Saturday, 12 June 2010
Last Train From Memphis CD
LAST TRAIN FROM MEMPHIS - Last Train From Memphis
Foot Tapping FT094
Track listing: CRAZY LITTLE MAMA / I'M COUNTING ON YOU / LAST TRAIN FROM MEMPHIS / IF YOU WANT IT ENOUGH / YOU KNOCKED ME OUT / PROMISE ME DARLING / KISS ME / LOVE MY BABY / SAY YOU'LL BE MINE / TENNESSEE ROCK 'N' ROLL / A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE / I GET THE BLUES / THE STRUGGLE / OVER YOU / FAY WRAY
Last Train From Memphis are a newly band who individually have been mainstays on the European rockabilly scene. They comprise Rob Chapman on vocals, Paul Gaskin on guitar, Thomas LaVelle on piano, Wayne Hopkins on bass and Rob Tyler on drums and between them their CV’s include The Houserockers, Blue Moon Boys, The Playboys, Dave Phillips & The Hot Rod Gang, Restless, The Outer Limits and others.
What I love about this band is the full blown nature of their sound. Like the very best of the Sun artists that obviously influenced them, they’re more than just a slapping trio, with a rolling piano underpinning the songs and giving them an extra dimension. The other stand out aspects of this band for me, are Gaskin’s guitar and Chapman’s voice, which has a real Hayden Thomspn quality to it.
Chapman wrote ten of the tracks here, including the sensational opener. Crazy Little Mama is one of the best Sun styled modern songs I’ve heard with great guitar and vocals. You Knocked Me Out is another fine tribute to the 706 sound. The Struggle shows the bands versatility and reminded me of Carlos and the Bandidos with it’s Mexican feel and guitar sound that Malcolm Chapman would be proud of.
Say You’ll Be Mine is a superb powerhouse piano rocker and one of the albums high spots. I really enjoyed the slower, Promise Me Darling which sounded like early Charlie Rich. Fay Wray, Last Train From Memphis and A Little Bit Of Love and the jazzy ballad I Get The Blues are all okay without being world beaters.
Of the covers, Johnny Burnette’s If You Want It Enough and Bobby Helms’ overrated Tennessee Rock ‘n’ Roll stick faithfully to the originals and Al Ferrier’s Kiss Me is a fine choice. LaVelle’s piano puts a pep in the step of Elvis’ I’m Counting On You which Chapman again handles really well. Best of the lot though is Love Me Baby which fits the band to a tee and Chapman pays a brilliant tribute to Hayden Thompson. It’s uncanny how much he sounds like him – its as if the Boonesville Flash has found a time machine.
So all in all, a great debut release that should be helped later in the year when the band start touring. To me their sound is sort of a mix between the Kingcats and Jack Rabbit Slim. I look forward to hearing more from them in the years to come.