Deke Dickerson

Deke Dickerson in 3-Dimensions (Major Label)

Deke Dickerson has long championed the nostalgic sounds of rock, surf, and hillbilly. He did it first as a member of Untamed Youth, then for the Dave & Deke Combo, and for the past several years, he has been the guitar-slinging leader of the Ecco-Fonics. This time out, he's pursuing rockabilly, hillbilly, and the R&B roots of rock 'n' roll in separate sessions with three different line-ups.

3-Dimensions opens with three new rock 'n' roll tunes accompanied by covers of the Four Nights' doo-wop "I Get So Lonely" and Charlie Rich's "Sittin' and Thinkin'." Dickerson's guitar takes a backseat to Ron Dziubla's wailing saxophones and the barrelhouse-and-boogie-woogie piano of Carl Sonny Leyland. Legendary New Orleans drummer Earl Palmer anchors the session. Palmer's driving beats and second-line cadences are as moving here as they were on the seminal recordings of Little Richard, Fats Domino, and many others.

It all closes with a septet of hillbilly tunes. The band features the guitar-and-steel duo of Dave Biller and Jeremy Wakefield, who've previously appeared together with Wayne Hancock. The swing and boogie rhythms of Joe "Cannonball" Lewis' "You've Been Honky-Tonkin'" and Dickerson's own "Knoxville Boogie" come around full-circle to the R&B tunes that open the disc, neatly sewing together the project's three sets. A hidden bonus track features Biller and Wakefield tearing up Bob Wills' "Fat Boy Rag," with the versatile Dickerson blowing bass saxophone.

Dickerson is at the top of his game across the board, trading in his penchant for novelty tunes for a sophisticated and sly sense of humor. He gathers around him musicians who rock, swing, and twang like a latter-day Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.

 
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