Kentucky Headhunters – “Live / Agora Ballroom – Cleveland, Ohio May 13, 1990”

Put on your rock and roll shoes for the Kentucky Headhunters’ adrenaline laced, treadmills paced, and blues-based new release from the Mercury Records vaults, Authorized Bootleg, Live at The Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio, May 13, 1990. This fine CD has 16 songs, which marks a 20-year band career life, makes an hour pass away too quickly.

The band has double barrel shotgun blast which emanates from two sets of brothers, Fred Young on drums, with brother Richard Young playing a rhythm guitar. Then, paired-up, are the brothers Ricky Lee Phelps on guitar and harp, and Doug Phelps providing the bass guitar. Greg Martin is the catalyst on lead guitars. The satisfying result is an audio snapshot from the quintet whom share vocal duties.

The Hank Williams classics tune, “Honky Tonk Blues,” kicks-off the disk with a full blown blues rock treatment delivered in a fast tempo. The quick gait of the Don Williams country music standard, “Oh Lonesome Me,” is flat out terrific. Easily enjoyable is “Some Folks Like to Steal,” written by Richard & Greg Martin, and Fred Young, a very humourous blues selection about relationships which gives us a smirk. You immediately believe this tale could have been written by Elvin Bishop or the satirical style of Rick Estrin.

“She’s About A Mover,” comes via the pen of Texas legend Doug Sahm. In tribute to the bluegrass state, is a version of the Bill Monroe and Jake Landers selection, “Walk Softly On This Heart Of Mine.” “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” by Larry Williams, is an updated version of the oldies’ classic. Inclusion of the historic mile-marker standard, “Crossroads,” from blues music icon Robert Johnson, gives further weight to a set of heavy hitting songs.

In addition, “Take Me Back/Old Kentucky Home,” is respectfully redone without any tarnish. It reinvigorates the Kentucky state song, originally published in 1853 by Stephen Foster, in classic, yet contemporary, great Southern style. “Spirit in the Sky,” the 1969 Norman Greenbaum rock and roll gospel song, is a well-known surprise encore on the disk.

This live release embodies the sage stage adage – always leave the audience wanting more. The song selections outline the boundless energy of the bands outside of the box outlook. Hopefully, this archive is deep, so we can all enjoy more Kentucky Headhunter lively fun soon.

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