Old Town Crier by Sky Shaw & Spencer HIll
BILLY HANCOCK RIDES AGAIN!
Across town, there's reason to celebrate a new birth: THE BIRTH OF A BILLY, (Turkey Mountain TMC-2107-2 disks). Billy Hancock has further elevated his status as Alexandria's reigning legend, now and always, our most towering figure of Rock-a-Billy.
Reaching back into 1974, when he was the biggest third of the Danny Gatton and the Fat Boys trio, through his swaggering fame as the leader of the Tennessee Rockets, Hancock has always powerfully worn his love of all things ROOTS on his pearl-buttoned sleeve. With such broad spectrum covering everything from Tampa Red to Buddy Holly to Irving Berlin, there's no wonder that Hancock has famously stated in retort to a writer who 'couldn't get a fix on him,' that "I don't want to be fixed because I don't consider myself broken."
Broke (as in culturally impoverished) is the music lover who has lived in our region and somehow missed the impressive persona of Billy Hancock. Billy Poore, author of 'Rockabilly, a Forty Year Journey,' states "..you'll find Billy Hancock even in the year 2006, when he turns 60 years old, [he] just seems to keep on rockin'." Less appreciated perhaps, when associated as a sideman to Danny, that soon passed as Hancock toured and recorded in Germany, England and France in the early '80s with different versions of the Rockets, who were just as wild or wilder than anything that Setzer and his Stray cats ever put forth.
Now, in his maturing phase, Billy, with much able support from huge talent like guitarists Dave Chappell and Bob Newscaster, and bassists Bryan Smith and Steve Wolf, has demonstrated for all of us his even more diverse vocal range. One moment he's sounding like a froglike ol' Delta guy and the next a swooping high country belter, fulla that heavenly Echoplex.
The double CD is handsomely packaged in appropriate shades of rockabilly pastel panels, which support a panoply of incredible early photos of our hometown original as he evolved up the ladder of pompadour flash to accomplished artist with a lifetime of incomparable three-minute masterpieces we can always put on 'PLAY' over and over again. Ya don't need an Ipod to groove on this, friends!!