Man, is this stuff great! So why don't you already have this in your collection? Perhaps you haven't heard of it yet, or perhaps you've just heard of Don & Dewey
-- a pair of high school friends who started performing as a duo after playing in the Squires
together -- who recorded many sides for Specialty Records in the late 50s. They never had hits on their own, but they wrote and recorded songs that others brought to the charts, including the Sonny Bono
-penned "Koko Joe," and the originals "Big Boy Pete," "Jungle Hop," and the perennial garage rock classic "Farmer John." That alone suggests that they were first-rate songwriters, but their talents run deep; these may be the standouts, but their other singles and the songs not issued until this 1991 collection are uniformly excellent. And that's just one side of the group. Just as importantly, they were dynamite musicians, rocking hard (Dewey Terry
played a mean
guitar, and Don "Sugarcane" Harris
wasn't a slouch himself on the instrument, though his violin talents weren't fully appreciated here.) Supported by the Specialty house band (the same band that played on Little Richard
's records) and singing delirious tag-team vocals make this sound insanely alive with life. There isn't a bad track here; and even if they didn't have hits and are still a cult item, they left behind a hell of a legacy, as evidenced by this necessary disc.