Lovingly produced by ex-Blaster Dave Alvin, the HighTone debut of Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, Jumping From 6 to 6, clocks in at 16 tracks, which is either more bang for your buck or too much same old, depending on your taste for authentic reproduction. What separates this Orange County-based quintet from lesser rockabilly outfits is its superb musicianship and its relatively expansive musical view. Influences include all the usual Sun suspects–Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and of course Elvis–but Big Sandy and crew also veer righteously into Bob Wills western swing, Jackie Brenston rockin’ rhythm and blues, and country boogie a la Maddox Brothers and Rose. Many are called, but few are chosen, to pull off a Hank Williams song. Big Sandy, aka Robert Williams, digs into “Weary Blues From Waitin’,” and, buoyed by crying steel and thumping bass fiddle, comes up with a version that’s both lovely and understated. Elsewhere he applies his high, grainy voice to both classic covers and surprisingly vibrant originals. Sandy singsongily breathes “Yeah!” and “Uh-huh!” after particularly snappy, jazzy licks and steel-guitar Hawaiian fills. To the big guy’s credit, these Bob Wills-esque “comments” aren’t just retro rip-offs: they’re exactly what they were the first time around, timeless exhortations to get down and rock. Saturday, 9:30 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont; 281-4444.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lori Eanes.