This is your daddy's — maybe your granddaddy's — rock 'n' roll. And that's a good thing. Reliable, sturdy and as much fun as a '56 Chevy, this is the rockabilly that Grandma and Grandpa danced to before you were a glint in anybody's eye: songs so familiar you can't remember when you didn't know them, mostly rockers, some original Billy Mack gems, and the occasional ballad like the ones the walls of the Tea Room are accustomed to reflecting.
They close the night with "What a Wonderful World," complete with Billy's very credible Louis Armstrong imitation on the bridge, and heartfelt and genuine the rest of the way. The whole crowd sings along. We've been smiling for hours. We've temporarily forgotten about the slumping Michigan economy, the war in Iraq, and global warming. Billy and the JJJs encore with "Give Me Something to Remember You By." They already have.
Billy Mack and the Juke Joint Johnnies return to Crazy Wisdom on Friday, April 4.
[Review published April 2008]