Johnny Carroll

Texabilly

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This 18-track collection brings together Johnny Carroll's entire output for collector Ronny Weiser's Rollin' Rock label, recorded between 1974 and 1977. Chronologically beginning with the tribute tip of the hat on "Gene Vincent Rock" from 1974 (although it's not sequenced that way on the disc), featuring original Fabulous Thunderbirds drummer Mike Buck, the bulk of this disc comprises the entire 1997 Texabilly album. This minor classic of the idiom was cut in Weiser's living room in one marathon 27-hour session and featured fellow Texan rocker Ray Campi on slappin' string bass. Carroll's voice is full of the same sore-throated hollering power that he possessed in his 1950s prime, and his guitar work is funky in tone and simplistic in derivation. The big surprise is the preponderance of original material, most of it coming from Carroll's pen, with "Who's to Say," "Is It Easy to Be Easy," "Her Throbbing Lips," and "Whatcha Gonna Do?" being particular standouts. The 1970s were barren years for the original rockers, and the rockabilly revival hadn't built up a full head of steam yet, but these recordings helped to show that there was still plenty of energy left in the genre and one of its original practitioners.

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