Various Artists

Wild Men

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The nameless archivists at Germany's Buffalo Bop label continue their unending study of American rockabilly and western bop with Wild Men, a collection of 30 rare sides that, as the title suggests, features a number of unsung heroes chronicling the lifestyle and habits of the common or garden Bop Cat. From the high school ladies man of Kenny Smith's "Wild Man" and the plus-size hipster of Duane Schurb's "Roly Poly" to the pumping piano man of Groovey Joe Poovey's "Ten Long Fingers" and the hepcat hillbillies of Rudy Hansen's "Saturday Jump," this disc features a healthy portion of jumpin' sounds from the '50s that surfaced on various regional and independent labels, though the closer, the Rhythm Rockets' stomping "The Slide," makes its first commercial appearance on this collection. It's a testimony to how fertile the rockabilly and hillbilly boogie fields were at the time that Buffalo Bop are still finding find so many quality recordings after over ten years in the game, and while some of these sides are a good bit more frantic than others, everybody on board rocks on out and there's no shortage of teenage attitude no matter which track you cue up. The label has also dug up some great photos of some of the artists, including Rudy Hansen in an impressive fake Nudie suit and Weldon & Wanda showing off their guitars which have been customized with stick-on letters one commonly finds on mailboxes. Wild Men is great stuff for fans of first-generation rock & roll, from the rollicking sounds to the quality audio remastering.

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