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The Dave & Deke Combo

Hollywood Barn Dance – 1996 (Heyday)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by The Dave & Deke Combo

If you catch the reference in this album's title, you'll have a pretty good idea of what the music sounds like. In the late '40's and early '50's, Southern California had a great number of radio and TV shows featuring country. "Hollywood Barn Dance" was one of those shows. It was generally a wilder sort of country music than was thriving in the southeastern U.S. with the early boogie of The Delmore Brothers and speeding it up, mixing in a dose of Western Swing as well. This evolutionary step on the road to rockabilly featured fast-paced guitar-oriented music. Dave & Deke capture that sound superbly, even using the old-style instruments and making the effort to recreate the primitive studio conditions for recording. They mix their original songs with obscure covers so that only an expert could tell them apart. Unless, that is, you realize that people weren't writing songs with titles like "Henpecked Peckerwood" and "Chrome Dome" back in the old days. Like the music they're emulating, Dave & Deke perform with a great sense of fun. Most people will have plenty of fun just listening to them.