Hillbillies And Holy Rollers
Jason D. Williams
Review by David Bowling
If you want some energetic rock and roll with a rockabilly bent then Jason D. Williams new album Hillbillies And Holy Rollers is for you.
Williams is the acknowledged son of rock and roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis and his keyboard expertise and approach to music shows that the apple does not fall very far from the tree.
He returned to the famous Sun studios to record his newest album. Channeling the ghosts of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Elvis, and of course Jerry Lee Lewis; he modernizes the sound of the original Sun label by fusing rock and gospel into a pulse-pounding amalgam of music. Bassist Geoff Firebaugh, guitarists Ronnie Crutcher & Sleepy LaBeef, and drummer Matt Arun lay down the foundation for his ferocious piano attacks.
He combines originals and covers into a solid mix of material. “Folsom Prison Blues” becomes a rock and roll piano piece. Joe Ely’s “Fingernails” is a rollicking honky-tonk piece. He slows the tempo on the Hank Williams tune “You Win Again” and adds some strings as background.
Gospel music was always an important part of early rock and roll and his take on “Old Time Religion” and the high energy “I’LL Fly Away” are southern style gospel music at its best.
Williams averages close to 200 shows a year so each new album is a treat. Hillbillies And Holly Rollers is a journey through the primitive side of rock and roll that inhabits smoky clubs late at night. It is music not only worth hearing but experiencing as well.