Rockabilly Blues

What can be said? This man is the rock legend you never heard about! If you were fortunate or perspicacious enough to have caught Arkansas native Sleepy LaBeef’s gig at Duffy’s Tavern here in Chico some months ago, then I needn’t say another word. If you missed his appearance, perhaps this CD offering from Rounder Records will clue you in as to what a terrific interpreter of “primitive” rock ‘n’ roll this man is (he’s even backed on a few tracks by Elvis’ original drummer, D.J. Fontana!). From the blues of Jimmy Reed’s “Bright Lights, Big City” and the country of Ralph Hutchinson’s “Fool About You,” to the straight-ahead rock of Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally,” there’s not a song here that LaBeef doesn’t seize and miraculously stamp as his own. With his powerful bass voice and organic guitar solos, LaBeef rightfully belongs in the upper pantheon of rockers.