Rockabilly Retro: A CD review

On The Great River Road

Many of my regular readers will be aware of fellow blogger and regular contributor David Miller, from Nevada. David is a published author, an accomplished compiler of limericks, and also has another side, that of a song lyricist. Through him, I have been fortunate to discover the work of French Rockabilly musician, Chris Almoada, and his five-piece band.

His latest release is the seventeen-track album, On The Great River Road. This is a feast of toe-tapping, guitar-picking shuffle beats and two-step dance tunes alongside some mournful ballads, with all songs written by David, and music and arrangements from Chris. The combination of their talents has produced a fine variety of songs with a Country/Folk feel, alongside traditional Rockabilly beats, all coming together to give a sense of the 1950s that makes it impossible to keep your feet still. The guitar-picking talents of Chris, along with the snappy drumming, and ‘just-right’ piano provide the listener with a really authentic musical experience.

Although I am not a natural fan of any of these genres, I am a great admirer of the music of yesteryear, and on this occasion, I was happy to be reminded of those feel-good days. The songs all come with a story, and those stories embrace the modern history of the USA. From Native American legends, through slavery to the Civil War, tributes to the music of Memphis and New Orleans, and even an impending death in the Electric Chair. Mixed in, are some traditional love ballads, and deliberately humourous lyrics that are a treat to mull over.

I will not take up your time by covering each track in detail, but I would like to draw your attention to some of my own favourites.

‘Paducah Sue’ took me back to my youth, with an authentic 1950s feel that sounded as if it might have been playing on the radio in America at the time. The theme is spot-on too, with the small-town girl wanting to escape her roots, to seek stardom in Hollywood.

‘Palmyra Lane’ is reminiscent of the old Doo-Wop ballads, and could have been on a jukebox in any coffee bar or diner back in the day. A young boy, a girl, and unrequited love. Classic stuff.

‘Memphis Odyssey’ is an unashamed tribute to the place in Tennessee where so much modern music originated. The piano is particularly good on this track.

On The Great River Road is the result of many years of development and work by all involved. It is not a concept album, but has the feel of an epic tale, told in the music of a bygone age.

It is available to buy from Amazon, and anyone who would like to know more can follow the links to David’s blog, or to his Facebook page.


11 thoughts on “Rockabilly Retro: A CD review

  1. Pete, I’m thrilled that you so graciously shared your thoughts on Chris Almoada’s album. I really enjoyed writing the words to the 17 tracks on it. I cut my teeth on his previous album, “Come to New Orleans,” for which I wrote three songs, including the title track. That 2010 album consists mostly of covers, but they are darn good! Our most recent published collaboration was “Curiosity,” one of the two songs that appeared last year on a 45 rpm vinyl Squoodge collector’s club record, but we continue to work on a new full-length album. I’ll publish those lyrics when the songs (already written) are available to the public.

    I would also like to point out that I have never really been a fan of rockabilly. But I do very much like Chris Almoada’s music. Because it’s just that good! Of course, it is terribly entertaining and gratifying to listen to music whose lyrics are one’s own! But, to be honest, I’m just humbled that Chris has given me this opportunity to do a bit of creative writing.

    Thanks again, Pete. I hope your beetleypete followers enjoy the music.

    Best wishes from Las Vegas, David (“LividEmerald”)


    1. I am always happy to be introduced to something new, David, and very pleased on this occasion to showcase the work of yourself, and Chris. Good luck with the next album, I will look forward to hearing it.
      Best wishes, Pete.


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