As the original guitarist of Stax Records house band Booker T. & The M.G.'s., Steve Cropper has had a storied career. Voted #36 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time, Cropper has worked with blues legends such as Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and the Blues Brothers Band. His debut album on 429 Records is a tribute to R&B and doo wop act, The 5 Royales. The collection features reworked versions of the groups most enduring songs, and includes duets with Lucinda Williams, Bettye LaVette, John Popper, Sharon Jones, and others.
One of the most influential guitarists of the 20th century, as well as a legendary musician and producer within country music. Without Chet Atkins, country music may never have crossed over into the pop charts in the '50s and '60s. Although he recorded hundreds of solo records, Atkins' largest influence came as a session musician and a record producer. During the '50s and '60s, he helped create the Nashville sound, a style of country music that owed nearly as much to pop as it did to honky tonks.
This two-CD reissue of Ducks Deluxe's first two albums differs from the previous Edsel two-on-one release, as no tracks were omitted due to space constraints. In retrospect, these recordings seem more relevant after the passage of time, as they provide a clearer linkage between British blues-based album rock and late-'70s punk and post-punk new wave. In fact, the influences of British pub rock span back to '50s rock & roll and R&B. Their take on Eddie Cochran's "Nervous Breakdown" bears an uncanny resemblance to perhaps his biggest hit, "Summertime Blues." But it's Ducks Deluxe's original pieces that evoke echoes of artists like the Rolling Stones, Them, and Mott the Hoople. "Fireball" sounds like a direct outtake from All the Young Dudes or Mott, while the R&B-rich "Falling for That Woman" suggests Van Morrison at his soulful best. "Rio Grande," from Taxi to the Terminal Zone, wouldn't sound out of place on Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.