Posted on 10/19/2011
Written by James Downing
Billy Burnette is a legend in the rockabilly field. In fact next month he will be inducted into the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame in Jackson, TN. He grew up in music and was playing live with his dad in the Rock And Roll Trio at a very early age. He has also played with some of the biggest names in music. Everyone from Bob Dylan to Fleetwood Mac to Roy Orbison to John Fogerty has been involved with Billy musically.
Concert Blast was invited to cover Billy Burnette’s CD release show for his new album “Rock & Roll With It”. A CD that is chocked full of the type of tunes that Billy’s fans love. Good ole rockabilly. I had always loved listening to Billy’s music but had never seen him live. I had heard that Billy’s shows were very good, full of energy and a lot of great music. Well, that is just what I got!!!
This show was attended by members of Nashville’s Roller Derby Team, The Nashville Roller Girls and Lady Fury, a member of the team, introduced him to a room full of Billy Burnette fans. The first song that he started with was the title track from the new CD “Rock & Roll With It”. When I first heard this song on the CD I thought it would be a great song to open up a live set with. Billy must have thought the same thing. A good upbeat rocking song with a touch of twang. This got the crowd’s attention and got the show off to a great start. People were gathering at the front of the stage dancing and having a great time.
Now as I had mentioned before, Billy had played with Fleetwood Mac. He was a member of the band for about 10 years. I really didn’t expect to hear him do any Fleetwood Mac songs so I was really surprised to hear the opening riffs of the next song. One of their very early hits “Oh Well”. This song has always been one of my favorite classic rock songs and I really loved hearing it. Especially with a little rockabilly flavor thrown into the mix. Billy reached into Elivs’ catalog of hits and pulled out “Big Hunk Of Love”. By now any audience members that were still seated was up on their feet as well.
Billy said hello and welcomed everyone to the show and broke into another song off his new album. This one is slower number called “Wrong One Right”. It was great seeing all the people in front of the stage slow dancing to this one.
Billy’s songs have been recorded by a lot of different artists over the years and his next song was one of those. A song that Greg Allman recorded, “Can’t Get Over You”. After this one, Billy introduced the members of the band and asked the crowd “How’s everyone doing out there?” He then broke into my favorite song off “Rock & Roll With It” with a song called “Hot Rod Hillbilly”. I am sure by the title of this song, you can tell it is a song done in the true rockabilly style that Billy is known for.
In the 60′s Billy family packed up and made the move from Memphis, TN to Los Angeles, CA. It was there that his dad and uncle, who were members of the band The Rock & Roll Trio, got involved with Ricky Nelson. His next song was one of the songs they wrote for Nelson called “I Believe”. The song turned into a mini jam with the members of the band and showcased their great sound. “Lonesome Train”, which was a hit for The Rock & Roll Trio, was Billy’s next number and it sounded really good.
Nashville songwriter and singer Shawn Camp, who Billy recorded an album with in 2006, joined the band on stage for the next song, another new one, “My Love Will Not Change”. The next song was another surprise to me. Billy said “I was in this little band a few years ago. You might know this song.” It was great to get to hear him do another Fleetwood Mac classic, “Don’t Stop”. He did it again in true Fleetwood Mac style with just enough rockabilly thrown in. I loved it!!!
After and few announcements from the stage by another member of the stage the band broke into another one of his dad and uncle’s song, a rocking one, “Tear It Up”. This song ended the set and Billy and the band members walked off stage. After a few minutes of the crowd screaming for more, they returned to the stage. This song was my favorite of the night. The huge Elvis hit from the late 1950′s “Jailhouse Rock.” The crowd was dancing and singing along to this classic song. At the end of the song Billy said “No night would be complete without a little E(lvis)” and added “This next one is a song that my dad wrote for the great Rick Nelson” and broke into “It’s Late” much to the approval of the crowd. It was late and this was the final song. Billy thanked everyone for coming out and walked off the stage for the last time of the night.
Like I said earlier, I had never seen Billy Burnette live (as a solo performer) but I had always wanted to. The thing I loved about this show is I knew every song. A lot of the songs he did were big hits that he had wrote for other artists or songs that he had been involved with in one way or another. The crowd was really into the band and you could feel the appreciation coming from the stage. Because of the song choices and the energy of the band I am going to give this show a good solid 10 on the Concert Blast Scale. It was a lot of fun and included a lot of songs that you couldn’t help but sing along to.
I would like to say a big thank you to Darenda Owens for inviting Concert Blast and giving me the opportunity to review this show.
Written by James Downing
Ever Seen Billy Burnette In Concert?
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Tags: 3rd and Lindsley, Billy Burnette, blog, Bob Dylan, concert blast, concert review, Darenda Owens, Elvis Presley, Fleetwood Mac, Greg Allman, James Downing, John Fogerty, Nashville, Ricky Nelson, Rock and Roll Trio, Rock and Roll With It, Roy Orbison, TN