Kim Lenz And The Jaguars The One And Only

It’s always nice when an artist’s second LP is better than the first. Lenz’s first record was a pretty fair collection of rockabilly, but her second is a fine set of 14 rockers. Big Sandy produces and brings along his piano player, Carl Sonny Leland. Leland and guitarist Mick Curran toss off sizzling solos throughout, while the other two Jaguars, Shawn Supra and Scotty Tecce keep the beat moving along. Over the top of all this, Lenz ,who looks a bit like a redheaded Bettie Page, growls and howls through a mix of covers old and new, and originals. The band clearly loves the music they play, but not to the point of obsequious reverence. Couple that with the fact that the record was recorded on vintage equipment at Daniel Lanois’ New Orleans studio and you get music that breathes and is full of vitality. If you think of that desiccated, pre-chewed Stray Cats role playing shit when somebody mentions Rockabilly, give this a listen. It’s the real deal and sounds as fresh and anything by Gene Vincent or Johnny Burnette’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio. (Hightone)