Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Charlie Feathers

  • Charlie Feathers [Elektra, 1991] A-
  • Get With It: Essential Recordings [Revenant, 1998] Neither

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Charlie Feathers [Elektra, 1991]
Like most of the losers who claim they taught Elvis his tricks, this 59-year-old Memphis crackpot has his claque--fools who think his stray cuts for Sun, King, and lesser, later indies put him on a par with Carl Perkins if not Jerry Lee. But though "One Hand Loose" and "Tongue-Tied Jill" are pretty great, only nuts need Kay Records' generically rockacountry Jungle Fever comp. So this is a shock. Although "Mean Woman Blues" rocks out like Robert Gordon and Billy Hancock wish, Feathers refuses to insult anyone's intelligence pretending he's horny as a teenager, putting his past behind him in the forlorn collection of old song titles "We Can't Seem To Remember To Forget." His resonant bullfrog undertone and hiccuping upper register evoking a less cocky George Jones, he explores rockabilly as a musical form--the white man's blues he's always saying it is. Funny, emotional, completely personal. Play at medium volume, late in the dark night. A-

Get With It: Essential Recordings [Revenant, 1998] Neither