'200 Cadillacs Soundtrack'

- CD review -

"superb new music release"

(by Piers Beagley, January 2004)

The CD starts with Elvis declaring "I suppose you know I've got a lot of cars.."

This is the perfect beginning for a fabulous & fun cruise through a delightful selection of songs about the life & myths of Elvis Presley, and I haven't been as impressed with a new CD in a very long time.

Including songs from the excellent '200 Cadillacs' DVD this is a wonderful mix of Country & Western, Blues and Rockabilly. The songs all have an Elvis connection and many of them feature lyrics that capture the fascination of Elvis' life perfectly in just three minutes!

Rex Fowler, who conceived & produced the DVD, features on 5 tracks and proves himself to be a very talented composer. Other tracks are by Carl Perkins and even Paul Burlinson, Mavis Staples with Levon Helm (of the classic group 'The Band') are represented with their excellent bluesy take on 'Hound Dog'.

While you might not be familiar with some of the newer bands, all the songs fit perfectly together and made me want to investigate them further. Some tracks reminded me of the fun of The Dixie Chicks, while other songs hint at the wonderful story telling of Chris Isaak or Sheryl Crow. I also felt the rockabilly vibe of Brian Setzer & The Stray Cats at their early & best.

The discovery of Carl Perkins' unreleased version of John Hiatt's 'Memphis In The Meantime', with its delicious 'Mystery Train' feel, is also a great find.

Heather Eatman captures a poignant moment in 'Too Tired To Be Elvis', The Cucumbers will get you dancing with 'Blue Cadillac', while Jon Pousette-Dart grabs a perfect slice of Elvis history in 'Running With Elvis' - "Running with the King at the height of his rein, was like trying to hold on to a runaway train."

From the first track '200 Cadillacs', via Syd Straw's brilliant tale of sorrow and jealousy 'Listening to Elvis', through to the finale 'Shine A Little Light' this is a fabulous journey worth driving through again & again. This is perfect cruising music and I often found myself laughing out loud at the fabulous lyrics while coasting through Sydney's beaches, hi-fi turned up loud, in my purring Pink Cadillac.

Check out these classic lines from Rex Fowler's '200 Cadillacs'

"He loved his cadillacs, they were his gift of choice. He bought his Mama one, paid for it with his voice. Yeah, it was pink of course, Just like in baby now, 'Let's Play House'"

and from Syd Straw's 'Listening to Elvis'

"My Baby ran out to some bar in town, Some big mouthed drunk was making jokes, putting Elvis down. My baby gave him fair warning, everybody said. But when he sang 'Don't Be Cruel', my baby lost his cool, and shot him dead!"

Rex Fowler has been performing with the band 'The Aztek Two-Step' for more than two decades and proves what a talented, insightful songwriter he is as well as a great singer.

Do check out their 200 Cadillacs CD website for lots more information. As Rex sings in the finale "Let's shine a little light on Elvis and appreciate the price he paid"

Verdict: This CD is thoroughly recommended to anyone with an interest in Elvis, good story-telling and great music.

Buy 200 Cadillacs

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