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Sonny Burgess

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Album Review

If trying to bring back an old artist from the '50s is an idea that seldom merits results that exceed "you can't go home again" or worse, here is an album that proves it can be done and done right. Producer Gary Tallent keeps Sonny Burgess focused with the lead vocal and blistering lead guitar duties squarely on his shoulders, gives him a pile of great songs from the likes of Radney Foster, Fred James, Dave Alvin, Steve Forbert, and Springsteen to interpret, then frames it all with a backing band that's the essence of drive and simplicity. The spotlight stays on Burgess throughout, just letting him do what he does best. While it all sounds simple enough, it seldom — if ever — happens on these kind of affairs, making the achievement of this record all that more astounding. A modern rockabilly classic, this also features wonderful guest appearance turns by Scotty Moore and the Jordanaires on Henry Gross' "Bigger Than Elvis." The tray card on this reads "Sonny Burgess has still got it." Believe it.


Born: 28 May 1931 in Newport, AR

Genre: Rock

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

Sonny Burgess is one of the wildest rockers to record for the legendary Sun label in Memphis. He and his band the Pacers came out of Newport, AR, with a hard-rocking style that, unlike that of most rockabillies, owed little to nothing in the way of a stylistic debt to country music. With his red-dyed hair, matching stage suit and guitar, and wild stage performances, Burgess made mincemeat of the competition on many of the early-'50s rock & roll package tours. Though his Sun releases never brought...
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Sonny Burgess, Sonny Burgess
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