Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Step It Up and Go! Tearing Up the Roots of Rock'n'Roll

I think when I ordered this 2-CD compilation, I was thinking that it would be more blues-based, but it is far more than that - yes, there are some blues tunes (Arthur Crudup, Big Joe Turner, Big Mam Thornton, etc.) but also lots of country, jump/be-bop and early doo-wop.

This mix of styles does make the set interesting, but it also is a bit disjointed as you bounce from style to style. Though it is undeniable that these all were part of the roots of rock'n'roll and it is the melding of this variety that gave us our most exciting American music.

Besides the previously mentioned artists, you get plenty of early country and some bluegrass with people like Bob Willis, the Delmore Brothers, Jimmie Revard, Hank Williams, Rose Maddox and more, while Bill Haley and the Comets crossed over with country and r'n'b tunes and they are well represented here with some of their own numbers as well as songs of theirs covered by others. Doo-wop makes appearances with the likes of the Moonglows, Du Dropper, the Ravens, among others and jump blues is spotlighted with Big Jim Wynn, Johnny Otis, Ruth Brown, etc. Along with all this, there are greats like Ray Charles, Louis Jordan and Louis Prima giving there own brands of music.

This is a nice set of 54 (!) tunes of diverse, pre-rock'n'roll music that gives a good history lesson while it entertains.