The Boston Herald, Friday, October 18, 1985
Jamming With Hot Eddy
By James Daly
What is it that made a handful of crack studio musicians go on stage Wednesday night at Jonathan Swift's and jam with a rock guitarist who hasn't had a hit record in over 20 years? Well this guitarist wasn't just any ole' picker but Duane Eddy, a man who deserves credit for discovering both the latest tonal qualities and solo voice potential of the electric guitar in rock 'n' roll. And he's probably part of the reason these particular studio cats took up their instruments to begin with. Although Eddy's signature twangy instrumentals influenced everyone from the Ventures to Springsteen's guitar intro on “Born To Run”, many of his original recordings, particularly those layered with goopy strings, have not aged well and may have accounted for the less-than full house. Those who came expecting a nostalgic stroll down memory lane experienced instead some of the most vital and timeless music ever performed and were treated to a show that revealed in the meaty joy of uncomplicated rock 'n' roll. Eddy immediately put the bass-string bounce of his trade-mark
hollow-body guitar out front and used it like a singer uses his voice. The melodies were childishly simple, but the energy was undeniable. Eddy and Co. kicked into songs like “Peter Gunn,” Rebel Rouser,” “Some Kinda Earthquake,” and “Forty Miles of Bad Road” with a gusto that made it clear it was rock-out time. Many of the songs perfectly captured the feel of an era now two decades gone. The beach party energy of “Moovin' 'n' Groovin'“ was music Frankie and Annette would have given their eye teeth to twist to. And during the relaxed spirit of “The Lonely One” you could almost see Hoss, Little Joe and Ben Cartwright trotting into the sunset. The hard driving hit of the night was “Ramrod,” with hot guitarist Arlen Roth, saxman Ed Manion and veteran soul bassist Jerry Jemmott all punching into the song's wallop. The powerful “3:30 Blues” was also a pleasant surprise with some flashy licks from Eddy proving his knowledge of the guitar extends past the fifth fret. Duane Eddy proves rock does not have to be complicated to be potent. It just has to be good.