From his earliest days in the Untamed Youth and the Dave & Deke Combo, Deke Dickerson has been on a one-man crusade to preserve, protect, and present the coolest aspects of America's musical past, while reminding us just how wild and fun they can be. While often lumped in with rockabilly revivalists and surf mavens, Dickerson's passions know few boundaries, and he's as likely to brew up some Western swing or jump jazz as rhythm & blues, '60s garage rock, or jumpin' piano boogie. Just as importantly, Deke does it all with a sense of fun and an impressive degree of talent, as Dickerson consistently lays out top-class guitar work on every project that bears his name, as well as bringing in some top-shelf guests, including Larry Collins, Claude Trenier, Earl Palmer, the Trashmen, and Billy Zoom. Dickerson compiled a splendid anthology of his solo work on the 2004 collection My Name Is Deke, but with that album out of print, Dickerson has opted to create a new and updated overview of his career on his own, and the simply titled Greatest Hits is a similarly impressive introduction to the great man's body of work. Dickerson is a deft and versatile picker, a strong vocalist, and a fine songwriter, and he can deliver country weepers, Southern soul, primal rockabilly, first-era rhythm & blues, and oddball novelty numbers with equal skill and conviction. In the 21st century, Dickerson is a cult hero rather than a major star, and the sad truth is that none of these songs has actually been a hit, but doggone it, just about every track on this disc would improve the programming on the radio station of your choice, and if you're looking for a good laugh, some great tunes, and a lot of killer guitar work, you need Deke Dickerson in your life, and Greatest Hits is a top-shelf introduction to an unsung hero of American roots music.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming