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Going through the motions

Nothin' But the Truth
Nothin' But the Truth
By Sleepy LaBeef

Rounder Records: 1987

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This review first appeared in the April 8, 1988 issue of the San Diego Evening Tribune.

Rockabilly pioneer Sleepy LaBeef has a reputation for putting on a hot live show. Over the years, he's also gotten a rap for releasing albums that fail to capture the spirit of his shows. His latest effort, "Nothin' But the Truth," was recording during a live performance in an attempt to correct this situation.

Those who haven't seen LaBeef live, though, are likely to conclude from this album that he has again failed to produce an album that does him justice or his reputation his grossly inflated.

The song selection is outstanding; it's hard to lose with tunes like "Let's Talk About Us," "Tore Up Over You," "Ring of Fire" and a medley of "Jambalaya," "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Hey Good Looking."

Yet throughout these songs and more, LaBeef seems to be merely going through the motions.

Here's hoping both that his reputation is deserved, and that someday he releases an album that captures his full glory.