A Tony Wilkinson Review

DENNIS DORRITY Jr.
'Records Were Meant To Be Played'
Label & Catalogue Number: Not Stated
Playing Time 39.42 minutes -- No. of Tracks: 14 -- Booklet Pages: 4


Sincerely/Peace Of Mind/Please Write/Love Me/In The Still Of The Night/My Babe/Bring It On Home To Me/If You Want This Love of Mine/Darling Forever/Now That I Have You/So Hard To Laugh/Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye/Peace Of Mind (Acapella)/Love Me (Acapella).

In recent times, there has been a wealth of great talent breaking through on the rock 'n' roll scene. For example, there is J D McPherson for Chicago and Bo Walton from the UK, both of whom are joined by Dennis Dorrity Jr., a young man with an absolutely sensational singing voice. I first came across Dennis performing at the All Star DooWop Weekend Vol. 1X held at Hauppauge, Long Island, New York State in November 2011 and was blown away with the talent clearly being exhibited. Accordingly, I made it my business to acquire a copy of this CD under review.

This guy is a real find, a powerful and tuneful singing voice set against great production and arrangements from Johnny Gale (presumably the guy who plays lead guitar for Kenny Vance and The Planotones) and the engineering and mastering of Lou Gimenez. The combined efforts gel into a near perfect recording that focus on the softer side of rock 'n' roll but does start to cut loose on 'My Babe' with excellent harmonica support from Dennis Gruenling who also plays on the torch song arrangement of 'If You Want This Love Of Mine' which Dennis also handles with consummate ease. Eugene Pitt (of The Jive Five) duets with Dennis on the Sam Cooke standard 'Bring It In Home To Me' and the pair nail the song to near perfection.

There is a clear bias to doo wop singing on this collection and this really comes to fruition on 'Darling Forever', 'Please Write', 'Now That I Have You' and 'So Hard To Laugh'. The feel expressed in the lead and support vocals, along with the sparse backing instrumentation, really captures what is good about vocal group harmony. Then this is further nailed to perfection in the renditions by Dennis of the doo wop standards 'Sincerely', 'In The Still of The Night' and a powerhouse version of 'Peace Of Mind' that would have been really appreciated by Pookie Hudson and Gene Vincent. The last mentioned comes in two forms on the CD, one with musical backing and an acapella version nothing to choose between either, both are first rate. The same can be said of 'Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye' and 'Love Me'. On the last mentioned, also in two version, Dennis really gets under the feel of the song and delivers a standout performance. There you have it, a new CD by a new artist delivered in near perfection. This release will take a lot to beat in 2012, the standard has been set.

Tony Wilkinson
January 2012



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