|Let's Rock Tonite, Mack Stevens |
Rollin' Rock CD-111
Good gosh a'mighty! Mack is back with a vengeance with this new collection of rockabilly tunes! Give a listen and you'l find that he's no one-dimensional "hotrod-voodoo" hiccupper. There's a fair smattering of boppin' hillbilly (and make no mistake, Mack's a damn hillbilly at heart), hard rockin' insanity, and gut wrenching sincere love songs lurking in the mix. Those of you who've met Mack and his lovely bride Karina know from whence he draws his inspiration!
And thus the start of Albert Paner's liner notes on this new Mack Stevens Rollin' Rock CD. I have often wondered myself where Mack gets his inspiration from, CD after CD, all equally great and with so many self penned tracks. Yes, he writes most of his stuff together with his wife Karina, what a team! He doesn't take all credits though, only 12 out of 14, and believe it or not, one of the two cover songs delivers the title of this album. Yes, it's the Jimmy Grubbs & His Music Makers original "Let's Rock Tonight".
Mack is not only a fantastic performer, he also has some of the best rockabilly musicians in his band and an outstanding producer, no one less than Ron Weiser. These facts alone guarantee the quality of this album, but we're gonna spin it nevertheless. The title song comes first, a classic rockabily track that really needed to be revived, 'cause I can't remember ever hearing another cover of this fabulous song. And Mack does the song in his own hard rocking style with some real gone guitar riffs.
The first of the 12 originals on the CD is "All Alone", a heartbreaking love song in an uptempo country rhythm and with the beautiful downfalls in Mack's voice that make the man stand out among rockabilly singers. Great distortion on the lead guitar... I tried and died...
"I Won't See" is fast slapping rockabilly, again with hard driving lead solos (great bopper). "I'm Not Good With Words" is a ballad that is certainly not biographic. More hard driving rockabilly in "High Plains Drifter" (be sure to play it loud!) and another bopper, but pretty damn fast, is "I Can't Stop", followed by another classy country style song "I Grab It Out Of Habbit". Then "My Messed Up World" with it's wonderfull mood swings, picking up speed, and the raving rhythm of "I'll Never Get Home".
Stomping with "Mess Around" sung by Bobby Marlar (slap it Andy!), the story of a man in love in "What Did I Do". Then more fast rhythms and varied percussions on "Chupa! Chupa! Chupa!" and a classic rockabilly sound with some country influences in "Just Like A Glove". Last track is Bunker Hill's '63 song "The Girl Can't Dance", hardly recognizable in Mack's own arrangement. Fast, one minute and a half of fast rock 'n' roll.
Mack Stevens is a master class rockabilly act, outstanding music, sound and performance. Any of Mack's albums is a good deal and this one tops 'em all. Just put the platter in your machine, set the volume to max and "Let's Rock Tonite!"
Always Rollin' The Rock, Rockin' Ronny Weiser
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2001