I'm All Right
recently had the good fortune of seeing Charlie Gracie perform
live at New York City's oldest honkytonk, the Rodeo Bar. Gracie,
a rock-and-roll innovator who had his first hit in 1957 with
"Butterfly," performed with the vibrancy and passion of a
man half his age. I can only imagine what he must have been
like when he first came on the scenea bright-burning
meteorite of pure rock-and-roll.
than 40 years after his introduction into the music industry,
Gracie has released a new album, aptly title I'm All Right
(Lanark Records). Produced by bassist Quentin Jones, the 15-track
CD mixes timeless classics,
like "Let the Good Times Roll" and Hank Williams' "Kaw-liga,"
with Gracie originals. The album kicks off with the honky
tonk toe-tapper "Tootsie," followed by the smooth drivin'
title track, which will have you longing for the open road.
On "A Little Too Soon to Tell," Gracie sings a charming duet
with Graham Nash, and follows it with his best Elvis impersonation
on "Lover Boy."
teen idol vocals are warm and smooth with just a tinge of
grit straight through the first 11 tracks, but he goes astray
at the end of the disk with three songs that seem sadly out
of sync. His fantastically-committed performance on "Go Man
Go" is followed by the awkward ballad "I'm Confessing." The
vocals on "Times Are Changing" lack Gracie's usual vibrancy,
and his faux-Credence Clearwater Revival version of a Lennon
& McCartney classic feels glaringly misplaced. But for the
most part, Gracie sticks with what he knows best, and turns
out an album of roots rock-and-roll that will warm your heart
and turn your stereo red hot.