by: Lonnie Donegan

Of the two late-'70s Lonnie Donegan albums produced by Adam Faith, Puttin' on the Style was the more celebrated, as it included guest contributions by numerous British rock stars. The other, Sundown, was far more low-key, yet a better record, if nothing to rival the hit recordings from the mid-'50s through the early '60s for which Donegan is most famous. Where Puttin' on the Style had tried to give his old material rock arrangements, Sundown simply had Donegan turning to a country- and cajun-oriented approach. Doug Kershaw, Albert Lee, and Jim Keltner were among the backup musicians, but it wasn't nearly as much a conscious, all-star affair as Puttin' on the Style. The material was mostly drawn from outside sources, including a couple writers (Lead Belly and John D. Loudermilk) whose material would have fit in well on the recordings from Donegan's peak years. More contemporary material was also on hand, however, from Kershaw, and the title track was a cover of the big Gordon Lightfoot hit. The album's nothing special, but it's competent, good-natured rootsy country with shades of rock (the version of Lead Belly's "All Out and Down" isn't far from the kind of sound the Hollies managed on "Long Cool Woman") and the skiffle with which Donegan made his name. ~ Richie Unterberger

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