Never Give Up, Buck Jones & His Rhythm Riders
(Hogfarm, HOG 003)

After mixing his Hogfarm Rockabilly with rock, 70s pop and cajun on his previous album, you you could this this new release is "back on the rockabilly track". Buck Jones' new effort is titled "Never Give Up", and it's all mad raving rockabilly and rock 'n' roll, with a touch of rhythm & blues. The way we like it best. Buck being a master multi-instrumentalist, you can expect the usual perfect sound in full color and living stereo. If some of the titles (like Chicken Run for instance) sound familiar, that would be just coincidence, because all 12 tracks are self-penned and self-produced originals again, the efforts of 4 months in the studio (May to August 2002). Buck's deep dark scorching and scraping voice never seizes to amaze me, and it's surely the driving back bone of his very own rockabilly sound.

Hitting of hard and fast with "I Want Rockabilly", Buck & The Rhythm Riders are setting the mood for all things to come; rockabilly from the boots up. Super stereo guitar licks introduce the sound of rockabilly in the new century, no clean cut vintage mono sounds (although we do like those too, mind you!), but pure electrifying rockabilly, using all available means. "Steamboat Millionaire", whistling Dixie and moving on, great southern country with a rockabilly beat, check out the beautiful photograph of the Mississippi steamboat "Natchez" on the CD inlay.

The footstompin' "Gotham Girls" is next. Isn't Gotham the city where Batman rules? Well, they seem to have "rockabilly babes" there too, and they're coming to get you! "Natural Born No-Talkin' Man" is straight up rockabilly with with an ambient that remind of Buck's earlier recordings with Ray Campi. The bluesy "Oval Shaped Eyes" slows down the pace for a minute or two, before rockin' on hard again with "Devil Player", a song about a devilish hot rebel guitar player who picks his strings like a hurricane. Awesome! The country influenced "Blue Skies And Clear Water" is actually a love song, but sounds a lot like a Johnny cash train song, with Buck's own beat of course.

Don't let the the title "Cajun Boogie" fool you, it ain't Cajun but straight forward rock 'n' roll with a faster paced stroll rhythm. On "Out Of Control" Buck passes the mike on to special guest Eddy "The Hick-Up" Karlsson, although he keeps doing his sharp guitar picking himself. "Rock Boppin' Boogie" is one more super stroll with great echo on the lead guitar and "Balled Up" is back to basics, basic rockabilly that is. Last but not least "Chicken Run" (not the Link Wray song) is a fast talking great bopper, like the many others on this disc. Well, what can I say... Buck is back! Go dig it!

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Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2002