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CHARLIE FEATHERS

CAN'T HARDLY STAND IT! (2CD)

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EL TORO (ETCD1020)

Peepin' Eyes, I've Been Deceived, Defrost Your Heart, A Wedding Gown Of White, Tongue Tied Jill, Get With it, Everybody's Loving My Baby, Can't Hardly Stand It, One Hand Loose, Bottle To The Baby, When you Decide, Nobody's Woman, Too Much Alike, When you Come Around, Why Don't You?, Jungle Fever, We're Getting Closer To Being Apart, Corrine Corrina, The Man In Love, This Lonesome Feeling, Johnny Come Listen.

ALTERNATE TAKES OF One Hand Loose, Can't Hardly Stand It, Bottle To The Baby (two versions), Everybody's Loving My Baby, Too Much Alike, I've Been Deceived, Defrost Your Heart, A Wedding Gown of White, SUN DEMO VERSIONS OF Bottle To The Baby (two of them!), EARLY TAKES OF Frankie & Johnny, Bottle To The Baby, Honky Tonk Kind, So Ashamed, JODY CHASTAIN: My My & Jody's Beat (with Feathers on guitar),  The Miller Sisters: Someday You Will Pay (Feathers on spoons!!!)

Charlie Feathers was born to poor tenant farmers in Marshall County deep in the hill country of North Mississippi, forty miles south of Memphis, where black and white share croppers worked together in the blistering sun for a couple of dollars a day. His closest neighbours were the Kimbroughs and his friend Junior Kimbrough introduced him to the blues which Charlie adapted into the rockabilly style he was hearing on the radio and records. As soon as he was able, he set off for Memphis to make his name in the music business and on arrival, heard the music of Howlin' Wolf, loved it and traced him to Sun Records on Union Avenue where he met Sam Phillips and got his own recording deal. 

After cutting some hot tunes, Phillips soon discovered Charlie had a talent for song writing and choose "I Forgot To Remember To Forget", for one of Elvis's last recordings for Sun. Thus began Charlie's decade immersion in rockabilly at Sun, and labels like Flip, Kay, King and Meteor and his glorious recordings are included in this tremendous 45 track anthology full of Feather's brilliant brand of rockin' music. This CD covers the complete 50s recordings and presents his early country ballads through to the rough hiccupping hard core rockabilly hits and the raw, urgent boppers that made his name.

The lyrics of his manic ‘Get With It' describe his style perfectly - ‘you pick the tune and you slap the bass, I'll play the rhythm and I'll set the pace'. Feathers' music was an inspiration to generations of rockers, songs like ‘One Hand Loose', ‘Can't Hardly Stand It' and ‘Bottle To The Baby' are still rockabilly favourites today and if the Cramps hadn't heard ‘Tongue Tied Jill' what would they have based their guitar sound on?

I missed out on the highly lauded (but deleted) Revenant recordings which covered the same ground as this 2CD set  but El Toro have come to rescue with this fabulous collection of some of the best rockabilly ever to have seen the light of day. Five star stuff and then some. God bless Charlie Feathers, he was a one off!

 

Review Date: May 2009

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