Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks - The Roulette Yearsdotdotdot
artworkRonnie Hawkins goes back to just about the beginning of rockabilly. He worked with Elvis Presley, Carl and Luther Perkins, Jimmy Ray Paulman, Conway Twitty, Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, and his cousin Dale Hawkins.

Upon Hawkins departure from the Hawks, they eventually became Levon and the Hawks, the Canadian Squires, Crowbar, backed John Hammond, and eventually Bob Dylan, before striking out on their own again as the Band.

This 57 track 2 CD set includes lots of unreleased masters, and a couple of cool instros reviewed here. I still recall the rush when I first hear his two incredibly hot Bo Diddley covers (Hey Bo Diddley and "Who Do You Love"), in '63 on KYA. I rushed right out and bought the single - wore it out is a couple of weeks!

Only 2 instros, so only 3 stars here, but as vintage rock 'n' roll goes, it's at least 4 stars.
Picks: The C-Riff Rock, There's A Screw Loose

Track by Track Review


The C-Riff Rock dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

While this is not a great distance from the b-side rockabilly instro in structure, it's also not far from early surf structures. The Hawks sound is just a touch grodie with twang, and the rhythm is the kind that gets you movin'. This track was recorded on September 16, 1959 in New York City, and is previously unissued. Fred Carter - lead guitar, Jimmy Ray 'Luke' Paulman - rhythm guitar, Jimmy Evans - bass, and Levon Helm - drums.

There's A Screw Loose dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This is inspired by the R&B instros of the day, like Booker T. and the MGs, the Merced Blue Notes, and many from the Pacific Northwest. Ronnie Hawkins cries out that "There's A Screw Loose" as the organ led progression grooves with soul and a touch of insanity. Recorded in NYC on May 7, 1963 with Ronnie Hawkins - vocal cries, Jamie 'Robbie' Robertson - lead guitar, Ricky Danko - bass, Richard 'Beak' Manuel - piano, Garth Hudson - organ, Jerry Penfound - tenor sax, and Mark Levon Helm - drums.