Various Artists

Rockin' Legends Pay Tribute To Jack White

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The "legends" of Cleopatra Records' 2013 collection Rockin' Legends Pay Tribute to Jack White may not really qualify as legends, at least to the general public. Sure, some might recognize Wanda Jackson -- who has been produced by the man himself -- but Sonny Burgess, Robert Gordon, Johnny Powers, and Rosie Flores are big names only to hardcore rockabilly cats, while Gary U.S. Bonds and Bobby Vee are staples of oldies radio, not the kind of acts that carry a certain legendary mystique. These are recognizable names, though. The rest of the artists on the collection are obscure, reflecting both the budget and profile Cleopatra had to worth with here. This doesn't necessarily mean that the compilation is bad, but at times the enthusiasm contradicts the meaning of the songs: Burgess just raves it up through "Steady as She Goes," and there may be no other singer as characteristically ill-suited for the simmering spite of "Salute Your Solution" as Gary U.S. Bonds. Elsewhere, "I'm Shakin'" gets adopted as a Jack original, but Big Jay McNeely performs it like he only knows Little Willie John, and Vee sleepwalks through "We're Going to Be Friends," leaving such unknowns as Knox, Rejected Youth Nation, and the Dirt Daubers to deliver the most spirited moments here.

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