Even now, some 40 years after making his mark as a rockabilly pioneer, Vernon Taylor can still rip it up. The Maryland native, who appeared frequently on the Washington-based "Don Owens Jamboree" TV show in the late '50s, has returned to the recording studio in fine, Sun-drenched form.
"Daddy's Rockin' " offers a brief glimpse of Taylor's early days, thanks to the inclusion of his 1958 recording of his best known hit, "Your Lovin' Man." His voice pulsating like an electric current over a shuffling rhythm, he sounds like a rockabilly cat with an exceedingly bright future.
Of course, things didn't work out that way. Taylor quit the music business in 1967 and maintained a low profile for the next 20 years before resurfacing a decade ago. But "Daddy's Rockin' " helps make up for at least some of the lost time by giving Taylor a chance to revisit the days when he recorded for Sun Records. While the songs are mostly a familiar mix of rockabilly, rock and country tunes -- "Big River," "Early in the Morning," and "The Fool," among others -- Taylor delivers them with plenty of energy and emotion, like a man who knows that second chances don't come along every day. "Daddy's Rockin' " has other virtues -- the music rings with guitar riffs that echo Scotty Moore, Chuck Berry and Luther Perkins, to name a few -- but nothing is more entertaining or gratifying than hearing Taylor reclaim his place in rockabilly lore.
Appearing Saturday at Paddy Mac's.
To hear a free Sound Bite from Vernon Taylor, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8125. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)