Just a couple of weeks on from discussing My Darling Clementine’s update on Dolly Parton’s classic Jolene this rockabilly songstress from Camden Town comes barrelling in with her take on the song with I Kissed Your Man (Jolene). While the Clementine’s are somewhat respectful Lil’ Lost Lou is sassy and defiant as she throws her siren like sensuality in Jolene’s face, revelling in her triumph. That the song is delivered with a loose and lissom garage band mash up of country and rockabilly merely adds to the thrills. It’s the second song in on this debut album from Lou Psyche (AKA Lil’ Lost Lou) and it’s testament to the quality on show here that it’s overshadowed by several of the other numbers on the disc.
Recorded in Nashville and London the album is an excellent ramble through the swampland of American roots music with country, rockabilly, Gospel and Western swing all reverbed up with a Sun Studios snap and crackle. There’s a whiff of The Cramps, Wanda Jackson, Ricky Nelson and Elvis riding in the grooves and at the end of the day Miss Lou knocks spots off the likes of Imelda May, the songs here packing a punch the likes of which the Irish rockabilly queen couldn’t ever manage.
Aside from the raunchy riposte to Jolene Lou dips into a voodoo vibe on He Put A Hook In Me (Bones, feathers, Black Book, Rabbit Foot) with its pummelling drum beat while Boy From The City races along as if it was in heat with hot rod telecaster breaks. Here Lou is backed vocally by the boys in the band sounding for all the world like a horny and drunk Gram and Emmylou. She inverts Hank Williams’ Ramblin’ Man with her swampy Ramblin’ Woman and Bad Boy comes across like Connie Stevens backed by some evil Brylcreem slicked rockers. There’s another rumble on the locomotive Brown Boots which is honky tonk as hell as if Thelma and Louise had hit out for music city.
Good as they are Lou’s swampabilly rockers are complemented by a brace of softer songs. The plaintive One And One Makes Two with its aching pedal steel and her vulnerable vocals just sublime while Red Is The Colour Of My Shame actually approaches the likes of Dolly Parton as Lou shines with a slight Appalachian lilt while the arrangement here is just perfect, the band so in tandem with her voice and the emotional push and pull of the song. Forget Imelda, dig this.