Sunday, 22 February 2009

Rockin' Song of the Week - Number 44

Edwin Bruce - Sweet Woman (Sun 292)

Eighteen year old local memphis boy Edwin Bruce walked into the Sun Studio on 26th January 1958 and gave a commanding performance that belied his tender age. Sounding like a veteran of the rockabilly circuit he impressed Sam Phillips enough to get a release, no mean feat in 1958 when most sessions led to can-fillers. It was a typical Sun rocker with Billy Lee Riley on guitar, Stan Kesler on bass, Jimmy Wilson on piano and Jimmy Van Eaton doing overtime on the cymbol. Unlike some Sun rockers the vocals were rasping and manic, but a calm and laid back - more Carl Mann than Ray Harris. The interplay between the guitars of Bruce and Billy Lee is the songs driving force. He never made it to rock 'n' roll stardom but the ensuing decades were more rewarding once he swapped the pompadour for a cowboy hat. It's hard to believe that the vocalist on his country classics like Diane was the same guy who turned up his collar for Sweet Woman and Rock Boppin' Baby. Then again, the photo of him with his quiff and rock 'n' roll pose is a long way from the weathered cowboy photos with his moustache and stetson. Whatever, his voice is great in either vein and I love his country stuff as well as is all too few rockers.

Recommended listening: Rock Boppin' Baby, Diane, The Last Cowby Song, Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grown Up To Be Cowboys and the great Waylonesque Girls, Women and Ladies.

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