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I'll Never Lay My Guitar Down

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Album Review

Original rockabilly basso profundo Sleepy LaBeef returned with I'll Never Lay My Guitar Down and the great news was that it's even better than the last album he had put out on the Rounder imprint, the truly involved Strange Things Happening. Like the last one, this biscuit is produced by Jake Guralnick (who guests on lap steel and guitar) and features Duke Levine on guitar, Paul Bryan on bass, Dave Keyes on piano, and the right-in-the-pocket Lisa Pankratz on drums. For his part, LaBeef tears through 11 country, rockabilly, rock & roll, and bluesy favorites, giving each of them the flattening stamp of his whole personality. When LaBeef's into it, he's just the best, and this time it's evident by his screams and yelps that the pilot light was lit full blast. If your idea of rockabilly is some guy with a pompadour hiccuping himself into an early grave, do yourself a favor and pick up I'll Never Lay My Guitar Down. LaBeef may have been 60 years old, but he knew how to rock; after all, he was there when they invented it.


Born: 20 July 1935 in Smackover, AR

Genre: Rock

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

Sleepy LaBeef became the ultimate rockabilly survivor, his live performances retaining the same raw power as he approached his eighth decade that they had in the years when he was among the music's pioneers. He was born Thomas Paulsley LaBeff in Smackover, AR. The 6'7" singer has heavily lidded eyes which make him appear half-asleep, hence his nickname. He was raised on a melon farm and grew up hearing both country and blues music. LaBeef moved to Houston at age 18, working at several odd jobs before...
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I'll Never Lay My Guitar Down, Sleepy LaBeef
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