Here’s a CD featuring a couple of members of Elvis’ original band – the legendary Scotty Moore on guitar and drummer D.J. Fontana – along with guests like Levon Helm, the Mavericks, the BoDeans, Joe Ely, Cheap Trick, Ronnie McDowell, Steve Earle, Joe Louis Walker, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and more. And it works wonderfully. The atmosphere is extremely relaxed and the performances reflect that in a good way. Scotty and D.J. are featured on each track, complemented by some great players.
My favorite tracks? The opener, “Deuce and a Quarter,” featuring wonderful vocals by Helm and Richards and members of the Band; “I Told You So,” by the Mavericks, where lead singer Raul Malo again proves he belongs in today’s upper echelon of singer/songwriters; the BoDeans track, “Locked Up in the State of Illinois,” is great, too. I could go on, but suffice it to say there’s not a bad track on the CD. Joe Ely and Steve Earle contribute wonderful songs and performances. Cheap Trick even comes through with a fun rocker.
I spent my early years stealing Scotty’s licks off Elvis’ Sun recordings, and it’s indeed a treat to hear this, and see him back in the swing, with a guitar strapped on. Highly recommended. For more info on these sessions, and Scotty in general, check out Kevin Woods’ wonderful interview with Scotty in the August ’97 issue of Vintage Guitar.
If you can’t find this release in your CD shop, write to Sweetfish Records, 920 Edie Road. Argyle, NY 12809.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s Sep. ’97 issue.