Last Man Standing

Jerry Lee Lewis

Artist Firt, 2006



Did Jerry Lee Lewis get better with age? The answer is yes.

I was listening to Uncle Lar (Larry Lujack) & Lil'Tommy (Tommy Edwards) show on the then-Real Oldies AM 1960 on the way to work, and Larry mentioned that Jerry Lee had a new album coming out later in the year. He mentioned that Jerry Lee would be getting a lot of help from many well-known and talented stars, and though no songlist was available at the time, I was ready for it since Jerry Lee is one of my favorites.

I figured the track list would be Lewis remakes, but it turns out they're remakes of songs by the numerous guest stars on this album. And what a list it is! Each of these 21 songs includes a different star, with names such as Jimmy Page, B.B. King, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger & Ronnie Wood, Neil Young, Ringo Starr, Kid Rock, Toby Keith and Kris Kristofferson. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Each song has the Jerry Lee Lewis style -- whether it be the boogie-woogie piano or one of those slow easy-styled piano driven tunes that he's famous for. It's interesting to listen to a version of Led Zeppelin's "Rock And Roll" in the boogie woogie style, which turns out to be a better fit on Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac." Another highlight is the great early blues of "Evening Gown," featuring Jagger and Wood and sounding like an outtake from the Stones' Some Girls.

You gotta love that piano on "You Don't Have To Go" with Neil Young, while Robbie Robertston stops by for the Band's "Twilight," making it sounds like the Band never broke up and instead replaced their keyboardist with Lewis. John Fogerty helps out with a rocking version of "Travelin' Band" and Keith Richards plays on "That Kind of Fool," which has a similar sound to Lewis' songs that made it to the country charts back in the '70s.

The covers of "Honky Tonk Woman" with Kid Rock and "What's Made Milwaukee Famous" with Rod Stewart are the low points, they they're nothing to complain about, just not standouts. They're redeemed by "Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Age," and you can actually visualize Lewis and George Jones in a smoky bar, two old veterans doing what they do best. Also, Willie Nelson's "A Couple More Years" and Toby Keith's guesting on "Old Glory" are great as well, in addition to "Trouble In Mind," featuring some stellar guitar by Eric Clapton. Even Little Richard brings his trademark to a great cover of "I Saw Her Standing There."

Last Man Standing proves age is not a factor in being able to rock. Lewis shines on his vocal solos, less so on the duets, but overall this is a very entertaining album. It's good to hear one of the founding fathers of rock return to the studio.

Rating: A

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© 2006 Eric E5S16 and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Artist Firt, and is used for informational purposes only.