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Lee Rocker - Racin' the Devil

Racin' the Devil

Lee Rocker

Alligator - 4907

Alligator Records
P. O. Box 60234
Chicago IL 60660

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

This powerhouse new disc has twelve songs, nine of which are originals that Lee Rocker wrote. His originals display a strength that is throughout the disc. They reflect his roots, his first love of Rockabilly, and are shot with a generous dose of the classic blues of early Muddy Waters. Think good greased back hair and ducktails of the late '40s and early 50s and the classic sound of someone like Eddie Cochrane or Carl Perkins, with the effervescence and unpredictability of Jerry Lee Lewis. On this disc he has a tight and solid supporting band: Jimmy Sage on drums and both Brophy Dale and Buzz Campbell on guitars and backing vocals. They have that tightness that only comes from the long road of touring.

This is perhaps the best disc that Rocker has done, including his work with the Stray Cats. His voice is good and he does not depend on speed of delivery to add emphasis to the songs. His bass playing has lost none of its muscular intensity, but has added a new level to it. He still is has that power to make the audience stop and take notice because of his showmanship, however now he can also do it without the visuals of performance. He was playing classical cello at age 8 and comes from a very musical family; his father is a Grammy nominated clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic, and his mother a music teacher at Hofstra University. The discs is filled with strong songs and when Rocker settles into one he has a power that makes the listener sit up and say, "yea!" Give a good listen to the latent power infused in his delivery of The River Runs. The tour to back up this disc should be one to go see. Rocker is a showman and the imagination runs with the picture of the intensity in the shows

Special mention of the artwork on the cover of the disc by Vince Ray fits the contents of the disc so well. It's a beautifully done and solid disc.

Track List:

  • The Girl from Hell
  • Rock This Town
  • The River Runs
  • Say When
  • Race Track Blues
  • Ramblin'
  • Runnin' From the Hounds
  • Rockin' Harder
  • Texarkana to Panama City
  • Lost On the Highway
  • Funny Car Grave Yard
  • Swing This

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2006, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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