Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Billy Hancock & the Tennessee Rockets

  • Shakin' That Rockabilly Fever [Solid Smoke, 1982] B

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Shakin' That Rockabilly Fever [Solid Smoke, 1982]
Don't misunderstand--he wants to shake "it," as it's called, not the fever, and sometimes he actually sounds hot. A Virginia boy whose career began in 1959, the year the singer turned thirteen and the music died, Billy gets off one classic rocker ("Please Don't Touch") and one inspired medium-fast ballad ("Lonely Blue Boy"), venturing closer to the EP grail than such fellow semiauthentics as Ray Campi and Sleepy LaBeef, not to mention the current crop of hair sculptors. But he does it more with his will than his voice, and even though he comes by his affection for echo and hiccup naturally, they're still mannerisms that can't sound any more spontaneous after twenty-three years of adolescence. B