Album, Single and EP Reviews



  The Uptown Poker Club by Jerry Reed

The Uptown Poker Club cover art

Artist: Jerry Reed
Title: The Uptown Poker Club
Catalogue Number: RCA AFLI0356
Review Format: LP
Release Year: 1974

The Vinyl Vault is chock full of class music and legendary albums. As Bluesbunny was feeling a little bit country, we decided that it was time for a bit of Jerry Reed. This album - released in 1974 - represents Jerry at his best with a good-natured, laidback feel to the songs and his trademark finger picking style.

Produced by Jerry and legendary Chet Atkins, you get that kind of song that appeals to your ordinary Joe. Not a criticism as we all need something to play in our pick up truck or our Transam, after all.  Perhaps that is something that has been lost as the country music of today conveniently forgets its roots. The good songs still get written but the ones that get the publicity could be rock or pop songs if you took off the pedal steel. Back then though, good ole boys knew what they liked coming out of the old 8 track. The title track rattles away nicely with Jerry's gruff vocals keeping the story going with the flow. Denim shirts and sideburns abound in "Lay It on My Lady" as the Nashville music machine gets up to speed." Nobody" is a right stormer and an ideal accompaniment to that special sort of misadventure that comes with excessive amounts of alcohol. "Travelin' Music" sounds like it is coming from an old 78 at some midnight bound travelling medicine show. It would almost be cheesy if it were not for the excellence of the musicianship on show.

A common theme to this album is that there are stories to the songs (that's how they did things on Nashville in those days) and, unusually for its time, it even has some damn fine instrumental tracks. Jerry Reed knew his way round a fretboard of course but big record companies like formulas (now as well as then…).

A quick rummage about the Internet thingy suggests that this album is not currently available even on CD. Best bet is to get on EBay, hunt it down and then dig out that old turntable. Made in 1974 and it still sounds great!
Review Date: June 13 2008