NEXT SHOW Sat. August 12, 2017! 7pm Continental Club.
Ted Roddy & The King Conjure Orchestra / Roger Wallace & The New Blue Moon Boys
Ted Roddy and The King Conjure Orchestra have paid tribute to The King (Elvis) at Austin’s Continental Club twice annually since 1986. Starting as a hoot night and evolving into a full-tilt rock-n-roll show experience Ted Roddy and crew (some of Austin’s finest musicians) have wowed audiences with their spot-on interpretations of Elvis’ musical legacy. No jumpsuits, no jokes just dynamite rock-n-roll a la King
Beyond the 30th Anniversary…
In August 1986, Teddy & The Talltops with special guest Charlie Sexton honored the music of Elvis Presley at The Continental Club to an audience of enthusiastic followers. The following summer more special guests sat in including Doug Sahm and Joe Ely. Soon the event evolved into it’s current form: An opening set by The New Blue Moon Boys (paying tribute to “the early” Elvis) and The King Conjure Orchestra rocking “the Vegas years”. Over the years, the show has packed the club with Elvis music devotees, twice a year (Birthday-January and Death Day- August). Special guests have included rockabilly trio’ High Noon, Stevie Vaughan Keyboardist’ Reese Wynans, Elvis’ 70’s bassist’ Duke Bardwell and 60’s English Pop sensation, P.J. Proby!. It is a South Austin tradition.
Here is what The Austin American Statesman wrote about The King Conjure Orchestra:
Much as early Christians divined redemption from Jesus’ darkest moments and serious Woody Allen fans find merit in “Another Woman,” Ted Roddy seeks, year after year, to celebrate Elvis Presley’s oft-denigrated Vegas period. At a packed Continental Club Friday night — the first of four shows over two days –Roddy’s King Conjure Orchestra insisted on treating this music not as rhinestone-laden kitsch for the large-hair set, but as music.
Roddy avoids any trappings of fat-Elvis mockery: no comic-book jumpsuit, no fake mutton chops, no accent when he’s not singing. It’s like watching Chevy Chase imitate Gerald Ford; it doesn’t matter that the artist doesn’t look like the character, so long as he nails his persona — or, in Roddy’s case, The Voice.
Roddy has Elvis’s singing style down cold, and his 10-piece band moves fluidly and energetically from rockabilly (“Return to Sender,” “Don’t Be Cruel”) to the near-showtunes (“My Way,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water”) that sullied Presley’s later work. And yes, they opened the 100-minute set by segueing “Thus Spake Zarathustra” into “See See Rider,” just as Elvis did back in the ’70s. But the set is not costumed tribute or a mockery. Roddy is in love with Presley’s work from the late ’60s, when the singer, then in his 30s, cut the Memphis-driven R&B he should have making all along.
It took a few songs for Roddy (and the audience) to warm up; “Burnin’ Love” and “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” were fine, but the band lit up when it hit the good stuff. Roddy is a fan of Mac Davis’ work for Elvis, giving the sappy “Don’t Cry Daddy” and “In the Ghetto” power and dignity. Later in the evening, a blistering, funky run at Davis’ “A Little Less Conversation,” got two waitresses to dance on the bar — one had already turned the crowd on, Ann-Margret style, during “Viva Las Vegas” — which in turn got the crowd moving. By the time Roddy closed with the one-two punch of “Suspicious Minds” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” the historical record had been fully revised.Happy birthday, E.
AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN -Joe Gross-2004
And this review from Greg Beets…
So you hate Elvis. So what? In a society haplessly addicted to the exploitation of fallen martyrs, hating Elvis is like being a junkie who hates heroin. When Elvis Death Day rolls around each year, it just doesn’t matter that the King’s ascendancy to the throne had as much to do with racism as talent and hard work did. Like the agnostic who begrudgingly takes part in Christmas festivities just to score presents, you might as well gather ’round the corpse each August 16 to peruse the kitschy accouterments of Elvisdom. If nothing else, it’s great ammunition. But all these pop sociological notions go right out the window when you see Ted Roddy saunter up to the Continental Club stage and deliver a one-two punch of “C.C. Rider” and “Burning Love.” Roddy’s Graceland Revue is a perfect demonstration why we love the Vegas Elvis in spite of ourselves: It’s a spectacular show. Dolled up in a hybrid of lounge singer and strip-club hawker, Roddy didn’t even need the rhinestone jumpsuit. By leaving glitter to the Ice Capades, the Graceland Revue illuminated the outstanding backup work of T.C.B. Band staples such as James Burton (played here by Brent Wilson) and Ronnie Tutt (Mas Palermo). Any consortium that can manage to make Elvis look coherent in the midst of a fried peanut butter and Percodan stupor can count on my vote. The Revue captured virtually every nuance of the Fat Elvis experience, from subtleties like the triangle part on “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” right down to obvious targets like Presley’s frequent bungling of lyrics and shouting at the band to play faster or slower in the middle of a song. Retched cheese like “American Trilogy” came off with all the faux patriotic muster it deserved, and the five-piece horn section (who had to stand still in a crowded quarter of the stage) did arranger Joe Guercio proud. As for Roddy, his renditions were as solid as any professional Elvis imitator and his gait was that of a celebrated prodigy who’d stopped giving a rat’s patoot years ago, but won screaming accolades in spite of himself. Which is to say he was a very convincing King indeed. – AUSTIN CHRONICLE Greg Beets
Ted Roddy & The King Conjure Orchestra’s Tribute to The King. celebrates their 31st Anniversary this summer at The Continental Club August 12, 2017. One 7pm show!
Be There Aloha!
In 2002 Ted Roddy & The King Conjure Orchestra released Channelin’ E , a concept recording featuring songs The King never did but might have, by classic songwriters of the day including Dan Penn, Dallas Frazier, Tom T. Hall, Bob Dylan, Burt Bacharach and more. Here is the King Conjure rendition of Dan Penn’s Nobody’s Fool…