|I Don't Sound Like Nobody - The Taildraggers
Tombstone Records 2004
This one is itching since a few weeks in the back of my mind for a review: The new Taildraggers album, a tribute to Elvis. Since I'm an Elvis fan, (well, who isn't) I was a bit afraid that this would be another one of those would-be Elvis imitations we all know and that never ever even come close to the phenomenon that the King was and, no doubt about that, still is.
So I started listening with a presumption I couldn't get out of my mind that easily. However, the first song, "I slipped, I stumbled, I Fell" made me lose all prejudice. I like it, it's a fresh approach to Elvis material and the musicians are up to the task. What I definitly like is the arrangements, almost every song is done in a way so you can perform them on stage with just a four piece band. No overproductions that demand an entire philharmonic orchestra or Big Band.
My Blue Heaven, a Fats smash hit, and theme song of several movies gets a new treatment and ends up a western swing style dancer. Long Legged Girl (with the short dress on) one of my longtime favorites; it was on the first vinyl album I ever bought, misses the energy Elvis pumped in his version but still you can't go wrong with this song. Track four is a jazzy rendition of "Loving You" done very well again, allthough personally I would have liked a little bit more variation on the drum track which is too basic. Kissin' Cousins comes next and catches the "Elvis in the Sixties" atmosphere very well. Uncle Pen is a song Elvis did on the Lousiana Hayride shows in '54 and this redneck song makes your hillbilly heart jump. Elvis performed this song only live on stage so this is another obscure Elvis jewel. Like "Tennessee Saturday Night" it's on the wishlist of many Elvis collectors. Well, the next best thing is to buy this new Taildraggers release! There's also a bonus track on this album, "The Lady Loves Me" in which Pascal sings a duet with an unknown lady. I can't find any other information on her except a few anonymous pictures on the Taildraggers'website, so I'm quite sure it isn't Ann-Margret. Nice voice and good looks though, c'mon guys, who's the secret lady?
The rest of the songs are all equally good recordings. Singer Pascal does a great job again, and although he is not an Elvis imitator, he manages to catch some of the essences that made Elvis... well, Elvis! Pascal sings very naturally and his voice is made for this kind of songs. It seems the Taildraggers have had a change of line up. Bullfiddler Hans Wolters has been replaced with Eric van Spreuwel (Stacy Cats).
Conclusion: I think this is a damn good album. Period.
Well, you can say a lot happened, leadguitar and pedallist Rudy is focussing entirely on lap and pedals now. But as everybody knows, one of the basic conditions for a rockabilly band is a stringpicker, and they have found quite an icon to fill in that vacancy: Tiny Lathouwers from the Kingsize Trio is the latest asset, and those of you who know and have seen Tiny perform are aware of his great skills as a string picker. But when he's tired of sitting, Rudy will occasionally step in as second lead guitar player so that opens up some great possibillities for harmonics and twinleads.
The Taildraggers are:
More Taildraggers on this website: CLICK HERE!
Reviewed by Uncle_B, 2004