Music News

Eddie Clendening

An anachronism but no mere mimic, Eddie Clendening fills the bill of '50s-era teen idol a half-century after Elvis got his big break. Clendening's full-length debut, The Rage of the Teen-Age, features the youthful frontman backed by three separate combos (including Deke Dickerson on three tracks), strumming a mean rhythm guitar and belting out double entendre and teenage angst in equal measure. Running the gamut of the styles that merged to become rock and roll, the songs include a lively cover of "Mess Around," as well as original material that hits the vintage gazing mark more often than not -- highlights include "Bop My Blues Away," delivered with a hint of menace, and the anxious "Don't Make Me Wait." Clendening stands out in the rockabilly-revivalist crowd by offering an homage that's direct and honest without veering into the territory of overcooked parody. While he might curl his lip like the King on the record's cover, Clendening's performance sounds more lived-in than ripped off (www.eddieclendening.com).
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Eric Peterson