ANDY LEE - ROCKIN' COUNTRY MAN
Updated: Mar 17
Released 2010 on Grunwald Records originally available through Bear Family but now only available from Andy’s website - https://www.andylee.de/index.htm Reviewed March 2023 by Jailhouse John Alexander
Half of these songs were recorded in the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee (1999). To complete the CD Andy recorded the rest of the songs nine years later at his home studio in Hanover. He even bought the same Wurlitzer-piano Jerry Lee played on his first recording sessions.
Reviewed March 2023
Andy Lee plays piano and sings in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis. Most of the tracks are him on piano and vocals with bass and drums. Most of the tracks are covers, but done in the style of the Killer.
Piano and vocals: Andy Lee. Lead guitar: Marc Hothan, Ulf Bertelmann, Stefan Kunze, Dirk Jüngling. Bass: Fritz Schüttlöffel. Drums: Christian Prescher, Michael Kielas
Track by track review:
Night Train To Memphis – sounds effects of an old steam train open the track which is a version of the Roy Acuff original given the “Jerry Lee pumping piano treatment”. Just slap bass, drums and piano work well on this track.
Charming Billy – a rockin’ version of this old traditional song with nice guitar work on this.
Your Lovin' Man – Originally recorded by Vernon Taylor for Sun records, maybe this is how that original would have sounded if Jerry Lee had been in the studio that day back in ’58.
Ring Of Fire – A honky tonk version of this Johnny Cash classic.
High Class Baby – This is not the song that was a hit for Cliff Richard, but a very good cover of the song by the Lennerockers. More nice guitar work underpinning Andy’s piano playing.
Tennessee – some wild guitar and good slap bass on this version of the song written and first recorded by Carl Perkins.
I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You – Many people have done versions of this Hank Williams song. Not surprisingly this is very much a cover of the version done by Jerry Lee Lewis for Sun records.
You’ve Gotta Change – I think this is a typo on the title as this is actually a cover of the Hank Williams’ song “You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)”. Andy hits some high notes with his vocals. A good version of this song.
Rockin' Country Man – The album’s title track sums up Andy perfectly!
Deep Elem Blues – A fine honky tonk version of this traditional song that goes back to 1920’s and possibly earlier.
Sixteen Tons – Written and first recorded by country music legend, Merle Travis but the best known version is by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Andy does a very good version with fine vocals and top notch piano playing.
I Need Your Love – A nice mid paced track that, like many others on this album, you can easily imagine the Killer himself doing a very similar version.
Rock N Roll Teenage Dream – Echoes of Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” with a nice guitar sound.
Treat Me Right – A cover of the song first recorded by Kenny Parchman issued on the Jaxon label. A nice mid paced rocker.
(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle – It’s back to the Hank Williams’ song book for mournful ballad sang and played with feeling.
Johnny Valentine – Andy does another good cover version this time of the track first done by Andy Anderson and The Rolling Stones on the Felsted label. A nice piece of mid paced rockabilly with just piano, bass and drums.
Louisiana Swamp – Honky tonk boogie-woogie piano with a Louisiana feel and some nice guitar playing.
Mathilda – Continuing with the Louisiana theme here is a good reworking of the Cookie and his Cupcakes hit from 1957.
Drinkin' Wine Spo Dee O Dee – Written in 1949 and first recorded by "Sticks” McGhee & His Buddies this has been covered by various people and this version is very similar to the version done by Jerry Lee Lewis.
Alabama Shake – Full on piano driven rock and roll, an excellent version of the Gene Summers’ original.
What'd I Say – An all time classic track since Ray Charles first recorded it in 1959 and staple fodder for any aspiring rock ‘n’ roll or R&B piano player. Andy certainly does it justice.
Es Muss Schon Roken – “It Has To Rock” Andy reverts to his mother tongue for a rocking tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis.
Summary & Recommendation If you like Jerry Lee Lewis then you should definitely check this CD out!