays, is amazing. George Thorogood should be considered as among the best of the modern Blues and Rock guitarist, but hasn’t made the top 100 of any lists that I am aware of.

Track listing:

“Shake Your Money Maker” (Elmore James) – 3:29
“You Talk Too Much” (George Thorogood) – 4:35
“Highway 49” (Big Joe Williams) 49 – 5:46
“Born to Be Bad” (Thorogood) – 3:34
“You Can’t Catch Me” (Chuck Berry) – 3:45
“I’m Ready” (Sylvester Bradford, Fats Domino, Al Lewis) – 3:20
“Treat Her Right” (Roy Head, Gene Kurtz) – 3:32
“I Really Like Girls” (Thorogood) – 3:49
“Smokestack Lightning” (Howlin’ Wolf) – 3:15
“I’m Movin’ On” (Hank Snow) – 3:58