.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/0bd2dcc895892e18a62df3e0fe1f8c37fbd94158.jpg Mean Old Man

Jerry Lee Lewis

Mean Old Man

Verve
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
September 7, 2010

Jerry Lee Lewis is the original, archetypal rock & roll rebel, and he's still pulverizing the piano keys more than half a century after he recorded "Great Balls of Fire." The terrific Mean Old Man — an even better "comeback" record than Lewis' acclaimed 2006 release Last Man Standing — follows the template of Johnny Cash's Rick Rubin-produced albums, setting Lewis loose on well-chosen standards and surrounding the legend with big-name fans. (Everyone from Eric Clapton, Merle Haggard and John Mayer to Sheryl Crow and Mavis Staples makes an appearance, along with three Rolling Stones and one Beatle.) Lewis rumbles through Stones chestnuts ("Dead Flowers," with Mick Jagger) and country classics ("Whiskey River," with Willie Nelson). His version of "Sweet Virginia," with Keith Richards, has a delicious swagger.

On the ferocious rave-up "Rockin' My Life Away," Lewis shows the decades-younger Kid Rock and Slash how to do it. But Lewis is at his best when he's left alone, delivering "Sunday Morning Coming Down" and the heart-rending "Miss the Mississippi and You" in a weather-beaten croak on the deluxe CD's bonus tracks. He sounds old, all right, but in the best way: This is the voice of a man who has seen, and done, it all.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “San Francisco Mabel Joy”

    Mickey Newbury | 1969

    A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com