Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jerry Riopelle

In a post a week or so ago I mentioned Jerry Riopelle, a long time rock and roll legend. He's easy enough to find on the web, but a little help might help. Try these links.

Being old fashioned, my favorite Jerry Riopelle records are the first three he released, which seem to lean more towards country than the harder rock that seeps into later records. The first ,called simply "Jerry Riopelle," was stark, simple, mostly acoustic. There are great songs like "Take a Chance," "Darlin' Daughter," and "We can go the Distance." (One song, "To Tell The Truth," seems to have been recorded drunk, in the rain.) The second album, called, not surprisingly, "Jerry Riopelle, The Second Album," was a little more commercial, with a brighter, fuller sound. Riopelle plays what he calls "stomp piano," ofteimes pounding out chords like he's at a drum set. If there aren't tacks on the hammers, it sometimes sounds like there are. In addition to original songs like "Candy Barr" and "Roll with the Feelin'" there are great covers of the Rolling Stones' "No Expectations" and Hank Williams' "Jambalaya." Both of the first two albums were issued on Capitol Records. The third, called "Saving Grace," was issued on ABC records, a third chance for an artist who probably didn't sell too many of the first couple of records. It's worth purchasing for the country western song "Buyin', Beggin', and Stealin'." You can find these on vinyl, but the best way to get them right now is to buy a box set called "The Works" that has everything Riopelle recorded through 2000. You can find links to it on his website.

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