Saturday, December 09, 2006

Stagger Lee Is Back by Steve Hooker-Real Rockabilly Is Back

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Steve Hooker
Stagger Lee Is Back
NV Records

Stagger Lee is Back is the latest solo offering from Steve Hooker, formerly of such bands as the Heat, the Shakers and Boz & the Bozmen. Stagger Lee is the real deal as far as current rockabilly is concerned, with 6 out of 8 tracks written by Hooker and sounding as hot and original as the ‘50s rockabilly that inspired it.

Steve handles guitar and voice, and along with drummer Eddie and bassist Terry, the sound is authentic rockabilly all the way around. Steve’s old bandmate Boz Boorer plays a soulful acoustic guitar on Black Train, White City and shaker on Swamp Trick. From the title cut, a fast-paced instrumental to the bluesy stroll of Black Train, White City, to the jaunty, sexy beat of Girl That Radiates That Charm, every song is a good time. There are no downers on this CD.

The full-on force of Hooker’s guitar can make even the most timid of wallflowers take to the dance floor. Stagger Lee Is Back is full of tasty guitar riffs buoyed on by solid production. Although the highlight here is on the guitar, the vocals provided by Hooker are quite commanding. Of course, he’s had a lot of experience in this sort of thing. Check out a copy of Boogie Chal, the compilation of Steve’s rare and unreleased work from 1985 to 1997 if you haven’t already.