The music Elvis made has always been part of our lives. Not only the records, but the movies as well.
I still remember the first time I heard Elvis. Going through my folks’ record collection, I found a double-EP 45 on RCA. I put it on, and I knew immediately that this was something different from anything else out there. The guitar sound was amazing, and I thought it was all coming from just the one guy—Elvis. I quickly found out that the guitar player was Scotty Moore, and nobody sounded like that.
The movies painted a picture of what we all dreamed our reality could be. How cool would it be to start talking to a girl, and then pick up a guitar (conveniently situated near the girl), or just jump up on the bandstand and knock out a song just for her? Epic.
When the idea for this CD came about, the hardest part was determining which Elvis songs we wanted to do. First it was one song, then, it was 20. Right away we knew what we were going to do. We knew what we were going to call it, and what we wanted the cover to look like—everything happened like it had been handed to us. We wanted to bash these songs out, and hopefully add a little grit to some of them. We wanted the leather-jacket Elvis rather than the jumpsuit Elvis. We went into the studio and tore through 22 songs, recording into the wee hours. Live, raw and unforgiving.
As this project unfolded, we knew we wanted some of our pals on these recordings too. We needed a lot of piano and a lot of voices. We called on the great Gene Taylor, as well as the JOBS Quartet—four voices that had to step into the big shoes left by the original Jordanaires. We are honored to be able record with musicians like these.
We also had a huge sense of reverence for this project. Elvis, Scotty, Bill and D.J. blazed the trail for rock ‘n’ roll in so many ways. You can’t discount that or somehow not acknowledge it, especially when you sit down to record 20 Elvis songs. So there are songs here that are personal tributes from us to them (and the Jordanaires, too); songs on which we didn’t want to veer far from the originals—“Don’t, “Love Me” and “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” for example. And in the case of “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” I wanted to make sure it was Scotty’s solo note for note. There’s just no way to improve on that.
So here you have it—an Elvis Tribute from us. It was a blast to make, and we really hope you enjoy every track. Most of all, though, we hope we’ve done the original concepts and energy from those guys proud, because that’s truly what they deserve.