|1. Betty Lou's Got A New Pair Of Shoes|
|2. Rainin' In My Heart|
|3. Payola Blues|
|5. Kinda Fonda Wanda|
|6. Jellyroll Man|
|7. Bright Lights Big City|
|8. Cry Cry Cry|
|9. Mystery Train|
|10. Evrybody's Rockin'|
The album opens with two covers. The first is the familiar Bobby Freeman #20 hit from 1958, 'Betty Lou's Got a New Pair of Shoes', and the second James Moore's (aka Slim Harpo) #34 country-blues hit from 1961, 'Rainin' In My Heart'. Both are faithful renditions, the former sounding a bit lackluster, especially for an album opener, but Neil builds on it, so perhaps that's the idea (or it could be that it is just lackluster). Neil's delivery is particularly well-suited to the crying-out-loud overtones of the latter Harpo tune, however.
The heart of the album follows, with Neil penning four great tunes that sound as if they had been born and raised in the late 1950's. 'Payola Blues' is a hilarious take on jumping through hoops to get your record on the radio, featuring a "Cash-a-wad-a-wad-a" background vocal from Larry Byrom, Anthony Crawford, and Rick Palombi that is just great schtick. The fifth track, 'Kinda Fonda Wanda' is similarly tongue-in-cheek, blowing us past the Sue's (Peggy and Runaround) to hail the 'virtues' of Wanda, who always "wanta, wanta, wanta". Sandwiched between is the best number on the disc, Neil's 'Wonderin'. The quartet is rounded out with 'Jellyroll Man'.Read more ›
Knowing that American Stars & Bars is just now being released on CD, I logged on to Amazon.com to pre-order it. I found this gem, along with "Old Ways" so placed an order for all three of these recordings. I agree with the other reviewers on this title, that it should have been longer than 24 minutes. At least, when it was reissued, it should have been made as a 2 on 1 cd including "Old Ways". Oh well, "Everybody's Rockin" will almost make you imagine that you are back in the 50s.
What inspired Neil to record a CD like this? Stray Cats? Probably not, but I was listening to them at the time as well. (And if you're a Cats you'll enjoy this). Very short at around 25 minutes this CD has original material as well as some fabulous covers. When I found this on CD in 2000, I immediately picked up a copy. "Neil & The Shocking Pinks" is not a transistion record or a "miss". Neil knew exactly what he was doing when he recorded this and it sounds as good today as it did in 1983. Or in 1953! Good clean fun, much better than a lot of the bad influece stuff the media shoves down our throats these days.