When the Beatles exploded in the early '60s, Joey Welz didn't alter his approach or try to jump on the British Invasion bandwagon. The singer/pianist stuck with the type of rockabilly and pre-Beatles rock & roll that he had been embracing since the '50s. And when the 21st century rolled around, Welz was still taking a '50s-like approach. Released in 2000, The Boogie Woogie King of Rock & Roll finds the ex-member of Bill Haley's Comets continuing to pay tribute to rock & roll's early years. Covers dominate this 25-song CD, and the obscure Welz turns his attention to '50s hits that range from Haley's "Rock Around the Clock," Chuck Berry's "Maybellene," and the Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace" to Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" and Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes." The self-produced album isn't without its flaws. Welz's vocals are thin, and The Boogie Woogie King of Rock & Roll sounds under-produced -- in fact, this low-budget album sounds like a demo. Low-budget albums don't have to sound like demos, but this one does. Nonetheless, The Boogie Woogie King of Rock & Roll does have a certain unpretentious charm. While Welz isn't a great singer (he is a better pianist than singer) and isn't in a class with Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, or his one-time employer Bill Haley, he gets his points across. Welz, despite his limitations, can be likable -- and despite this CD's flaws and shortcomings, The Boogie Woogie King of Rock & Roll deserves some credit for sincerity.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
feat: James E. Myers