Every so often Danny and the Fat Boys, a quartet that officially disbanded six years ago, get together again and give the hometown crowd a reason to rock. Saturday night at the sprawling Wax Museum, the band confronted a larger audience than usual, but the response was the same: Rockabilly fever was rampant.
The group's drawing card has always been Danny Gatton's reputation as a walking compendium of country and rock guitar licks. Gatton may not show much emotion or even movement on stage, but his guitar smokes. Notes were bent, slid, choked or simply popped into place on a number of pieces designed to showcase his dazzling speed and dexterity.
When he wasn't holding the audience's attention, bassist and vocalist Billy Hancock was. On several tunes, including Elvis' "Mystery Train," the pompadoured Hancock proved again that he's one of the few rockabilly singers working today whose delivery is free of affectation and insincerity.
The show was also a dancer's delight, with drummer Dave Elliot and bassist Hancock pounding away incessantly on R & B chestnuts like "Don't Let Go." Additional momentum came from saxophonist Ralph Duffy, whose playing gave the ballads a lyrical lift and buzz-sawed through the choppier rhythms of "The House of Blue Lights."