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Monday, April 29, 2013

Rip Cat records artist: Mike Eldred Trio - Elvis Unleaded - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Elvis Unleaded, from Mike Eldred Trio and it's a real rocker. Eldred (vocal and guitar), John Bazz (Bass) and Jerry Angel (drums)breathe new life into music from my dad's generation. Opening with one of my least favorite Elvis tracks ever, Burning Love, Eldred makes it sound fresh and plays a stirring guitar solo to boot. Up next is I Feel So Bad, which I have always identified with Little Milton and Foghat. I can't hear Elvis in it at all (which is good) and this is a true rocker and a great track. Rip It Up, another track that I identify more with Bill Haley or Little Richard is another great track. Eldred really works the rockabilly riffs on this track and the band is hot and tight. Gene Taylor plays some hot piano riffs on this track as well. Don't, more of a traditional ballad is nicely presented with authentic 50's style vocal backing. Bossa Nova Baby definitely has an Elvis sound.... like Eddie Murphy said, Elvis could sing about anything and make it sound cool. Eldred play it up and even ... back in with Scott Yandell on trumpet. Keeping the authentic era sound these boys rock it. Next up is Little Egypt, a track that I associate with the Coasters and Eldred really does a super number on this lost track. Jerry Donato smokes the sax and the track has all of the campy humor of the original but it's still a great track. On You're So Square, Eldred definitely captures Elvis for sure but not the old ballad Elvis or the young rocker but the movie Elvis. The enthusiasm which is produced by the band carries this track. Love Me, another ballad captures Elvis in his crooner era. You like nostalgia in music...this is it. Lawdy Miss Clawdy is a great old rocker and Eldred and crew find a great swing groove. Eldred adds a nice guitar interlude n this track as well. Treat Me Nice is really trademark Elvis style but Eldred again breaths freshness into the track while keeping much of the realism of the original backing. Girls, Girls, Girls... yeah ...what would Elvis think of next. Eldred keeps the track rockin and it really doesn't sound like a cover as much as a band playing authentic 50's music. Cool era correct guitar riffs help to reinforce the track. Donato puts icing on the cake with hot sax work. Nice job. Jailhouse Rock is an excerpt of Elvis at his best. Hell, even Jeff Beck covered this track. This is a great track and a great cover of a great track. She's Not You, I think is an old Lieber and Stoller track and has a real southern swing country sound to it. Excellent! Blackwell track Long Tall Sally is a great rocker and Eldred is relentless as a rocker. Gene Taylor plays great driving keys on this track and Eldred's vocals are a good as any. Jimmy Reed's Big Boss Man is up next and it actually sounds like Eldred doing Elvis doing Jimmy Reed. Donato does a really nice job on sax on this track and Angel keeps the bottom simple and clean. Fats Domino's One Night of Sin retains a lot of the Bayou but definitely has a dose of Elvis in it. Nice double stop rocking guitar riffs are the tops on this track. Witchcraft has a strong New Orleans sound but with a bit more of a rockin beat. Donato and Eldred both take some of the best of their solos on this track. Ok... Heartbreak Hotel... pretty hard not to sound like Elvis doing this track. Eldred does a nice job of keeping the song straight forward and not overemphasizing Elvis' singing techniques. I think this enhances the song as a whole. Again Taylor on piano does a nice job throughout this track. King Creole is performed with a lot of thought to making the best track and with minor rearrangements I like this much better than the original. Eldred again plays a really cool guitar solo on this track. Wrapping up the release is T-R-O-U-U-B-L-E, a fast rocker and Eldred and the band do a nice job of tying the set together. Never been a big Elvis fan but I did enjoy this quite a bit. If you like pure rock and will too!

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