Ronnie Dawson

Monkey Beat!

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Monkey Beat!! confirms Dawson's status as the most vital of the middle-aged rockabilly singers still performing and recording in the 1990s. It's actually rawer (in the positive sense of the term) than the two previous comeback albums he recorded for No Hit in the late '80s. He's in fine, spontaneous voice, and the material (including a few originals), as always, avoids overdone standards. As a significant bonus, the CD tacks on the entirety of his 1988 album, Still a Lot of Rhythm, originally released on the British No Hit label; it's a respectable but tamer effort than the first half of the program.

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