Jerry Lee Lewis – Young Blood – Review

Jerry Lee Lewis

Young Blood (Sire)
by Jon Sarre

“There’s only been four of us. Al Jolson, Jimmie Rogers, Hank Williams, and Jerry Lee Lewis. That’s your only four fuckin’ stylists that ever lived.” – Jerry Lee Lewis

The only living member of that elite group returns from the dead air of Oldies Radio with a new record that proves the above quote is no idle boast. He’s still the grinning, wayward country boy who cut “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On” at Sun Studio, but now he’s heavier, both in physical terms and in the aura of sheer Old Testament meanness, which is the older Killer’s stock and trade.

He plays on the pros and cons of his Faustian deal with the album’s first cut, “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.” Hank Williams wrote this song, but you’d swear it’s about Jerry Lee; he owns this song: Swaggering through it, summing up his career (dead ex-wives and all) and then thumbing his nose at Old Scratch. He never lets up either, running through country ballads, rock and roll numbers, and piano-pumping boogie-woogie from the cream of the crop of 20th century American songwriters: Williams, Pete Seeger, Bill Haley, Leiber and Stoller, Doc Pomus and Huey “Piano” Smith. The Devil may be closing in, but the Killer can still rock like nobody else.