|Bolt Of Lightning, The Jets
Almost 30 years in the music business, that's quite an effort for any kind of band, and especially in rock 'n' roll. I think only a handfull of rockabilly revival bands can say the same. The Cotton boys were still very young when the started out, their fact file reads that Bob was 14, Ray was 12, and Tony was only 8 when he first did lead vocals on Barabara Ann and Tallahassie Lassie. The Jets have come a long way since then, and their sound has matured over the years. I still love the sound of that first "James Dean" EP though, but now we write 12 albums later...
Yes, the twelfth already. And again you can hear that distinctive Jets sound on "Bolt Of Lightning". A mix of rockabilly, rock 'n' roll, rhythm & blues, and due to their vocals harmonies, some doo-wop influences. Another thing that never changes are the excellent recording and production of their albums. You can always count on The Jets to deliver top notch material, real gone covers and marvelous self-penned items, of which there are 14 on this 18 track album.
The title track "Bolt Of Lightning", as all other original songs on this album written by Ray Cotton, is a opener to reckon with. Rockabilly from the boots up, with Ray speeding away on the lead guitar. "Done Lotsa Crying" is one of the specific Cotton harmony songs with that late 50s highschool sound and Bob really rocks that slapping bass on "My Baby Loves Him". One of my favorites is "Nobody Loves You Like Your Mother Does". And whether that's true or not, the song will surely rock your socks off. As does "Bullet In The Head", another one of Ray's orginal rockers.
The Jets rendition of "You Ain't Nothin' But Fine", a song I have always loved to hear the Fabulous Thunderbirds play, is exactly what the title implies, nothing but fine! "Cajan Rock" is somewhat different, a cajun sound with vocal harmonies, likable but not great. "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" takes us back to the roots with a little rhythm & blues. A Sonny Boy Williams' song, also a hit for Eric Clapton's Yarbirds in the 60s. Also included is a mix of handjive rhythm & blues (Johnny Otis style) and fast boppin' rockabilly on "Go Crazy", very catchy rhythms.
Lots more Jets style rockabilly and harmonie are to follow, all a pleasure to listen to, and the last track (but certainly not least) is some good old Johnny Burnette Trio with "Train Kept Rollin". Yes, of course it's a Tiny Bradshaw original, but The Jets are really going for it "Burnette style", with a Paul Burlison "Honey Hush" kinda lead guitar. Real gone! As said before, you can trust the Jets to deliver, how else can you stay in business for so long!
The Jets are:
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2003