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Dan Sartain ‘Legacy Of Hospitality’

Is rockabilly cool? It’s certainly fun (or funny) and there’s a massive nostalgic element, which is all the rage at the moment. But whereas the recent revivals of genres like surf rock, synth pop, shoegazing etc. have all incorporated prominent, modern twists, it’s fairly hard to imagine adding a contemporary edge to one of the earliest forms of rock’n’roll.

Dan Sartain would probably agree, hence why he simply produces oldschool, blues-tinged rockabilly. Ok, so the guitars are scuzzier, perhaps adding a faint tinge of garage rock, but his music is pretty much a genuine throwback to Carl Perkins and Elvis.

Out on 25th April through One Little Indian Records, ‘Legacy Of Hospitality’ is 22 tracks spanning a decade of Dan Sartain’s recording career (1999-2009) – five albums, two of those self-released – consisting of demos, rarities, outtakes and alternate versions of tracks. That sounds interesting, but those unfamiliar with the American’s rock’n’roll will probably think that this is one of those ‘just for fans’ releases. Not quite. This album sounds like one complete whole rather than a bits-and-pieces compilation, and the songs are just as well written as Dan’s later recordings on ‘Dan Sartain Lives’ and ‘Join Dan Sartain.’ What makes this album different, however, is the rough production values – these tracks are home recordings and outtakes after all. The raw and scratchy production sound makes this rockabilly sound even more authentic, and is actually preferable to the more polished sound of his studio albums.

All the songs on ‘Legacy Of Hospitality’ are as pretty much as fun as each other, but with so many very short and sharp bursts of 50s rock music – there’s only one track that’s over three minutes – it is often hard to differentiate between tracks. Highlights include the cover of T Rex’s ‘Telegram Sam,’ the first alternative version of 2010’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Go To The Party’, which sounds like a live recording, and the dark distortion of ‘Atheist Funeral.’ The catchiest tune of the album is certainly the repetitive but addictive ‘Those Thoughts,’ and the most interesting is the somber folk-rock of ‘Flight Of The Finch’ and the southern blues groove of ‘Box Cutter In My Boot.’

There is nothing original here at all, I mean rockabilly, rhythm and blues, and garage rock have been around for decades. But rockabilly is cool, and by association so is Dan Sartain, so it doesn’t matter.

Originally published by AAA Music here

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~ by cliveparisrozario on April 24, 2011.

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