I grew up more than a bit around C&W, and I watched everybody from Spade Cooley to the Collins Kids perform live on local television. I worked in places in rough and tumble lumber towns where people really broke every glass in the place when they liked a honky tonkin’ tune and whooped. I’m all for rockabilly revival if that means someone like Sleepy La Beef is going to get played on the radio or maybe come perform in a town near me.
As readers of this review, show some consideration for me the critic, too, because I am buffeting this record away from your delicate sensibilities. I have heard this sort of music coming from the doorways of a thousand small western bars, where the guys not wearing duckbill hats with patches from “Redman” tobacco wear the duckbill hats that say “Cat” for Caterpillar company. I am saving you from this as surely as I would try to save you from a beer bottle some fool lobbed your way.
Which is the worst I can probably ever say. I believe the critic sometimes has the role of a teacher, and is obliged to try to find something that’s going right and talk about that. That way the artist knows they’re doing something right and they’re on the right track. That’s why I usually write positive reviews.
If I were talk to the Hollisters, I would tell them it’s okay to perform and record cover songs provided they’re done well. Which is exactly what they pulled off with “Walk ‘Em Off.” That was a perfect rendition of a raunchy tune from 1950s Houston. They did a credible job on that one, I could actually see the package of Lucky Strike cigarettes rolled into the cuff of the white T-shirt and smell the hair pomade mixed on the wind with diesel oil. They did good with that one.