Jerry Lee Lewis, Budapest, 31.10.10
Jerry Lee Lewis, at the age of 75, is now on a short concert tour of Europe including Graz (Austria), Budapest (Hungary), Zurich (Switzerland), Antwerp (Belgium) and Amsterdam (Netherlands).
Also on the package, apart from his backing band which includes guitarist and one-time fiddle-player Kenneth Lovelace (with Lewis’s band for over 40 years), is Jerry’s piano-playing, singing sister Linda Gail Lewis and her daughter Annie Dolan, who also sings.
Jerry now sticks to a set-list of songs, few of them big hits although he’s had many of these mainly in the Country field. Linda Gail, however, performs some of the rock’n'roll songs associated with Jerry Lee which he never sings himself ‘live’. He does, of course, include his two biggest hits at the end of his shows – ‘Great Balls of Fire’ and ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’.
Both Jerry Lee and sister Linda Gail are great Country singers, and I personally feel it a great pity they don’t include more Country ballads in their shows nowadays. Part of the problem is that these were never popular in Europe, where much of their fan-base lies, especially in Linda Gail’s case.
It is also a shame that Linda does her part of the show completely separately from Jerry, and that they don’t perform at least one duet together. They had some hits with their duets in the past, and harmonize well.
However it’s something of a miracle, given his past life-style, that Jerry Lee is still alive and performing, and still recording albums. On this current tour he seems to be singing and playing better than for some years.
A favorite of mine from this current tour is ‘You Win Again’, the old Hank Williams number which Jerry got a gold record for when it hit the Country charts as the flip of ‘Great Balls of Fire’ back in the 1950s. He is now singing it complete with Hank’s second verse intact, which Jerry omitted on many ‘live’ versions in recent years.
The following stream can give you an idea of what Jerry’s current performance is like: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/10567475 (singing ‘Down The Line’, ‘You Win Again’ and ‘Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee’)
Linda Gail can be seen and heard singing more songs here, backed by the band Some Like It Hot: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/10566496