Roy Brown Rocks

Continuing in their Rocks series, Bear Family Records have released a volume celebrating blues man Roy Brown.

Roy Brown was active from the mid-forties until his death in 1981. He reached the height of his success in the late forties and early fifties. Much of this compilation covers that time, however there are some slightly later tracks included also.

My Impressions…

The musical accompaniment on these tracks is irresistible. Combined with Brown’s energetic and sometimes intense vocal style, it is compelling. I feel like moving when I listen to these tracks. It is likely no secret that my musical preference is rooted in country. I therefore have limited knowledge of this genre. However, I find that it makes me want to move. Roy Brown’s vocals are exciting and inviting. He brings vitality and punch to his delivery.

Mr. Hound Dog’s in Town is a personal highlight. As an answer song to Big Mama Thornton’s Hound Dog, it is full and atmospheric. It seems to take some musical phrases directly from Hound Dog. However, they are integrated into Brown’s own composition skilfully enough to make it feel fresh.

Another top track for me is the opener, Saturday Nite. It just seems to have a fire that kicks off the collection of songs brilliantly. Well done Bear Family for choosing such a track to hook us in at the beginning.

A Little Something Extra…

As ever with Bear Family Records, the accompanying booklet is extensive. We are treated to a 20-page introduction to and biography of Roy Brown. Also included is detailed session information for each track’s recording session, where available. The book makes a welcome companion to the listening experience.

Track Listing

  1. Saturday Nite
  2. Butcher Pete (part 1)
  3. Rocking All The Time
  4. I’ve Got the Last Laugh Now
  5. I’m Ready to Play
  6. Good Rockin’ Man
  7. Train Time Blues
  8. Good Rocking Tonight
  9. Gal From Kokomo
  10. Mr. Hound Dog’s In Town
  11. Riding High
  12. Rockin’ at Midnight
  13. Let the Four Winds Blow
  14. Good Man Blues
  15. Cadillac Baby
  16. Hip Shakin’ Baby
  17. Hurry Hurry Baby (alt. take)
  18. Rock-A-Bye Baby
  19. Shake ‘Em Up Baby
  20. Love Don’t Love Nobody
  21. Boogie at Midnight
  22. Black Diamond
  23. We’re Goin’ Rockin’ Tonight
  24. Bar Room Blues
  25. Ain’t Gonna Do It
  26. Beautician Blues
  27. New Rebecca
  28. Letter From Home
  29. Butcher Pete (part 2)
  30. Ain’t No Loving No More

In Conclusion…

The sound quality is largely great here. I found it difficult to listen to the entire compilation in one sitting, since this genre isn’t my first go-to. In that way, it could get a little monotonous. There aren’t many tracks in Brown’s output here which offer a change of pace. However, the pace of the songs and the style offer an uplifting vibe.

For fans of late forties and early fifties blues, I am sure this would be a welcome addition to their CD shelf.

In terms of Roy Brown Rocks as a part of the Rocks series, it holds up. The sense of movement and punch in these recordings means they work very well alongside the slightly later music they helped to develop and inspire.

Roy Brown Rocks is available to buy on CD from Bear Family Records or Amazon.




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