Various Artists

Rockin & Boppin in the Desert: Arizona Rockabilly, Vol. 1

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Subtitled, "Arizona Rockabilly, Volume 1, " this cobbles together 30 examples of groundfloor rock & roll as it invaded the Phoenix and surrounding music scenes in the 1950s. Revolving around essentially two or three studios (Floyd Ramsey at Audio Recorders and Porter and Viv, on the other end of town), Phoenix came out with Duane Eddy and his guitar alter ego, Al Casey, and most of the offerings aboard either showcase how country music got boppin' in the mid-'50s or how everybody started making Duane Eddy records in the wake of his world-wide success. Along the trail of ducktail haircuts are some pretty impressive outings by black vocal group the Tads ("Mixed Up Mama"), piano pounder Rusty Isabell ("Firewater"), Chicano rocker Benny Banta ("Cry Little Girlie"), guitar scratcher Don Cole ("Stop" and the solos on Duane Turley's "Long Gone Cat"), and Cheek-O-Vass and Sola-Tears, making this a no hit, no stars compilation that still packs a potent musical wallop. Al Casey is all over these recordings, present on almost half of the assembled tracks, contributing high voltage solos on a number of them. An area genre retrospective that gets a deluxe treatment all the way.