The Upshot: 75-year old songwriting legend dips into a grab-bag of styles that ably display his many gifts.
BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
With a resume that encompasses legendary associations with the likes of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly’s Crickets, Kris Kristofferson and Jimmy Buffett, Buzz Cason could be considered something of a legend himself. He co-wrote the monster hit “Everlasting Love,” and his early ‘60s song “Soldier of Love” was even covered by the Beatles as part of their BBC sessions. But mention his name to most people and chances are you’ll be greeted with a blank stare.
Happily then, Record Machine should go a long way to rectifying that by bringing him the widespread attention he deserves. An homage to the joy of making music and the people responsible for it, the album finds Cason hewing through a variety of song styles, from the skiffle-like shuffle of “Don’t Worry Mama” and the steady thump of “Dodgin’ Bullets” to the chipper “Overload,” the driving “Wait On Your Love,” and the rousing rocker “Memphis Friday Night.” Cason tempers the material with a Dylanesque drawl, and on the song “Woe Is Me,” a tale of a frustrated songwriter with a head full of dreams and schemes, his delivery is as dark and despairing as the title implies.
Still, the most surprising offering of all comes in the form of “She Thinks I Still Care,” a Johnny Cash cover which finds Cason affecting a reggae-like lilt to brighten its otherwise sad sentiments. It’s nice to see that at age 75, with a lingering legacy he can still fall back on, Cason can still manage to get in a new groove.
DOWNLOAD: “Woe Is Me,” “She Thinks I Still Care,” “Don’t Worry Mama”