Daddy's Little Baby
02. I Got Rock n' Roll
03. A Teen's Way
04. It All Depends
05. Blue Eyed Sally
06. By and By
07. So Help Me Gal
08. My Destiny
09. Tell Me Why
10. Play It By The Rule
They Aint Close to You
12. Pitter Patter
13. I've Been Thinking
15. A Fool Such As I
16. My Girl (Wears Long Hair)
17. When The Party is Over
18. There You Go
19. My Buckets Got a Hole In It
AVAILABLE ON CD OR 12 INCH VINYL
RHYTHM BOMB RECORDS RBR 5603
New recordings by Texas rock n roll
original - Huelyn Duvall, who successfully repeats the winning formula
of his last CD 'She's My Baby' (see NDT #225). Then Huelyn was backed by
choice Texas musicians with Charlie O'Bannon on piano. Texas now gives
way to Sweden and their top rockin' band Wildfire Willie & The Ramblers
- and Huelyn works his magic once again. And as with 'She's My Baby',
Huelyn delivers a stunning opening track that carries the promise of
good things to come - as indeed they do. Whatever rock and roll is,
'Daddy's Little Baby' is it and good enough to sell the CD on its own.
Among the many highlights, 'I Got Rock 'n' Roll' and re-cuts of his own
'Blue Eyed Sally' and 'So Help Me Gal' are in similar style to the good
rocking opener. Numbers such as 'They Ain't Close To You', 'I've Been
Thinking' and 'My Girl (Wears Long Hair)' veer towards modern sounding
rockabilly and there is even a touch of skiffle in 'My Bucket's Got A
Hole In It'. Huelyn is well supported by his regular touring band,
Willie’s Ramblers with guest pianist Boppin' Steve
outstanding. His thumbtacks in the hammers, honky tonk rock and roll
piano sets these recordings alight.
Ballads of the kind likely to appeal to SUN B-side enthusiasts are
another side to this superb CD. Huelyn has a deep, slightly broken,
lived-in voice which, with his natural sensitive phrasing can be very
moving. An obvious example is the beautifully sad 'Pitter Patter' - not
overstated, but big enough to be healing to those in similar straits.
Similarly, 'It All Depends (Who Buys the Wine)' in which
Huelyn takes a more compassionate, less accusatory position than that of
the classic Jerry Lee Lewis version. Quite apart from anything else,
Huelyn takes the number at mid-tempo and that in itself is quite
something. But of all the ballads, 'Matador' is the one with layer upon
layer of feeling. It's Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins and Narvel Felts
rolled into one. The story of the Matador going out to shed blood for
the baying crowd, knowing that his girl watching with her new love won't
be throwing him a rose.
Huelyn started his recording career in 1957 and is obviously still going
strong. Not many of the originals can claim to be as active and true to
the tradition as he.
Now Dig This
"She's My Baby"
Brazos Valley Records BV3020 Playing Time: 28.28
She's My Baby/Face To Face/Magic spell/My Love/It Wasn't Me/Surrounded/I Love Her
So/Let's Make A Block/Does She Love Me/Hey Brutus
"The Best Of Huelyn Duvall 1957 - 1958"
Brazos Valley Records BV 3030 Playing Time: 27.59
Three Months To Kill/Little Boy Blue/Teen Queen/Comin' Or Goin'/Boom Boom Baby/Pucker Paint/Juliet/Friday Night On A
Dollar Bill/Hum-m-m-m-Dinger/You Knock Me Out/Fool's Hall Of Fame/It's No
Hot on the heels of Huelyn's triumphant headlining performance at the UK Hemsby rock 'n' roll festival in October 2001
comes two new CD releases. "The Best Of" compilation is, apart from two tracks, taken from the master tapes of the recordings he
made for the Challenge label in Nashville and at the Gold Star Recording Studios, Hollywood during 1957 and 1958.
As such, the
quality is crystal clear and represents some marvellous rock 'n' roll recordings.
The European cult rockin' classic "Three
Months To Kill" cut at his final recording session for the label never sounded better and neither has the jerky vocals on "Pucker Paint",
"Juliet" or "Boom Boom Baby" (subsequently a hit for Crash Craddock).
In essence this is a reissue of the CD "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't" which appeared on the US Sundazed label in 1996.
However the alternative versions of "Teen Queen" and "Fools Hall Of
Fame" have been dropped in favour of the great rocker "It's No Wonder", which was released on the Starfire label, and the equally
good "Susie's House", both of which were cut at the Clifford Herring Studios, Fort Worth, Texas in 1958.
This is the best that they have ever sounded. Sleeve notes this time around are by Dave Burgess, the head honcho for The Champs, who remarks that Huelyn
was on the final yell on "Tequila" and was one of the back up vocalists on the flip "Train To Nowhere".
File under essential.
On the CD of new recordings, "She's My Baby",
Huelyn has clearly set out to capture the spirit of his fifties recordings and it is
pleasing to be able to say (like the recent recordings by both Vernon Taylor and Billy Adams) he has succeeded.
Recorded this year in
Azle, Texas, Huelyn has employed some choice musicians including a reunion with hot piano player Charlie O'Bannion who was an
original Chapparals. The title track rocks away like crazy complete with a pounding of the eighty eights and some great lead guitar from
John MacDonald. "Face To Face" is an almost chalypso number, written by a very young Johnny Vallis, and suits Duvall's jerky
vocal style as does "Magic Spell", a nice mid-paced rocker. "My Love" is a teen beat ballad and "It Wasn't Me" is a nice bouncy
rockin' number. A personal favourite is "Surrounded", which is a fine up tempo rocker, whilst the rockabilly workout on "I Love Her
So could have been recorded for Challenge, it is that good. More good rock
'n' roll is served up with the dance tune "Let's Make A Block" and "Does She Love Me" which is a slowish almost beat ballad.
"Hey Brutus", complete with a Bo Diddley type beat, was recorded as a demo in the fifties but on this occasion has a fuller sound and is the better for it.
Huelyn's voice has got a little deeper since he first recorded but is
still packed with his unique styling. A most enjoyable release which
comes complete with some tasty photos from the fifties.
© Tony Wilkinson - October 2001 for American Music Magazine
this review and others by Tony Wilkinson on the Rockabilly
Hall of Fame
Return to Huelyn Duvall's