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Kim Lenz and the Jaguars

Kim Lenz – 1998 (HighTone)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Kim Lenz and the Jaguars

Kim Lenz and her band are a welcome addition to the relatively small roster of female rockabillies on the scene. The California-bred, Dallas-based singer's debut disc, after a four-song EP, kicks off with "Saturday Jump," a tribute to Bill Haley's band the Comets, and from there rarely lets up with strong originals like "I Swear I Was Lying," "You Ain't Seen Nothin'" and the honky-tonk weeper "Thinkin' About You." She also delivers spot-on covers of the Miller Sisters' "Ten Cats Down" and Johnny Carroll's "The Swing." Like most female rockabillies, Lenz's vocal role models are the usual suspects (Wanda Jackson, Janis Martin) but why tamper with success?

Recorded live in the studio in glorious mono by Big Sandy bassist Wally Hersom, this offers few surprises, but has plenty of energy and attitude, as well as a red-hot backing band, all of which is what really matters in rockabilly circles.