|The Jime, Mean Side Of Town
SMP Records, 1999
Modern Rockabilly with a production you'd normally only expect from the Stray Cats. "Mean Side Of Town" holds 13 high powered neo-rockabilly songs and two ballads - 14 originals by guitarist/singer Vince Gordon and a 200 mph cover version of Tiny Bradshaw's "Train Kept A Rolling". The standard of both kind of songs, production and musical performances on "Mean Side Of Town" is very high and you can't help but be affected by the tremendous energy and the great melodies coming out of your speakers when you play this platter.
The CD blasts off with a raving "Gotta Be" with Vince's guitar licks echoing through the room, followed by the Stray Cats sound-alike "We Gotta Go", great slapping! Number three "I Got Sweetlove On My Mind" (not the Johnny Burnette song, mind you) is a more authentic kinda rockabilly song in the fifties style, but then "When Your Baby Cries" is utterly Neo again (but not too fast) with many echoes on the vocals. "Leave My Past Behind", track 5, is one that did not remind me of any other band at all, original Jime-style, great song, great stereo voices. "She Moves Me" is back to the fifties again, while "Jeannie C'mon" rocks like the Blue Cats did, as does "You Really Got A Lot To Learn". The title track "Mean Side Of Town" is a rocking kind of ballad (Peggy Lee's "Fever" comes to mind) and "I'll Be Home" is a Neo-Ballad with a lot of distortion on the guitar, it's a nice break to quiet things down a bit. We needed that, because "Move On" rocks hard again, like Clint Bradley did, but still in the very distinctive Jime-style. Next comes the before mentioned "Train Kept A-Rollin", the only cover on this CD. I really think nobody ever topped Tiny's original, but this one is -again- played in a completely different style and I must say that I really like it, it sure rocks fast! If you tried boppin' to that one, you now really need the next ballad "In Your Dreams" to catch your breath (nice jazzy piano work). "C'mon In" is definitly inspired by The Straycats and it really rocks. The last track "Anyhow" is another Neo-bopper that is sure to move your feet. Lotsa slap.
This record sure has something for everybody, authentic fifties rockabilly, rough neo rockers and cool ballads. The overall style is very much original Jime, and that makes this CD stand out from all the fifties-covers-neo-albums. Very well done, superb quality with good vocals and great guitar-art by Vince Gordon. Gotta have it!
Vince Gordon passed away in 2016, please visit his tribute page:
The BlackCat, February 2000