I cannot even begin to explain the week I have had following and working with Jerry Lee Carlson.
From The Robin Hood Tavern, then two gigs at Murphy’s Irish Pub, both of which are in Pattaya, Thailand, I thought I had witnessed the best of Jerry but I was wrong.
Sure he put on three fantastic shows that had the audiences in awe of his talent and showmanship but there was more to come, for Jerry dropped the backing tracks and brought in a drummer, fellow Swede Hakan Nelson for the last two gigs in Pattaya.
I arrived at the Triangle Bar in central Pattaya an hour ahead of Jerry’s appearance and the venue was jam packed. It was standing room only!
I was worried because I did not think Jerry could better his performances at Murphy’s and with only a drummer to back him, this could have been so bad or so I thought.
But the pair did not disappoint. In fact they rocked the joint to its core.
People were stomping their feet. They were standing and clapping. Jerry even had them singing by themselves, following his lead.
He is billed as a Jerry Lee Lewis tribute act but he is so much more. He is an entertainer and one of the best I have ever witnessed.
The man is pure class. He oozes quality and knows how to capture an audience’s attention.
You could hear a pin drop between the notes of the keyboard and drum beats.
Jerry changed the format of the show completely, introducing songs not previously heard at other gigs. His repertoire is vast. Not only did he do Jerry Lee Lewis rock ‘n’ roll classics but he did Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Elvis and a fair bit of country music too.
The audience grew as time went on at The Triangle, yet how they squeezed into the bar still baffles me.
The following evening, Jerry and Hakan took their show to Jomtien, where they again had the venue jumping.
Every seat was taken and people were turned away as Tulip was bursting at the seams.
As soon as they began, people looked at each other in amazement, for they had not expected such a sound from two men on keyboard and drums. No backing tracks were used whatsoever.
Soon there were people dancing. One man was even simulating playing the piano on his table.
The staff joined in the fun, taking videos on their phones for I am sure they had never heard nor seen the likes of Jerry Carlson in their lives.
Chantilly Lace, Mean Woman Blues, Little Queenie, Good Golly Miss Molly, Blueberry Hill and many more rock ‘n’ roll masterpieces were played to perfection.
The second gig contained a lot of country ballads, which went down a treat with the older audience, many of whom were from Sweden, Norway or Denmark.
But it was the classics like Great Balls Of Fire and Whole Lotta Shakin’ that got everyone going. The sound was incredible.
I have seen a lot of bands in my time. I have witnessed great showmen. But I can honestly say that this is a top entertainer, who plays rock ‘n’ roll quite like no one else.
When he finished his encores, people stood up and wanted to shake his hand and have their photograph taken with him.
CDs were sold, postcards given away with his autograph on them and generally people left both venues singing the songs they had heard at the gigs.
Why this man has not played the UK yet is beyond me. Some of the promoters in the UK should sit up and take note. Get him there ASAP!!
You will not be disappointed.
Finally, a big thank you to all venues who looked after me during my time working with Jerry.
The Robin Hood and Murphy’s who provided drinks and food. The Tulip House who reserved a table for the entire entourage who travelled with Jerry and picked up our food and drinks bill at the end, and did so with a true appreciation of what had been witnessed.
I should give praise to Hakan Nelson, who played two excellent sessions on drums with very little rehearsal time and was the unsung hero over the final two events.
And to all the wonderful people whom I met along the road over the last week – thank you. I have had a ball.
Finally, Jerry Lee Carlson – I hope our paths cross again on a professional basis and as friends. I truly appreciate the opportunity that you and our hosts presented me with. An experience that will live with me for a long time.
Keep on rockin’