#128 Jerry Lee Lewis – Last Man Standing (2006)

If you have followed this blog even a little bit you may have discovered that my musical tastes maybe considered a bit eclectic. Now here comes the Killer on my list. About 5 years ago I was perusing books at the local Borders when I heard a crazy weird version of Led Zeppelin’s Rock n Roll playing in the store. I thought it sounded pretty cool. I continued looking at books and contemplating a purchase when I then heard a version of Mick Jagger’s Evening Gown, a song which I love but not exactly one that someone would consider a radio staple. Now I was intrigued and had to hunt down a salesperson to find out who it was that they were playing on the stores sound system. That is when I was directed to the rack that was holding Jerry Lee Lewis Last Man Standing. I left shortly after, without a book but with a brand new CD. For those of you that don’t know Jerry Lee was one of a stable of stars that got their start with the legendary Sun Records in Memphis. The others were Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and another guy who slips my mind…..oh yeah Elvis Presley. The title of this record alludes to the fact that the Killer is the living member of that star-studded stable of musical greats. Jerry Lee was the original rock and roll badass and is a reputation that he has never shied away from, even if it caused embarrassment to his cousin….the famous evangelistic preacher Jimmy Swaggart. The concept for this record is simple but cool. Jerry Lee does duets of cover songs mostly but not always with the artist that originally recorded the song but in the Jerry Lee Lewis rockabilly style. The record contains 21 collaborative efforts with a wide range of musical styles from B.B. King to Toby Keith to Kid Rock and back. Most likely you won’t like every song on the disc but with such diverse musical offerings there’s something here for everybody. I already mentioned Rock and Roll with Jimmy Page and Evening Gown with Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood but I will just share a few songs that I consider highlights of the disc. John Fogerty joins him to do a boogie woogie version of his Credence Clearwater Revival classic Travelin’ Band. Rod Stewart takes the vocals for the country standard What’s Made Milwaukee Famous. The Killer and the Boss hook up to run thru a smoking rendition of Springsteen’s Pink Cadillac and it is one of my favorite collaborations on the album. Then there is the current outlaw of rock and roll and the original joining forces to turn out their interpretation of the Stones classic Honky Tonk Woman. There are also appearances by Neil Young, Robbie Robertson, Keith Richards, Ringo Starr, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Little Richard, Buddy Guy, Don Henley and Kris Kristofferson. It is a fitting all-star tribute to one of rock’s pioneers.

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