Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Art Adams EP on Norton

Art Adams & The Rhythm Knights
Rock Crazy Baby/Indian Joe/Dancing Doll/She Don’t Live Here No More
Norton EP-150

Norton Records have a load of 45’s on the market at the moment but the one that tempted me was the Art Adams EP. I’ve got the Hydra CD but somehow that’s not the point. The cover of this vinyl single is enough to sell the record, without the four great tracks on offer. With his ruffled hair and half-sneer, half-drunken grin, Art Adams looks like the thing that parents were warning kids about at the time.

The a-side features both sides of his 1959 single, Cherry 1004/5. Cherry was a label out of Scotsville, Kentucky, owned by Joe Dyson. Everybody who’s taking the time to read this page will have heard Rock Crazy Baby, it’s on hundreds of rockin’ compilations and since the rockabilly revival of the 70’s has earned Adams a deserved cult status. I love the line “doesn’t matter to her if the words to a song don’t rhyme” was that his get out clause, because sometimes it doesn't. That aside, this is prime time rockabilly and one of the greatest ever songs of the genre. It starts flat-out and gets quicker – a brilliant slice of rockabilly. After it’s Jungle Rock like intro, Indian Joe is a manic, novelty rocker with tinges of country and shed loads of red-hot guitar.

The duo on the flip come from both sides of his 1960 single on Cherry 1018/9. Dancing Doll is a top of the range rocker with drums to the fore. The song opens with a drum beat not unlike Gene Vincent’s Jump Back Honey. The guitar solo sizzles and Art Adams is on fire throughout. She Don’t Live Here No More is a mid-paced slap-bass rocker which pounds along relentlessly. It rounds of a brilliant EP that will appeal to anyone who likes to spin that 45.

Check out the youTube clip below where Art Adams shows he can still rock it like crazy. This recent show was filmed at the Red Rose Club, London, on the 16th February 2007.

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