Hollywood Fats & The Paladins - Live 1985
13 songs; 61:11 minutes; Splendid
Styles: West Coast Blues, Rockabilly revival, Retro rock and roll
Recorded on December 19, 1985, at the Greenville Avenue Bar & Grill in Dallas, Texas, this album features Michael “Hollywood Fats” Mann and Southern California rockabilly legends the Paladins. The house was packed and fans were excited as you can tell from the crowd noise highlighted by the loudest and shrillest of screams from some female fan.
Like fellow guitarists Duane Allman and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mann was a creative genius who entered the halls of hallows too soon following an untimely death. This set with Dave Gonzalez on vocals and rhythm guitar, Scott Campbell on drums, Thomas Yearsley on stand up bass and Fats on burning guitar was recorded about one year before Mann’s accidental, drug related passing.
For the best singes from that flame, there are two Mann original instrumentals showcasing that underappreciated-in-his-day talent, “The Groove” and “Tear It Up,” the latter with lightning fast guitar work that is picking, not shredding.
Beyond those, the set is a mix of crowd pleasing rockabilly, swinging West Coast blues and rock and roll. After igniting the evening with the mandatory in its day “Hideaway” by Freddie King, the boys burn the house down with Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin,’” Lightnin’ Slim’s “Rooster Blues,” Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train,” and Jimmy Reed’s “She’s Fine.”
When folks talk about the wave of West Coast guitarists beyond T-Bone Walker and Lowell Fulson, the name Hollywood Fats always tops the list. Get this serendipitous CD and learn what they are talking about.
Reviewer James “Skyy Dobro” Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show “Friends of the Blues” can be heard each Thursday from 4:30 – 6:00pm on WKCC 91.1 FM in Kankakee, IL