|Buck Jones: Texas Rooster
Hogfarm HOG 018
Formerly Buck Jones & His Rhythm Riders, the band is now a trio and called "Texas Rooster". Buck Jones explains: "In the name I've combined two of my main influences: Ol' Texas, the state of our dreams and my ol' rooster, that I used to have on the Hogfarm. He was quite a fellar with the biggest "pompadour" I've ever seen on a rooster. Quite a chickenizer too. He didn't give them chickens any peace at all. Boogie woogie all night long with bareassed hen running wild on the premises. The poor bastard got over exhausted and died some time ago, R.I.P.!"
Texas Rooster is a plain rock 'n' roll trio: Buck, his old guitarplayer Perry Kaasalainen and a brand new drummer Hot Rod Mäikkä, who playes upright drums. Since Buck now plays his ol' Fender Precision bass, and not an upright bass, something else had to be upright and this time it's Mäikkä.
In 2000, Buck Jones impressed the hell out of me with his super rock 'n' roll stomper "I'm Gonna Rock Your Brains Out" (I still play it a lot, especially after a good rumble) so I'm pretty curious if the new trio can top that. Let's give this platter a spin... The album opens with the best song you can find to open any show, Johnny Burnette's "Rockabilly Boogie". Of course it got the Buck Jones treatment, and it rocks you hard and loud. Not rockabilly Johnny Burnette style, but Buck Jones rock 'n' roll all the way. The Blasters' original "Long White cadillac", a long time favorite of mine, is next on the menu, cool and rockin', the way the song was meant to be. Jimmy McCracklin's "The Walk" is a lot heavier than the original, with a superb rough and tough guitar break.
The Texas Rooster original "Rock & Roll" is all the title promises, straight forward rock 'n' roll, with a lot of 60s rock influences. It's followed by the country style "Mysteries of Love", the song is indeed a bit of a mysterie, with Buck's deep dark voice and changing tempos. Eddy Clearwater's "Hillbilly Guitar Boogie" is all revved up and turned into a fast paced rock 'n' roll song, with perry going berserk on the six strings.
Upright drummer Mäikkä gets his chance to do a bit of jungle mumbo jumbo on "Chicka-Boo Stomp", slowing down the pace a bit for a moment. Pete Viitala throws in some sax in Eddie Cochran's ever great "Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie", followed by "Sweet Annie Lou", a clean song that sounds a bit like the early 60s highschool rock 'n' roll, except for the slight distortion on the lead guitar. Yoho, another girl song, guess someone in Texas Rooster loves girls, here's "Charmin' Betsy" pickin' up speed again.
Comes a great rendition from the soundtrack of the soft-porn movie "Teenage Cruisers", Jerry Sikorski's "Backseat Boogie", followed by Sleepy LaBeef's "I'm Through". Way to go Buck. Then another set of Buck Jones jewels "Georgia Shaker" and "Texas Rooster" thunder through my living room. Seems like Buck saved his best for last. The closer "Let's Get Drunk Tonight" is one in the style of his classic "I'm Gonna Rock Your Brains Out", I think Buck should do more with his harmonica, what a great sound. The end of another genuine Buck Jones release, not quite in the same league as "Rock Your Brains Out", but a very good rock 'n' roll album all the same!
Texas Rooster is (left to right):
Photographs taken at the Stockholm Moonshiner Sweden, May 2004
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2004