Home | Audio Reviews |Audiophile Shows | Partner Mags News

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

Shawn Camp & Billy Burnett
The Bluegrass Elvises Vol 1

Review By Steven Stone
Click here to e-mail reviewer

  My first reaction to the promo broadside about this CD was, "You've got to be kidding! Just what the world needs, another CD of Elvis covers." But after only a couple of listens The Bluegrass Elvises Vol 1 has gone from I'll listen once and then recycle it" to "Damn if this isn't the greatest thing since Peanut butter and banana sandwiches!"

Both Billy Burnett and Shawn Camp have impressive credentials. Billy Burnett is the son of Rockabilly legend Dorsey Burnett. Bill recorded his first song at the ripe old age of seven. He has gone on to do nine solo albums and one duo album with Delaney and Bonnie's daughter, Bekka Bramlett. Burnett also played lead guitar with Fleetwood Mac between 1987 and 1995.  Shawn Camp's musical career began when he joined the Osborne Brothers on fiddle. He moved to Nashville in 1987 and after working as a sideman for the likes of Alan Jackson and Suzy Boguss, he released his first album in 1993. In 1997, Camp had his first #1 hit song when Garth Brooks recorded "Two Pina Coladas." In 1998, Brooks and Dunn had a #1 hit with Camp's "How Long Gone." He has continued to create great songs including "Ain't No Trouble Now" which has been recorded by several bluegrass stars including Ralph Stanley. In the early 90's Burnett and Camp got together to write nearly 100 songs together including Alan Jackson's "Burning the Honkytonks Down," and Del McCoury's "My Love Will Not Change."

The idea for an all-Elvis CD began in 2003 when Sun Records producer David Ferguson suggested that Burnett and Camp do some Elvis material bluegrass style at the end of recording session. "It all came together right then," Camp remembers. "And a month later we started cutting this thing." The masters languished for several years until Camp mentioned them to Tamara Saviano, founder of American Roots Publishing. She green-lighted the project and Burnett and Camp went into the studio to record a few more songs and put the finishing touches on the original recordings. The results are The Bluegrass Elvises Vol 1.

Most of the song choices on this CD are from Elvis' early Sun Records catalog. But the two songs from his later RCA period, "Burnin' Love," and "Are You Lonesome Tonight," rank as the most interesting cuts on the CD. Why? Because they aren't basic rockabilly tunes.  Dennis Linde's "Burnin' Love" is a rave-up power pop anthem, while "Are You Lonely Tonight" is a histrionic Tin Pan Alley ballad. Burnett and Camp actually tone down "Burnin' Love" by giving it a bubbling banjo hop that balances its verse and chorus. "Are You Lonesome Tonight" is converted into a honky-tonk arm-bender, complete with a recitation after the first verse. Twin fiddle melody lines behind the vocals compete with the pitiful prose for center stage.

Band personnel on The Bluegrass Elvises Vol 1 includes Terry Eldridge and Mike Bubb on bass, Dave Talbot and Scott Vestal on banjo, Chris Henry on mandolin, and Aubrey Haynie on fiddle. Burnet and Camp handle all the vocals and guitar parts. Engineered and co-produced by David Ferguson, the sonics on The Bluegrass Elvises Vol 1 strive for a nice clean acoustic sound rather than trying to mimic the classic Sun Studios slap-back reverb. I think that was a good decision since this isn't a tribute or rockabilly re-creation album, but an acoustic interpretation of Elvis' material.

The Bluegrass Elvises Vol 1 illuminates the connections between Elvis' music and his Appalachian string-band roots. Instead of being some kind of dry academic endeavor, this CD captures all the joy and vibrancy of his best early work. Go, cats, go.

 

 

Enjoyment:

Sound:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

Quick Links


Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

 

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Preamplifiers
Amplifiers
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews

 

Videos
Enjoy the Music.TV

 

Columns
Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles


Show Reports
The HiFi Summit Q2 2021
T.H.E. Show 2021 Report
The HiFi Summit Q4 2020
The HiFi Summit Q2 2020
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2020
Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report
New York Audio Show 2019 Report
Capital Audiofest 2019 Show Report
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2019
High End Munich 2019 Show Report
AXPONA 2019 Show Report
Zagreb AV Show Report 2019
CanJam Singapore 2019 Show Report
Salon Audio Montreal Audio Fest 2019
Click here for previous shows.

 

Other
Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty

 

Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions

 


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information

 

Partner Print Magazines
audioXpress
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HIFICRITIC
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

 

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

 

Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!

 

 

    

Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us

 

All contents copyright  1995 - 2021  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.