Learning that Jimmy Sturr watched Lawrence Welk as a child offers the central clue to understanding and appreciating his popular style of polka. While many might question the coupling of rock and polka, this is the type of schmaltz that Welk pulled off week after week on his television program (and reruns of The Lawrence Welk Show still run on PBS). Sturr, in fact, has more or less taken Welk's place, and has even received a modicum of respect from those outside his field. This respect can be measured on Rock 'N Polka by the presence of several high-profile guests including Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss. Nelson, in fact, is something of a co-star here, delivering versions of "Since I Met You Baby," "Singing the Blues," and "Bye Bye Love." Still, this is an album for Sturr fans, not country and bluegrass fans. It's difficult to imagine Lee Greenwood's version of "Personality" reviving his career, or Duane Eddy's new version of "Rebel Rouser" impressing rock critics. For those who like their polka without any artistic embellishments, Rock 'N Polka will be the best thing since Pat Boone recorded heavy metal. Now all Sturr needs is his own TV program.
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.