People Like You Records [Release date 01.06.15]
Hits The Hits is outlaw county singer Bob Wayne’s irreverent take on some of the world’s biggest hits.
Inspired by Johnny Cash’s ‘American Recordings’ Wayne side-stepped the ‘acoustic’ reinterpretation route and deployed a full band to deconstruct numbers as diverse as ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ and ‘Skyfall’.
For the most part, they’re virtually unidentifiable from the originals – Zeppelin’s ‘Rock And Roll’ delivered honky tonk style replete with Bob’s country drawl, a banjo/fiddle driven narrated ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ re-invented as a how down, the Chili Pepper’s ‘Under The Bridge’ as a country ballad with sympathetic female backing vocals, and ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ as another banjo/fiddle fuelled wig out.
It all started with a bet and Bob being challenged to ‘cover’ Megan Trainor’s ‘All About That Bass’. While Bob thought his tongue in cheek cover, complete with inspired tijuana brass style chorus, might get him into serious trouble the record company saw the potential and offered him a deal to cut a complete album of covers.
Recorded in Nashville in January 2015, Hits The Hits really shouldn’t work, but it’s quite brilliantly executed and can’t help but put a smile on your face, in much the same way as The Jolly Boys did with their reggae reinventions on Great Expectation (2010).
Bob Wayne doesn’t so much ‘hit the hits’ but smashes them. The ‘good time’ album of 2015. Marvellous fun. ****1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
Bob Wayne plays the Ramblin’ Man Fair, Maidstone, Kent on Saturday 25 July.
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