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Everybody’s Gonna Be Rockin’ by Ian Fenn

Released February 2024 on Cresta Records.

Reviewed February 2024.

This album consists of five original tracks all written by Ian, eleven straight covers and a tribute to Duane Eddy by way of a melody of three of Duane’s best known tunes. The album is very much in the classic 1950’s rock and roll style with a strong Bill Haley influence.

Although it says “Ian Fenn and the Star Cats”, Ian assures me it's him doing everything!

Track by track review.

Everybody's Gonna Be Rockin' – The first five tracks are those written by Ian. This definitely has that classic “Bill Haley” feel to it. A good jiver and excellent opening track.

My One And Only One – This a nice up tempo doo wop drack with shades of Dion. The backing vocals work nicely with Ian’s lead.

Dancin' The Night Away – Another rocking original with a bit more of an RB feel. Some very nice piano playing is the highlight for me of the very danceable track.

T T Race -This is all about a rider taking part in the Isle Of Man TT Motorcycle race so I assume this is something close to Ian’s heart. A good rocker with some interesting keyboard work and a good story line. Does Billy, the rider, win the race? You’ll have to listen to find out!

Rockabilly Hop – The last of the five original tracks and it’s back to the “Haley-esque” style that Ian does so well. A nice lead guitar sound and solid sax break.

High School Confidential – This is a cover of the Jerry Lee Lewis classic that sticks pretty close to the original with some pumping piano and a driving bass line.

It's So Easy – The Buddy Holly/Norman Petty master piece is given respectful treatment by Ian. The vocals work well as the instrumentation with the lead guitar being an excellent imitation of the original.

Shake Rattle And Roll – Given Ian’s clear love for Bill Haley it is no surprise that this is much more in the style of the Comets front man than the Joe Turner original.

Giddy Up A Ding Dong – Originally done by Freddie Bell and The Bell Boys and their version did feature in the “Rock Around The Clock” film starring Bill Haley and His Comets. Another good cover version with a strong sax break.

Stuck On You - "Stuck on You" was Elvis Presley's first hit single after his two-year stint in the US Army, reaching number one in 1960 in the US. Ian delivers this in his own style rather than trying to imitate the King but it still has the feel of the original.

Wondrous Place – This was originally recorded by Jimmy Jones in the USA in 1960. Billy Fury had his version released later the same year. That version is the best known version in the UK helped by the fact it was used in an advert in the late 90s for the Toyota Yaris. Ian’s version stands up well to Billy’s hit.

Rockin' Robin – A fine cover of the song first recorded by Bobby Day on the American Class label in 1958. Move over Michael Jackson, Ian Fenn is in town!

Summertime Blues – Another cover from Ian that stays close to the original although the guitar break with the piano shows he is not frightened to stamp his own style on the classics.

Buttermilk Baby – This is an excellent cover of Merrill E Moore’s original. Excellent boogie woogie piano playing and some really nifty guitar playing. My favourite track on the album, it really rocks.

Duane Eddy Medley – Made up of Shazam, Because They’re Young and Rebel Rouser each played faithfully with the requisite amount of “twang”.

Dreamin' – A “pop rock” hit for Johnny Burnette when it reached number 5 in the UK charts when first released in 1960. Another solid cover version from Ian.

Bye Bye Love – Ian does his version of this Everly Brothers’ classic with some nice twangy guitar playing.

Summary and Recommendation

Ian’s skills as a multi-instrumentalist, song writer, technician and producer come together nicely here to produce an enjoyable album. A worthwhile purchase.

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Reviewed by Jailhouse John Alexander



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