I fist saw Ian Calford & The Brakemen some years
ago at Notts Americana. The trio greatly impressed me with
their clear authentic rockabilly style that was so reminiscent
of the 1950's style that we could have actually been transported
back in time to those early days. Ian's father Cal Ford
was one of the early pioneers of British country music,
being known throughout Britain as the Welsh Johnny Cash.
Ian has continued his father's legacy of that early Johnny
Cash style, along with two talented musicians; "Luther"
Cummins on guitar and "Marshall" Stack on slap
bass, ideally emulating the Boom Chicka Boom sound of the
legendary Tennessee Two.
Goin' To Memphis is the end result from a trip to Tennessee
in October 2000, including Nashville and Memphis where Johnny
Cash started his recording career at Sun Records on Union
Avenue. 19 tracks are found here with the final 5 tracks
being recorded at Station Sound Studios, Burns, Tennessee.
The list of numbers included is just a terrific selection,
ideally chronicling the early career of Johnny Cash. Opening
we find Cash's own superb "Country Boy", followed
by the title track "Goin' To Memphis". More of
Cash's own sees "Katy Too" and "Locomotive",
"Give My love To Rose", "Country Trash"
and "Don't Take Your Guns To Town". Bob Dylan's
"Wanted Man" fits in well, as does "The Fable
Of Willie Brown". The neo-gospel styled "I Was
There When It Happened" finds something a little different
and "Cats In The Cradle" looks at the father and
son relationship and how we don't always take enough interest
in the things that should matter most.
Ian has a voice that fits perfectly with the authentic
rockabilly sound and with his co-conspirators The Brakemen,
can be found cranking out song after song, while at the
same time keeping their own identity without trying to imitate
the artistes of yesterday. Ian and the Brakemen have toured
with Tommy Cash and he is working towards bringing Tommy
back to our shores. Fans of Ian Calford & The Brakemen
include Sun Records legendary Sam Phillips, Johnny Cash's
first drummer W.S. Holland and the family of the late Carl
Goin' To Memphis is an album that takes us back to a
time 50 years ago, proving that the basic two guitars and
slap bass can create a sound that hits you right in the
middle of your very soul. Offering a well-blended range
of tempos, Goin' To Memphis is an album that any serious
country and rockabilly fan would be proud to have in his
collection. This is an excellent album not to be missed…..a
cracker to be found in your Christmas stocking.