This first solo release from Deke Dickerson displays his fine ability as a guitarist able to leap from genre to genre while still retaining his own signature style. Recorded along with his band the Ecco-fonics -- Brent Harding on acoustic bass and background vocals, Johnny Noble providing second lead guitar, acoustic guitar and maracas, and percussionist Brian Nevill -- this project is a buffet table of sounds. With many special guests, among them renowned Nevada rockabilly legend Larry Collins of the Collins Kids, saxman Joey D'Ambrosio (who played sax with the original Bill Haley & The Comets), boogie-woogie piano player Carl "Sonny" Leyland, and Claude Trenier of the eternal R&B greats The Treniers. Also recruited for this project to add his distinctive Bakersfield Swing brand of steel guitar was Jeremy "J.W." Wakefield of the Hollywood & Western swing band the Lucky Stars. With seven Dickerson originals like "Can't See the Forest for the Trees," "What's That Cookin'," and an instrumental duet with Collins, "Jumpin' Bean," Dickerson proves his mettle. Covers of songs such as Freddie Hart's "Snatch It & Grab It" and The Treniers' 1952 hit "Poon-Tang" give this project a festive feel. Leyland's "Long Time In the Ground" and a garage sale find (on acetate, no less), "I Gotta Date to Cut the Cake," contribute to the novelty theme that seemingly runs throughout this release.
While Dickerson and his band have all the right chops, and their high-powered fun is most appealing, there could be trouble ahead if Dickerson doesn't temper the silliness with material of a more serious nature -- credibility is always important. Also, while Dickerson continues to carry the torch for all things vintage; Number One Hit Record was recorded by Mark Neill and Dave Doyle of Three Track Shack on vintage equipment, and this time around it works, but this may put him at a disadvantage down the road. With this marvelous first outing under his belt, let's hope Dickerson decides to to take the bull by the horns and continue to develop.