Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

Star Mountain Dreamers

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S

star mountain dreamersThe Star Mountain Dreamers – Greetings from El Paso


Uranium Rock Records UR-104 [2005]

Rhythm Bomb RBR5628 [2018]
Used To Be My Woman – Hound Like Me – Sippin’ Syrup – Where’ve You Been? – Devil Moon – Can’t Catch & Handle – Texas Rose – She Drives Me High – You Send Me To Heaven – Where’d You Learn Them Things? – Rockin’ Bandit – Tu Corazón.
The fine folks at Rhythm Bomb records had the good idea to reissue the Star Mountain Dreamers.
The Star Mountain Dreamers are a californian chicano band who delivers a frantic brand of rockabilly with guts and nuts : A «no time to spare» music that will hit you right in the middle of your stomach like an uppercut and will let you groggy. Tony howls and growls like a beast, Danny hammers his drums like a blacksmith, Fred makes his guitar sometimes purr then hiccough and vomit a hellfire spurt of notes while Lloyd (the rockin’ Lloyd Tripp!) copulates like a frenzy with his double bass. I’m over emphasizing? Not at all, my dear; the first title «Used to be my Woman» will give you a brief survey to what I’m saying. Wait a minute, don’t stop listening to your recorder, there’s more to come. «Hound Like Me» is devastating and will take the shit out of you!! To cure your ill, here’s some «Sippin’ Syrup» but it won’t help you at all: you’re definitely an «SMD» junkie wantin’ more and more. And these guys are gonna give you what you’re waitin’for till you’re gasping for breath. Even when you think you’re gonna find some rest («Can’t Catch and Handle») they’re gonna fool you and you’ll find yourself jumpin’ around like a crazy jack- in the- box. They’ll «drive you high» and «send you to heaven» and you’ll ask yourself «Where’d they learn them things?». I tell you, these guys are real «rockin’ bandits»(ten bucks for the bloke who find the trick!). No doubt about it folks: that first album is the real thing!
David “Long Tall” Phisel

The Rockabilly express #1

in News

The Rockabilly express is a brand new column to keep you posted about the latest news in the Rockabilly world, the latest releases and the latest things you’ll find on this website. 

On August 4, we were very sad to hear the passing of the Lawrencine May Collins best known by the Rockabilly fans as Lorrie Collins. She formed with her brother Larry one of the most exciting acts of the Fifties, the Collins Kids. They performed again together in the 90’s and proved to the younger generation that they were still kids in their mind.
The Collins Kids stuff is available on Bear Family.

We took a much deserved break to rest but now we’re back. We recently added some new stuff to the website and will do more in the near future.
Here are the latest reviews:
– Memphis Rockabilly Band – Betty Jean
– Restless – Live In Tokyo
– The Wild Ones – Feelin’ Good (single)
– Kim Lenz – Percolate (single)
– The Sure Shots – Four to the Bar
– Mouse Zinn – The Embassy recordings
– The Ridgetop Westernaires – single

We still have many albums to review, so if you sent us stuff and it doesn’t appear here, it’s just a question of time.

Rhythm Bomb/Rockstar records have plenty of new releases scheduled for the forthcoming months. Look at that!
August 15th (CDs only)
CT Ian Cal Ford  Wood & Wire
CT Tom Cat & The Zodiacs Train Of Life
 
September, 15th (CDs only)
5891 Rob Ryan Roadshow Comin Home
5892 The Hoodoo Tones Here To Stay
5893 Shaun Young & The Three Ringers Movin
5894 Hymn For Her Pop-N-Downers
5895 Ruzz Guitar’s Blues Revue The Heister
KM-CD-12 VA Holy Smoke
KM-CD-13 VA Voodoo Lou
KM-CD-14 VA Wild Life
 
November, 15th (vinyl only)
5939 Slapback Johnny Hit Me Up 12inch
5940 Cat Lee King and his Cocks Cock Tales 12inch
KM-LP-101 VA Too Much Booze 12inch
KM-LP-102 VA Bad Hangover 12inch
KM-EP-101 Gene & Eunice 7inch
KM-EP-102 Johnny Guitar Watson 7inch
KM-EP-103 Larry Williams 7inch
KM-EP-104 Joe Tex 7inch
KM-EP-105 Andre Williams 7inch
 
work in progress, but probably not released before January 2019
5938 Vince and The Sunboppers By Request 10inch
5941 Lily Moe & The Rock-A-Tones 12inch
5942 Billie and The Kids Soulful Woman 12inch
5943 Hymn For Her Pop-N-Downers LP 12inch
KM-LP-103 VA Walkin’ Girl 12inch
KM-LP-104 VA Guitar 2 12inch
5898 Bonita & The Blues Shacks new release CD
5899 Nico Duportal new release CD



Memphis Rockabilly Band (the)

in Albums/Contemporary artists/MN/Reviews
the memphis rockabilly band - Betty Jean

The Memphis Rockabilly Band – Betty Jean

Blind Pig Records BP2186 [1986] 
Cant You See – Betty Jean – I Don’t Care Tonite – I Cried a Tear – Rio Grande Moon – I Gotta Go – Pleated Pants – Mean Like Betty jean – Take It Slow – Stay With Me – Keep Me Waiting

The Memphis Rockabilly Band released this album in 1986. But Betty Jean is not really an album but a collection of démos and various recordings from different origins and line-ups of the band.
Jeff Spencer said about it “Blind Pig didn’t pay for us to record. They mostly just took our demo tapes and some older stuff and made an album. I never cared much about it.” This partly explains why the result is uneven in term of quality and sound. Of course Spencer’s voice shines throughout and Bill Coover is a guitar ace but the final result lacks of homogeneity.

There’s some interesting foray into latin (Rio Grande Moon) and country music (Stay With Me with a pedal steel). One will also find some very good rockabilly like Pleated Pants, Mean Like Betty Jean, I Gotta Go or Keep Me Waitin with piano and sax. But the remaining tracks are either average material like Take It Slow or the title track or wasted by the poor production. And the cover design doesn’t really help either.

More infos about the Memphis Rockabilly Band

Sureshots (the)

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S
The Sureshots - Four to the Bar
The Sureshots – Four to the Bar

Sureshots (the) – Four to the Bar

ID Records – NOSE 16 [1987] / Reissue Raucous Records RAUCD 212 [2007]
Four To The Bar – I’m On Fire – Right Behind You Baby – Am I Blue? – I’m Uneasy – No Show Dole Cheque Blues – What I Got For You – China Town – Little Pig – Broken Heart – Wanna Know – True Love

Four to the Bar is one of those album that changes the face of Rockabilly back in the mid 80’s. The Sureshots were at the time of this recording Gary Allen on vocals, Joe Guillan on guitar, Colin Mee on drums and Pete Hardy on double bass. They recorded this album in 1987. Produced by Pete Gage who also worked with Restless, Fractured, Frenzy and later Rusti Steel, and the Rattlers, it became an instant classic.

It opens witht Four to the Bar, the title track, penned by Allen, a highly melodic tune with a strong jazz feel, courtesy of Guillan’s amazing guitar solo.
I’m On Fire, not the Springsteen tune but another original by drummer Colin Mee, is a hot blues bopper in the same vein than Sure Like the Look in your Eyes by Red Hot’n’Blue.
Their cover of Right Behing You Baby, made popular by Ray Smith is pure Rockabilly gold. It also shows Guillan’s versatility, this time you can hear him in fiull Cliff Gallup mode.
Their version of Am I Blue is modeled around Cochran’s version though slighlty (too much?) faster. They calm down with the jazzy ballad I’m Uneasy co-written by Allen and Guillan. Allen is equally at ease with cool stuff than he is with mean number or hot boppin’ rockabilly like What I got for you. Truly a great singer.
Chinatown, the old jazz standard is another guitar tour de force. After a short intro and one verse that sounds as a launch pad, Guillan jumps into three amazing and inventive solos. The production serves the song well with a solid work on the rhythm section and the acoustic guitar.
Back to solid Rockabilly with Little Pig (Dale hawkins and later Buzz and the Flyers and the Polecats) and the Moonlighters’ Broken Heart. After all these years and to my ears, the Sureshots still hold the title of best cover of this song, despite many attemps by other bands. Mee’s Wanna Know brings a bit of Diddley beat and Perkins’ Your True Love concludes the album in beauty.
The cd reissue by Raucous records features No Show Dole Cheque Blues as a bonus, a Rockabilly / blues number recorded for the compilation album the James Dean of the Dole Queue.

Ridgetop Westernaires (the)

in Contemporary artists/R/Reviews/Singles

Ridgetop WesternairesRidgetop Westernaires (the)

Lookin’ For Better Days / Johnson City
Jet Tone – JET 102 [1996]

I first believed that the Ridgetop westernaires single was one of the very first recording made by Wayne ‘the train’ Hancock but considering the release date, 1996, this is more likely a side project (Wayne’s debut album being released in 1995.)
The Ridgetop Westernaires consisted of Wayne Hancock, Kevin Smith on double bass, Shaun Young on drums (who also recorded it at his own Jet Tone studio), Chris Miller on steel and Todd Wulfmeyer on guitar (in other words the Jet Tone Boys). All the ingredients of Hancock’s music are here and the musicians are top notch as youcan guess. One can even hear a drum solo which is not usual in Hancock’s music. Both songs will later be re-recorded on later albums. Lookin’ for better days will appear on Wild Free and Reckless and Johnson City on That’s What Daddy Wants still with Miller on steel.

Mouse Zinn

in Albums/Contemporary artists/MN/Reviews/UVWXYZ

Mouse ZinnMouse Zinn – The Embassy Recordings


Foot Tapping Records – FT172  [2017]

Time Is Going By – That’s The Way – In Thoughts Of You – Searchin’ – Bar Hoppin’ Baby – Shush Don’t Tell ‘Em – Jealous Guy – Folkstone Skies – I’ve Waited So Long – Mooshataino – One Thing I Ain’t Got – Don’t Need No Star In Heaven

Is it still necessary to introduce Mouse? Well for the youngest: Mouse Zinn is the man behind Red Hot’n’Blue, the space Cadets and Switchblade. As you can see his name alone is enough to stir interest of any decent Rockabilly fan. And if I tell you that he recorded this album with none others than Darrel Higham on guitar, David Doel on double bass and Gordon Doel on drums (both from the extraordinary Doel Brothers) I can feel the excitment in your ears and in your feet. Having said that, I could almost stop my review here… but I’m a professional and I’m going to tell you a little bit more.
While Vigilante man, his previous solo album, covered many different styles, this one focuses on what Mouse Zinn does best: Rock’n’roll and Rockabilly. Three songs are penned by the singer, including the excellent “Shush Don’t Tell Em” that has a slight Gene Vincent feel and a new version of “Something I Ain’t Got” previously recorded by Red Hot’n’Blue on Ain’t Gonna Stop.
Higham contributed the desperate rocker That’s the Way and Gordon and Dave Doel added three more originals.
The remaining five songs are covers from the catalogs of Whitey Gallagher, Joe Fury, Jimmy Driftwood, Eddie Cochran (a rockin’ version of I’ve waited So Long) and… John Lennon (which is not that surprising after all, considering that Mouse and Switchblade already covered the Fab Four.)
After all these years, Mouse proves that he still has it and I would be more than pleased to hear another batch of tune from him with the same backing band.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Mouse Zinn

 

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