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Album Review

Donegan's third full-length album, cut in October of 1959, is another jewel, and features a largely new band from previous albums, apart from drummer Nicholls. Donegan never compromised on his sound, and the opening track, a rippling version of Furry Lewis's "Fancy Talkin' Tinker," ashows him with as strong a commitment to the blues as ever—Leadbelly's "Take This Hammer" and "John Hardy" are also featured, along with Ernest Tubb's "Talking Guitar Blues" and traditional numbers like "Mr. Froggy" (aka "Froggy Went A-Courting"). Lead guitarist Les Bennetts is probably the strongest player Donegan ever had to work with, as exhibited by his smooth, fluid style on the diversity of material here, from Lewis' blues to gospel numbers like "Gloryland." Donegan shines on banjo on "The Goldrush Is Over." The real gem here, however, is the cover of "House of the Rising Sun," a song that Donegan learned from Josh White, which gets a somber, moodily dramatic performance here, with lots of guitar flourishes from Bennetts. And just for contrast, the album also includes a bluesy cover of Cole Porter's "Miss Otis Regrets."


Born: 29 April 1931 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

To look at Lonnie Donegan today, in pictures taken 40 years ago when he was topping the British charts and hitting the Top Ten in America, dressed in a suit, his hair cut short and strumming an acoustic guitar, he looks like a musical non-entity. But in 1954, before anyone (especially anybody in England) knew what rock & roll was, Donegan was cool, and his music was hot. He's relatively little remembered outside of England, but Donegan shares an important professional attribute with Elvis Presley,...
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Lonnie Rides Again...Plus (Bonus Track Edition), Lonnie Donegan
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