Various Artists

Nashville Rockabilly 1957-1987

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Very few of the sides on this 22-track collection are technically rockabilly, being instead a mixture of countrified R&B, horn-led jump bands, and other odds and ends that approximate rockabilly in tone and approach, which is fine, because it means this set list rocks right along from start to finish no matter what label one throws on it. Drawn from tracks recorded in Nashville between 1957 and 1987, this lively compilation shows there’s been more than just mainstream country going on in Nashville and that’s been true for a very long time. Highlights include Baker Knight's big-band and horn-driven “Bring My Cadillac Back,” a little bit of honky tonk Western swing from Whitey Pullen on “Broke Waitin’ for a Break,” a sleek rockabilly take on “Tear It Up” from Andy Arrow & the Twangtown Mavericks (complete with a guitar break that literally takes over the song midway through), and Jimmy Ellis & the Rockabilly All Stars' “Back on the Street,” among others. It might not add up to a rockabilly collection exactly, but it rocks along pretty well just the same.

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