While much of the music business had outgrown 50s-based rock’n’roll by the early 60s, it seems that Wisconsin was caught in a rocking time warp of pre-1960 sounds. This is no bad thing, as the bulk of the 30 tracks here are spirited slabs of wigged-out R&R and rockabilly from local combos who were never destined to become household names. With Presley, Holly and Cochran as reference points, the Cuca label opened its doors to the likes of Larry Phillipson, Jimmy Dawson (aka Dixie Drifter) and Dave Kennedy, who rocks up Jimmy Reed’s Peepin’ & Hidin’. Groups varied from the doo wop of The Supreme Four’s I Love You Patricia, The Fendermen’s Mule Skinner Blues (here in its original Cuca version) and The Five Chords’ Red Wine, which almost has a Madness feel to it. The nearest Cuca came to hit factory New York pop was Ronnie Premier’s So Loved Am I, but his other tracks (notably Meet Me By My Locker) are more in the rocking groove. There is a lot to discover here, and the fine booklet will help give chapter and verse.
Various Artists - Rockin’ In Wisconsin: The Cuca Records Story Vol 3
They just kept on rockin’…
Ace | CDCHD 1136
Reviewed by Kingsley Abbott
<< Back to Issue 332