The British-based Country Routes label (part of Interstate Music) is best known for its releases of radio transcriptions of country artists, and once upon a time the 13 artists represented here could have fit into the country category. But they're all really rock & rollers, performing live on radio's Town Hall Party, and doing some of the best rockabilly music that money can buy. In contrast to the relatively low-fi Elvis Presley Louisiana Hayride transcriptions, the stuff here is loud and generally cleanly mastered, and the lineup, apart from the absence of Elvis and Buddy Holly, is practically a who's-who of country rockers recorded live between 1959 and 1961: Carl Perkins ("Blues Suede Shoes," "Matchbox/Boppin' the Blues"), the Collins Kids ("Shake Rattle & Roll"), Warren Smith ("Rock 'n Roll Ruby"), Bob Luman ("I Got a Woman," "Oh Lonesome Me," "I'm Walkin'," "Milk Cow Blues"), Larry Collins ("Ramrod," "Honky Tonk"), Wanda Jackson ("Real Cool"), and Amos Headrick ("Good Rockin' Tonight"). There are a few sloppy moments, and a couple of songs are incomplete, but by and large this collection really cooks on all burners all the way through, and gives a glimpse of what some of the best rockabilly players sounded like playing directly to an audience on some really good nights. The Bob Luman songs alone (backed by a band that includes James Burton on electric guitar) are worth the price of this disc, and the Larry Collins and Collins Kids stuff will astound the uninitiated.
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder