Get Rhythm, A Tribute to the Man in Black
Raucous Records, RAUCD 031

Actually this CD was issued in 1998 (it is still available though), but for some reason I had never heard it before. When Howard sent me a copy I was pleasantly surprised. There are many tribute albums out there and usually I don't pay much attention, that could well be the reason I hadn't picked this one up yet, but this tribute to the great Johnny Cash is something else! Although Johnny Cash is best known for his country music, he did start out at Sun Records in the 50s and did some real gone rockabilly in those days. And rockabilly is what this tribute is all about. Furthermore, this is not just a collection of Johnny Cash covers, no sir, 11 of the 20 tracks presented here were exclusively recorded for this album. That alone makes it worth while, because it is truly a tribute to the "Man in Black" and not just a bunch of old songs.

The albums hits off with the title track "Get Rhythm" by The Duvals. Have you heard The Duvals debut "Introducing The Duvals"? If so, let me tell you this track has the same fanstastic sound, if not, be sure that you do! Cat Scratch Fever does a real gone rockabilly version of "The Wreck of the Old 97" with some mighty slappin' and the Legendary Raw Deal gets away with a fast paced cover of "Cocaine Blues" from Johnny's "Silver" album. There are two versions of "Home of the Blues", one with a country feel and one with a rockabilly beat.

Of course there is a superb version of my all time favourite "Ghostriders in the Sky" by The Slingshots. The linernotes say that it is from the Slingshots forthcoming debut album, but this album (titled "Feels So Right) has been released by now and this track is not on it! Next, Slim Whitfield does a great "Ring of Fire", fast paced rockabilly with a real sharpe guitar. "Big River" is presented to you by Union Avenue and The Roadkings play a mean "Mean Eyed Cat". Big Red Rocket is changing the pace to some trucking country music with "One Piece at the Time" and the Black Top Rockets' "Straight A's in Love" is straight rockabilly, the way we like it best. Another rockabilly treat is Boz Boorer's "Rock 'n' Roll Ruby" and one of Johnny early greatest hits "Folsom Prison Blues" wasn't left out. "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" by the Hicksville Bombers is very sensitive (yes, the band's name would imply different) and although this is a very well known song, it sent shivers down my spine again, a jewel. Another song by the fabulous Duvals, "There You Go", is a marvel too. Steve Hooker's "Your My baby" is, again, fast paced rockabilly with a greasy slap, rock it Steve! More great slap, with a very joyful banjo in "Wide Open Road" by the Hubcaps. "Ways of a Woman in Love" is presented by Justin Curtis, who's voice comes pretty close to the deep dark voice of the man in black himself.

If you're a Johnny Cash fan, a fifties lover or just a rockabilly nut like me, I'm sure there's something (if not lots) for you on this great tribute to a man who really deserves it; the legendary Johnny Cash.

The BlackCat, 2000

Raucous Records
7, St. Peters Place
Fleetwood, Lancashire
FY7 6EB England
Tel/fax: +44 1253 872227