|Jackson Was Jumpin', Rayburn Anthony
Vampirella Music, 2001
If you do not know yet who Rayburn Anthony is, then read Jim Newcombe's biography first, because Rayburn has been around for a long long time, starting off at Sun Records in 1960. Since then he became a respected songwriter and singer-performer with a fabulous voice. And now we write the year 2001 and Rayburn, aged 64, has recorded a new CD that beautifully displays his abilities as a songwriter as well as his superb capabillities as a vocalist. This brand new CD was recorded in Sweden with no one less than Wildfire Willie & The Ramblers backing him. Wildfire Willie have made quite a new for themselves on the European rockabilly scene and it's great to hear them perform with a legendary voice like Rayburn's.
The CD contains 14 great tracks, both country and rockabilly music, 10 of which were written by Rayburn himself. The album starts with the title track "Jackson Was Jumpin'". Rayburn tells the rockabilly story of his homestead Jackson, Tennessee, in a Sun style rockabilly rhythm. I don't really want to compare Rayburns music with other great performer, but Johnny Cash undoubtedly comes to mind when you listen to this song. "Dance" is another great rockabilly song and Wildfire Willie & The Ramblers make it sound as if it were recorded on 706 Union in the late 50's, you just gotta love it.
"Dreamer That I Am" is leaning towards country music, but still with a rockabilly background, kinda like the early Warren Smith stuff. Pickin' up speed again with "She's A Cadillac", an ode to the long lean mean machine, again with great guitar licks and a fast slapping bass. Rayburn can sing and play all different styles of rockabilly music, just listen to "Since You've Gone" and tell if you too hear some authentic Carl Mann in this Anthony original? No time to set your feet at ease, bop right on thru with the fast paced "On My Way To Gothenburg". Fats Domino's rhythm & blues classic "Let The Four Winds Blow" is set to a Sun Rhythm too and you'll surely love Hank Williams' "Fraulein", sung in a Johnny Cash style.
Simple, but beautiful just because of that, is "If She Looked At Me", you could swear this was recorded 40 years ago. Somewhat strange, but nevertheless catching, is Jay Epae's "Puti-Puti", with some great steel guitar. Time for a ballad, time to catch your breath, with "Sing Me A Love Song". The traditional "Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms" is credited to Monroe on the inside cover, although I thought it was a Roy Acuff song. Anyway, it sounds great with the uptempo rockabilly beat.
"Redneck Crowd", Rayburn being the redneck in this song, is a rockabilly autobiographic lovesong and the fabulous closer "Joe's Place" is sure to rock your socks off, with the Ramblers playing their best! If you love the original Sun Sound as much as I do, this Rayburn Anthony album - recorded in Sweden, not in Tennessee - is a must for you! Let's hope we can enjoy much more of Rayburn music in the near future.
E-mail Rayburn if you wish at: Rayburn233@aol.com
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2001