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Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys

Radio Favorites – 1999 (HighTone)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys continue exploring their musical influences - country, rockabilly, western swing and fifties pop - on this six-song EP. Robert Williams, a.k.a. Big Sandy, wrote all of the tunes. Musically the bandis top notch, particularly Ashley Kingman on lead guitar. Lee Jeffriess provides a country feel on steel guitar, while Carl Sonny Leland plays a hot rockabilly piano. Bassist Wally Hersom and drummer Bobby Trimble provide solid rhythm.

The opener, "Mystery To Me," mixes honky-tonk with rockabilly. "First To Last Blues," a fifties type pop ballad, nicely features Jeffriess on steel.

"I Can't Believe" is pure Memphis rockabilly, with Kingman doing his best Scotty Moore. Kingman also shines on "Buddy, I Ain't Buying," a tune in the tradition of Merle Travis.

"What A Dream It's Been" is a jazzy western swing tune Big Sandy wrote in tribute to his bandmates. "Playgirl," the closer, is a Cajun/honky-tonk tune on which the singer defends the occupation of his exotic dancer girlfriend. Though not likely to acheive the ambition of its title, Big Sandy and the boys have concocted a small but pleasing batch of tunes to hold fans over until their next full project.