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Jungle Fever 1955-1962 Recordings - Charlie Feathers

Although I love early rock n' roll I'm no aficionado. Until recently I'd never heard of Charlie Feathers*. He was at Sun Records with all those other kids in the mid-fifties, many cut records but most of whom never rose to stratospheric fame like a certain Mystery Train singing snarl-lipped individual and are not a part of the popular legend of the origins of rock n roll to those who are not 'in the know' re Rockabilly.

Charlie Feathers sound is, well, er, shall we say 'Southern'. Its bugged the bejesus out of me to try and sum up this cat's (yes, cat. I know all the lingo me) sound and I cant. This stupendously ace compilation of thirty tracks has recordings he made for Sun, King, and Meteor Records amongst other labels. You've got stone cold Rockabilly with a vocal style that does a better Buddy Holly hiccup than, well, Buddy Holly. As well as Rockabilly there's Country, Bluegrass, and some songs in which all these styles meet and create something that I have personally never heard the like of. The closest Description I can think of is what yer man Keith Richards used to describe Gram Parsons: "High Lonesome". Its Rockabilly Honkytonking Rhythm n' Bluesin' Country n' Western. It's similar to early Elvis, It's Hank, It's Johnny Cash. All those cats (again, lingo covered).

After delving further into who Charlie Feathers was I realise I'm totally out of the loop and he is revered with Messiah-like status by many. But that's the great thing with music isn't it. There is always more to know and seek out. I saw a musician on YouTube say that: "Once you've heard Charlie Feathers you never forget him". The latter statement I 100% agree with. All I know is this is the start of my listening life with Charlie and He's got me hooked. Check out 'Bottle to the Baby' for a real slice of CF.

* To me the name Charlie Feathers sounds like the nickname for a Mafia assassin who uses pillows to smother his victims. Maybe I think too much about these things.


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