Roots Revolution

Tomato Records' "Roots Revolution: The Louisiana Hayride Recordings" is set for release the week of the Elvis anniversary. The radio show played an important part in Elvis's rise to fame. Now Tomato has digitally "restored" his earliest live recordings, with Elvis's voice and Scotty Moore's guitar sounding cleaner than in the rough radio transcriptions made between 1954 and 1956. But Bill Black's bass lines and Presley's rhythm guitar have been re-recorded, note for note, by contemporary musicians. The new Tomato collection features only nine music tracks. The others, according to label owner/producer Kevin Eggers, were distorted beyond redemption. "I'm for stuff like that, finding new uses," says Moore, 71 and still touring. "But they ought to check the union rules, pay us recording session scale. Unless they're going to pay me for it, tell 'em don't send me a copy." The bass lines were played by Paul Nowinski, who plays with Keith Richard and Les Paul and happens to be a huge Bill Black fan (Black, who left Elvis in 1958 over pay inequities, died in 1965). Elvis's acoustic rhythm guitar was doubled by Jon Paris, who's played with Johnny Winter. The band that appeared on "Hayride" was a trio; it's there that they hooked up with D.J. Fontana, the show's house drummer. Only one of the "Hayride" tracks featuring drums was salvageable; on that one, "Hound Dog," session drummer Steve Wolfe fills in for Fontana.
Source: Email / Updated: Jul 16, 2002 

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