|Crying To The Moon, Dizzy Elmer|
Texas Squid Music, 2001
This is our brand spankin' new CD "Crying To The Moon". The album cannot be considered "rockabilly", but it's "Dizzy Elmer" and I hope it turns out to be your favourite, because we believe in it! -Jethro Grady-
Thus said the note that came with this new CD when it fell on my doormat just last week. Well, I bet you can all remember what I wrote about Dizzy Elmer's first CD last year: I did get impressed today, when I listened to Dizzy Elmer's debut CD "This Bad Dog". [ read the review ] And I meant it too! I still think "This Bad Dog" is one of the best CD's issued in 2000. No wonder I was very eager to listen to Dizzy's second album.
"Not rockabilly" huh? The album begins right where the first CD left off, with pounding authentic rockabilly music! "Let Me In", selfpenned and catchy, and what touches me most once again is Jethro's remarkable voice and the fabulous musical abilities of the band.
Well, maybe Jethro was right after all, because the second song is not rockabilly, I wouldn't really know what to call it, a mix of rock, pop and blues, or maybe it is indeed just plain "Dizzy Elmer". It's a somewhat slower song, with a very clear lead guitar, and the vocals come on harder and louder, with a lot of feeling, as the song rolls along. Okay, not rockabilly, early sixties maybe, because of the soft organ in the back, but certainly a song that will touch your heart.
"Only Make Believe" has no secrets for all fifties fans, and you just might think that the band is taking a risk here, covering a voice like Conway Twitty, but Jethro sings it with ease and grace. "Lovely Marissa" is a love song, mostly acoustic, with a harmonica and (electric) guitar break. On the bluesy "Holstein Parade" Jethro darkens his voice and sharpens his guitar and he sings of love again on the poppy songs "You" and "Jenny, My Baby" and "Who's Sorry". The overall sound becomes more and more like early to mid sixties, rather than fifties rockabilly.
"Everyday" could have been an early Lennon/McCartney song and since this is another lovesong, I'm just about dying for some good old rockabilly, like we heard on the first track (and the first CD). No such luck though. You will have to go through some more of the same, before arriving at Dave Dudley's "Six Days On The Road", a country roadsong, nicely revved up and rocking, but it is followed by... yep, you guessed it...
The last song is something special. Not rockabilly, not by a long shot, but a song that really got to me, because of the hurt and the crying out... heck I don't know, it just hit rock bottom deep inside of me. It's really a very simple song of a lost love, with acoustic guitar and violins, but Jethro's painfull plea adds that special something to it. And the second part of the song is in Dutch. I hard a hard time understanding it (I'm Dutch you know), but Jethro explains with a smile: "I'm singing 'pig-latin' Dutch. If anybody asks me I'll just tell them I sing a very rare, very ancient Shakespearian dialect passed down from generation to generation."
What does all this add up to? It's not what I had expected. Did we have thirteen rockabilly tracks and only one lovesong on the first CD, this time it's the other way around. Does this make "Craying To The Moon" a poor album? Certainly not! It's just a lot different from their debut. Jethro's voice never ceases to amaze me and the band has a very professional sound. Is it rockabilly? No, it's not. It's Dizzy Elmer!
Another thing that I must mention is Dizzy Elmer's new website. It's really something else! With a great interface and layout, with lotsa music, video and plenty of stuff for real gone cats. Check it out!
Dizzy Elmer is:
Reviewed by The BlackCat, May 2001
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