Billy Swan

Like Elvis Used to Do

by Dan Moos

 

According to the liner notes, Swan has a songwriting (and producing) career that spans almost 30 years, including the country smash hits “I Can Help,” “Lover Please,” and “Polk Salad Annie.” Swan has a love for “all things Elvis” and even had the thrill of Elvis recording “I Can Help” late in his career. In fact I think this album’s high point is the cover announcing “Recorded at the Legendary SUN Studio.”

Swan does not redo Elvis’ songs in the tradition of Elvis’ sneer and wiggle, but rather tries to add something new, but scarcely succeeds. I have heard much better versions of all of these songs, though usually done with something new like a punk sensibility, or country twang, or instrumental banjo or tuba. Swan merely replays Elvis’s hits in his own (rather flat) style, many with a reggae beat reminiscent of some switch on my uncle’s Hammond organ.

cover art

Billy Swan

Like Elvis Used to Do

(Audium Entertainment)

If you love and revere Elvis, you’ll love this CD as an addition to your collection. If you think Elvis is funny, or fascinating, or find the whole Elvis infatuation culture odd and alienating, this album will only add to your feelings.

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