Imelda May

Imelda May

Imelda May
Irish chanteuse Imelda May proved she could sing on her first discs of retro rockabilly originals. Her new album shows she can also rock.

May is backed as usual by her husband, guitarman Darrel Higham. And again as usual, his playing is twang perfect.

This album stretches the band’s repertoire. From classic rockabilly and jazz, their original cuts here tend to more in-your-face rock and roll. But the sound is still exuberant, still vintage.

The duo of May and Higham is high octane all the way. The opening, title track features a noir-ish guitar riff that could have come straight from a ’60s spy film. “Wild Woman” may be a May anthem, but Higham laces it with twanging riffs. “Little Pixie” is a ’50s-style ballad.

Toting a Gretsch 6120 in emulation of his guitar hero, Eddie Cochran, Higham is one of the most exciting rockabilly fretmen extant. A walking, picking encyclopedia of classic music and licks, he knows his history and puts it to good use making modern music.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s October’14 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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