|My Tattoo, Barbara Burnette
Spinout CD016, 2001
Sometimes, quite unexpected, a CD drops in my mailbox that just wipes me off my feet, or my office chair in this case. A short note on the back of a business card read; "Hope you dig this, thanks for listening, love Barabara". I put the platter in my office PC and gave it a spin. Wham! It took just seven notes to realize that Eddie Angel had his hands on this one, and you all know how I feel about Eddie Angel I guess. An overwhelming hard hitting drum and a snearing lead guitar thundered through my office, followed by the sexiest voice I've heard in the new millenium. The title song "My Tattoo" had shivers going up and down my spine the first 10 seconds!
Then I remembered an e-mail message from about a month ago, which read: "Hi! I just played in Vegas and did a tribute to the Johnny Burnette Trio. I'm a little obsessed by them and play a little like Paul. Maybe you were in Vegas and saw me? I work with Bob at the Hall of Fame sometimes. Please send me your address and I'll send you my new CD." Well, I wasn't in Vegas, but I did send her my address...
This is it then, Barbara Burnette's new CD titled "My Tattoo", produced by Eddie Angel and Barbara Burnette and issued on Eddie's Spinout label, with a great picture on the inside cover of Barbara and her idol Paul Burlison picking strings on what looks like a parking lot. The CD is a tribute to Barbara's heroes Scotty Moore, Danny Gatton, Cliff Gallup, and of course, Paul Burlison. Most likely (but I'm just guessing here) "Burnette" is a stage name she took in memory of the late great Johnny Burnette (I don't believe in too much coincidence).
The title song is a fast paced rockabilly pounder, written by Barbara herself (she wrote 8 of the 12 tracks on this album herself by the way). Barbara's voice sounds a lot like Anu-Katja's voice on "BSA" (King Drapes), but that must be a real coincidence, since the King Drapes hail from Finland. Her homage to Johnny, Dorsey and Paul is the Tiny Bradshaw classic "Train Kept A-Rollin", sung with nothing less than sheer energy and Paul Burlison alike guitar licks.
On "Jukebox" it becomes clear that Barbara is not a diva, her singing voice is actually little more than average, but it's the way that she sings that gets to you. Her energetic dedication, mixed with sexy tempation, and the way she belts out "Rock, rock, rock!" Throw in a hard hitting drummer, a thumping bass guitar and an occasional scorching guitar solo by Eddie Angel and a song like "Hot Rod Grace" will leave you stunned. She knew that, because after this fast rollin' rocker, she shifts to a more delicate "Half A Chance" with some Buddy Holly influences. A subtle echo on Barbara's emotional voice lifts it to higher standards too.
Back to rock! Joe Clay's "You Look That Good To Me" sounds as if it was written for Barbara, and she really goes wild on the guitar. The self penned "I Want You" starts off at a slower pace, but catches up to the rockabilly rhythm real soon, and the rhythm keeps on rockabillying into "My Baby Can't Dance" and Jackie Lee Cochran's "Riverside Jump". Never slow down, I wonder if this girl can keep up this pace at a live gig. On "Girls" (also written by Barb) she expresses her love for Paul Burlison one more time by throwing in some "Honey Hush" style guitar licks, real gone.
Hadda Brooks' original "Jump Back Honey, Jump Back" was taken to higher grounds by Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps in the fifties, and the combination of a Cliff Gallup style lead guitar and a femal voice, makes this a cover version to reckon with. Barbara ends her stomping rave with a last self penned rocker titled "Real Gone baby", and then there is silence... and I'm left with my body shaking and my ears glowing, I feel like a junky, I gotta have more of this! Thank God for giving us the "repeat" button :-)
A review on Webspawner read "Here's one of the best CDs of 2002, and among only a handful of the first real rock 'n' roll CDs of the new century." And I think they just might be right about that! Need I say more?
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2002