Various Artists

Keb Darge & Little Edith's Legendary Wild Rockers, Vol. 4: A Collection of Rare Rockabilly & Surf from the Fifties & Sixties

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The title does not lie -- the fourth volume in Keb Darge & Little Edith's series of vintage rock & roll collections does indeed serve up 20 rare sides that are inarguably wild and truly rock the house. While a few of the tunes that appear here have been popular with bootleggers over the years (such as the Floyd Dakil Combo's "Dance, Franny, Dance," and "Please Give Me Something" by Bill Allen & the Back Beats), most folks won't have heard these songs before, let alone have them in their collections, and if you're planning on throwing a rock & roll party any time soon, this will set the dancefloor on fire in no time flat. This set includes two numbers from legendary Florida rockabilly cat Benny Joy, "Little Red Book" and "Steady with Betty," as well as a rare cut from Joy's guitarist Big John Taylor, "Money Money." If you need advice on your hairstyle, Billy Adams & the Rock-A-Teens have some on "You Gotta Have a Duck Tail," while the Kuf-Linx featuring John Jennings clearly have a better drive-through eatery in their neighborhood than most folks can claim in "Service with a Smile." Meanwhile, Felix & His Fabulous Cats deliver one heavy duty instrumental with "Hey Tiger!" as do the Eamons with "Stomper" (which was released on Doll Records, "The Only Pinup Record In The World") and the Col-Lee-Jets on "Jam & Jelly" (note to current metal and hip-hop acts: if you're going to spell funny, that's the way to do it). It's hard to imagine anyone having the nerve to put out a record titled "Shish Kebab" by the Black Albinos today, but it features some ripping Dick Dale-style guitar work despite the questionable taste, and "Hocus Pocus" by the Raiders is another classic 45 from the alternate universe of the weird. "Go, Girl, Go" is a potent rocker from Jett Powers, who would go on to semi-stardom as P.J. Proby, and Gregory Dee & the Avanties nearly beat Eddie Cochran at his own game on their cover of "Nervous Breakdown." These hard-to-find tunes appear in fidelity that's good to excellent, and the liner notes are entertaining and informative (though you might need a jeweler's loupe to read them on the CD edition). If you dig first-era rock & roll that packs a crazy punch, this collection will absolutely deliver the goods.

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