Retro rockers whether they're on the country or garage side of the fence are obligated to write at least one name-dropping anthem. LA hillbilly boppers Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
kick off their new Turntable Matinee
with "Power of the 45," a definitive, deep-crate-digging catalogue of pre-baby boom singers and guitar slingers, most of whom are more obscure than Robert Williams (a.k.a. Big Sandy) himself. As crooning and swinging museums of American music go, he's refreshingly free of pretension and kitsch. His creamy tenor recalls Ricky Nelson or Buddy Holly, guitarists Ashley Kingman and Jimmy Roy squeeze out a brilliant stream of Luther Perkins- and Jerry Byrd-inspired sparks, and the whole band sways and rocks so nimbly it seems to float above its own finely calibrated grooves.