Search - Billy Burnette :: Memphis in Manhattan

Memphis in Manhattan
Billy Burnette
Memphis in Manhattan
Genres: Country, Jazz, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Billy Burnette
Title: Memphis in Manhattan
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Chesky Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 2/28/2006
Genres: Country, Jazz, Pop, Rock
Style: Oldies & Retro
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 090368029928

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CD Reviews

From Memphis To Manhattan, No One Does Rockabilly Like Burne
Jef Fazekas | Newport Beach, California United States | 04/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Upon my initial listen, I was a little disappointed with MEMPHIS IN MANHATTAN, Billy Burnette's first new release in almost six years. Instead of a proper new studio album, he's chosen to basically record his live show in one take in St. Peter's Church in Chelsea, New York. The sound seemed a tad bit muddy, and Burnette's vocals were almost lost among the over-powering instrumentation. But then I followed the instructions on the back cover and cranked up the volume....and everything feel into place! Anchored by David Roe's pulsating stand-up bass, MEMPHIS IN MANHATTAN is a jumpin' collection of rockabilly classics, both old and new. Burnette is in fine voice throughout, singing from the core of his can just tell these songs, as well as the genre itself, really mean something and matter to him! Opening up the disc is "Memphis Blues." With it's easy sway and goodtime vibe, it sets the mood perfectly for what's still to come (Special mention has to be made of Kenny Vaughn's brilliant lead guitar riffs and George Ricelli's percussive stick work!). Next up is "My Love Will Not Change", another Burnette original. Intense and driving, there's an edgy, almost swampy, quality to the track that just draws you in. Once again, the perfect blend of thwacking drumsticks, thick, meaty bass chords and shimmering guitars blend together in a musical orgy of abandon and high spiritedness....these guys are having a blast, and it shows! Without a doubt, my favorite cut is a cover of Bob Dylan's "Everything Is Broken"....there's just something slinky and sweaty about the track that screams "Classic Rock 'n' Roll!" After addressing a litany of things gone wrong...or "broken"....Burnette practically spits out the choruses of "Ain't no use jivin'/Ain't no use jokin'", "Broken words/Never meant to be spoken", "Take a deep breath/It feels like you're chokin'....everything is broken." with glorious effect. Once again, Vaughn and Burnette's guitar playing is impeccable! After years of performing the song with Fleetwood Mac, it's only natural that Burnette might record "Oh Well" on his own. Putting your own spin on such a signature song can be risky, but Billy Beau totally pulls it off. Stripping the song down to it's bare essence, Burnette foregoes the percussive flourishes that Mick Fleetwood has made the centerpiece of the song for years and instead lets Roe's bass take center stage. Toss in the ferocious jam quality that only two guitars, bass and drums can come up with and you end up with a blistering rocker that both salutes it's blues background and tips it's hat to the early rockers of yesteryear. A brilliant cover of a classic track! Up next is the boppin' beat of "Big Hunk Of Love." With it's frantic riffs and shotgun backbeat, this is Saturday night dance hall music at it's best! I mean, if this track doesn't get you movin', well, it's time for you to leave the party! (Mark my word, Bonnie Raitt could do a KILLER version of this rave-up!) "Faded Love" is the only cut that I still haven't been able to get into. A bluesy ballad, it just kind of plods along. The track features some nice guitar work from Vaughn, but overall it just kind of brings the disc to a screeching halt. Things pick up again with "Can't Wait To Get Back Home", a rockabilly/country hybrid toetapper. This cut's another prime example of where all four of the instruments have come together in perfect harmony, melding in a way that seems easy, clean and second nature. VERY cool! What would a rockabilly collection be without a classic gem like "It's Late?" Though he's been singing his dad's song for years, the younger Burnette still infuses the cut with a sense of innocence, wonder, joy and, yes, even a little naughtiness. There's no real depth to "It's Late" - in fact, it actually comes across in many ways as a simple little jam number - but it's still as infectious as ever, guaranteeing it's place in rock history. Billy's take on it only helps to reinforce that fact. With it's buzzsaw energy and rapid fire delivery, "Tryin' To Get Away" is as much a reflection of Burnette's years playing in LA clubs during the burgeoning New Wave scene of the early 80's as it is his rockabilly roots. The track barrels along, with Burnette's powerful lead vocal at it's core. Another winner! An overview of Burnette's career wouldn't be complete without "Tear It Up" on it, a song he's both recorded and often done live in the past. However, while good, this version just goes on too long, getting a little monotonous by song's end. Far better is the disc's closer, a slightly rocking version of the Everly Brother's "Bye Bye Love." All in all, MEMPHIS IN MANHATTAN is a good overview of Billy Burnette's rockabilly roots, and should hold fans over until his next (and, hopefully, soon!) studio album (As with all my reviews, I have to dock the disc half a star for not including the lyrics)."
A Hot Night In The Juke Joint
OldWave | 10/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have been a mild fan a Billy Burnette from the beginning. But this is easily the best album he has released. If you want a hot night of rock-a-billy in a juke joint without any crowd noise or overdubs of superfluous background singers, then this is the album for you. It just seems to end up in the CD player everytime I fire up the stereo. No frills, just really fine playing and infectious songs, and it gets under your skin from the beginning to the very last cut. Easily the best buy I've made in the past year."
Listen to this music carefully....
Michael | San Francisco, CA USA | 09/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This cd is a gem, and defies easy description as to style. The songs are fantastic...only exceeded by the spartan, yet amazingly warm and full, recording. The interplay between Burnette's Gibson through a Fender Vibrolux and Kenny Vaughn's G&L tele style guitar through a Vox AC15 is just amazing. The bass sounds warm and full. Listen through headphones....You'll love this disc."