(Editor’s note: I moved from an apartment into a house starting January 1st, 2020, and I had to toss all my CDs into a big garbage bag during the move. The idea for this feature is I write a review about each CD as I unpack that bag, one CD at a time, and rank them.)
The eleventh CD out of the bag
1. Let the Good Times Roll; 2. Bossy; 3. It’s All Over but the Shouting; 4. Bridgebuilder; 5. It Shook Me Up; 6. Head Over Heels; 7. Shy Boy; 8. You Must Have Met Little Caroline?; 9. Precious; 10. Mother of Lies; 11. Everybody’s Talking ‘Bout the All-American.
Released in February 2015, Let the Good Times Roll is vintage rock and roll with a modern edge. Good golly Miss Molly, this album shakes and rattles with the most reeling rock-and-rollers of the 1950s. JD McPherson’s music combines the caged-tiger energy of Little Richard with the rockabilly spirit of early Sun Records Elvis while creating a retro sound all his own. McPherson opens with the straightforward title track and then rarely lets his foot off the gas. Highlights include the groovy heartbreaker “It’s All Over but the Shouting” with cool horns punctuating even cooler lyrics like:
“It’s all over but the shouting.
It’s all done but the deed.
It’s all healed but the hurting.
It’s all gone but the need.”
McPherson keeps his foot down on the pedal with “It Shook Me Up,” a rousing sing-along about bad luck; and the bluesy howler “You Must Have Met Little Caroline?” The album climaxes with the breathless barn-burner “Everybody’s Talking ‘Bout the All-American.” When McPherson slows it down, he sounds like he’s dusting off an old Sam Cooke track with the atmospheric “Bridgebuilder” or passionately describing what happens when love unexpectedly strikes on the gorgeous and aptly named “Precious.” Let the Good Times Roll is simply one of the best rock-and-roll albums released in the 21st century.
My favorite song
My favorite song is the title track, “Let the Good Times Roll.” It’s a fun rocker with a spirited delivery designed to move your soul while you move your feet. The progression from the first verse to the second verse adds a bouncy acoustic guitar to the rockin’ beat followed by a jingling piano after the chorus. It’s inspired and sublime and a perfectly pure rock-and-roll song.
My favorite lines of my favorite song
“I drift away underneath auspicious stars.
I drift away underneath auspicious stars.
Let the sky open up little darling, follow me when I go.
Let the sky open up and let the good times roll.”