As is his wont, Dickerson tramples through a few 1950s and early '60s styles on his third album. Rockabilly is his most frequent stopover, but there are also country swing, honky tonk balladry, and doo wop. It would be hard for any knowledgeable roots music fan not to reel off the obvious points of reference for various tracks. "Will You Be Mine" is a very credible approximation of the classic Sun rockabilly sound, bringing to mind, say, Carl Perkins on "Dixie Fried," while on the piano romper "Beat Out My Love" he's real close to Sun-era Jerry Lee Lewis, and on "Have Blues Will Travel" he's pretty close to the early Sun aura of Johnny Cash. And that's just the first three tracks. This could be a problem for some listeners, even some intense roots rock fans. You will often find yourself saying that Dickerson sounds like Lewis, Cash, or, as the case may vary, a higher-voiced Tex Williams, or Larry Collins and Joe Maphis on the instrumental "Speedin' on Keystone," or (on "Wang Dang Dula") any number of early silly novelty rock & rollers. You will, however, probably never find yourself saying, "That sounds like Deke Dickerson!" He pulls this off better than most revivalists because he's got an unforced, likable vocal delivery, because he's a good guitarist, because he really can get the Sun sound down to a T, and because he really is damned versatile. DL
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