Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

Monthly archive

January 2015

The Rockats (2)

in Profiles

Country: Holland
Genre: Psychobilly

Martijn Spanteren: guitar, vocals
Arjan de Witt: electric bass, vocals
Jottum: drums
Remko Visser: drums

The Rockats, not to be confused with the famous American neo-rockabilly band, were a psychobilly trio from Amsterdam. They formed in November 1987 and in May of the following year they recorded their first album “The first Take Off” for Tombstone Records. It contains some good songs but the global sound is a bit “young”. One year later they released “Keep On Turning”, still on Tombstone, with their new drummer Remko Visser. “The Last Crusade”, their third and last album appeared in 1990 showing a slight change in the sound with more agressive melodies and metal influences.
After the band split, Remko Visser remained active, playing with Asmodeus.

The First Take Off ‎- Tombstone Records Tomb-Disc 671 (1988)
Keep On Turning ‎- Tombstone Records Tomb-Disc 675 (1989)
The Last Crusade – Tombstone Records Tomb-disc 687 (1990)

Jive Bombers (the)

in Albums/Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews
The Jive Bombers - Hit the deck, it's...
The Jive Bombers – Hit the deck, it’s…

The Jive Bombers – Hit the Deck! It’s… the Jive Bombers

Texas Jamboree TexJam0068  [1999]
Whirlin’ – Walk the Chalk Line – Home Cooking – Daddy Likes to Mambo – Misunderstood – I Don’t Believe – Each Day – The Wine Goes in (And the Truth Comes Out) – Gotta Gimme What’cha Got – Oh, What a Dream – Walkin’ Slippin’ and Slidin’ – The Hucklebuck – Travelin’ Baby – Missouri Pacific on Santa Fe – Beat on the Boogie

The Austin based Jive Bombers formed in Fall 1997 on the ashes of the Big Town Swingtet. They consisted of Dana Dattalo (Jubilettes) on vocals, Vance Hazen on bass, Bobby Horton (Horton Brothers, Deke Dickerson…) on guitar, T.D. Motycka (Nick Curran) on saxes, Derek Peterson (Kidd Pharaoh) on piano, and Shaun Young (High Noon) on drums and vocals and they played post-world war II jump and jive and hot rockin’ rhythm’n’blues. Dattalo has a superb and powerful voice that suits that genre perfectly and Shaun Young sings a couple too, including some duets with her. Billy Horton produced it at Fort Horton, so you can expect warm and vintage sound.
They covered songs from Julia Lee, Ruth Brown, Buddy Johnson, Ann Cole but have solid originals mostly written by Young. Most of this songs has a strong dancefloor appeal and are sure to make you move your feet.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Jive Bombers (Shaun Young, Dana Dattalo, Bobby Horton, Derek Peterson, Vance Hazen, Murph Motycka)
The Jive Bombers (Shaun Young, Dana Dattalo, Bobby Horton, Derek Peterson, Vance Hazen, Murph Motycka)

The Planet Rockers – Return of the Planet Rockers

in Albums/Contemporary artists/OPQ/Reviews

planetrockersWitchcraft WCILP/CD 106 {2014}
Saturday Night In Oak Grove – Stranger Dressed In Black – Snakebit – Showdow – Heavy On My Mind – Moon Over Memphis – Man Whitout A Star – Voodoo Woman – Whatcha Gonna Do – Jenny Lee – Hold On – Dateless Night – Long Gone Daddy – Sinnerman – Southwind – Indian Giver – Nashville Woman

The Planet Rockers are back!  The original line-up: Sonny George and his deep voice, Eddie Angel with his sharp riffs and one of the best rhythm section in activity, Mark Winchester and Bill “Thunder” Swartz respectively on double bass and drums.
When you listen to this rockin’ platter you wouldn’t believe that 20 years have passed since the four of them recorded theit last album together. they sound as fresh and powerful as yesterday. No they’re even more powerful.
Recorded in Memphis, Tennessee at Sam Phillips recordings, this brand new album finds them mixing swamp blues, rockabilly, country rock, rock’n’roll to create their own Planet Rockers style with songs borrowed from the catalog of Cordell Jackson, Hayden Thompson, Tony Joe White, Frankie Laine, Jerry Reed, Dale Hawkins, Simon Stokes and the Nighthawk and more surprising Electric Light Orchestra. The lack of originals (only two, one by Eddie Angel, an instrumental, and another one by Mark Winchester)  is not a problem for once these four men play a song it becomes instantly a Planet Rockers song.
With that album, the Planet Rockers are back to the one and only place they deserve, the top! Welcome back, guys, we missed ya a lot and don’t make us wait too long for the next one!

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Tiger Men (the)

in Profiles

Tiger Men 1

Michel Texier aka Texas : vocals / guitar
Thierry Dupuis : doublebass
Saki : guitar
Gilbert : drums

The Tiger Men formed in the second half of the 80’s in Belgium with well known name on the local scene coming from the Red Monkeys and the Swampy’s. They recorded one album (“Tiger Men”) for Kix4u. It consists of a majority of up-tempo neo rockabillies with clean electric guitar, slap bass to the fore and light drums. If not very always original (half of the songs are covers and many of the 16 titles have similar tempo which is a bit monotonous) the result is rather pleasant. Highlights are “Johnny Was A Bad Boy”, a slow bluesy-jazz number with harp that sounds like a cross between Restless, the Wild Ones and Vaya Con Dios, “Tiger Stomp” an instrumental in the vein of Crazy Cavan’s “Crazy Rhythm”,the melancholic “Gone Gone Gone” and the almost psychobilly “Love In A Coffin” that reminds of the Long Tall Texans. Too bad some covers are just fillers (My Babe, Shake Your Money Maker, Tiger Man…) and reduce the quality of the final result.
In the early 90’s Texas moved to Bruxelles and left the Tiger Men. They carried on with a new singer, Fabrisio, and a new drummer Jean but split around 1992.  They evolved into The Raggin’ Stuff to play White Rock.

Slim Sandy / Slim Sandy and his Hillbilly Boppers

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S

Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers - Boogie Woogie FeverSlim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – Boogie Woogie Fever

 

Crow-Matic Records 2018
Done Gone  – I’ve Got the Boogie Blue – Boogie Woogie Fever – Romp and Stomp – Chicken Shack Stomp – Buster’s Dream – Everybody Loves My Baby – It’s All Your Fault – Hillbilly Ball  – Crazy Bout You – No Good Daddy   – Saturday Night Fish Fry   

I was still catchin’ my breath and restin’ my feet after listening repeatedly to “Getting That Low Down Swing” that “Boogie Woogie Fever” arrived in my letter box. Slim! Dont you have no pity? Anyway, my feet will rest later. This new album contains twelve songs including four by Peter Sandmark/Slim Sandy.  They mix hillbilly, western swing (hence the return of Mike Sadava on steel for three tracks), hokum, jug bands music, country blues (with plenty of harmonica), skiffle, a dash of rockabilly and some rhythm’n’blues sparkled here and there.
This cocktail has proven to work very well for the trio (and their occasional guests) and “Boogie Woogie Fever” makes no exception. As they say “if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.”
We all know Peter since his Ray Condo days and the Crazy Rhythm Daddies so for a change I’d like to talk about the other two. Willa Mae is a real plus on vocals. Not only her voice blends very well with Peter’s when they sang together (take a listen to “No Good Daddy”), but she’s also top notch when she takes lead. I especially liked her rendition of “Everybody Loves My Baby.” And despite the apparent simplicity of her instrument (the washtub bass) she can get take the best out of it. The other key element is German Ebert sparse drumming. You won’t find drum rolls or crash cymbal here. He plays just what is needed, and it’s a quality. Talking about musicians, fans of Ray Condo will be happy to find Edgar Bridwell on violin on one track.
The cd comes with a 8-page mini comics drawn by Peter Sandmark but I’ve been told that it’s selling like hot cakes, so you’d better hurry if you want one (Slim Sandy’s website).
You can also find it (and the other albums) on Spotify, iTunes and Google Play.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers - Getting that low down swingSlim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – Getting that Low Down Swing

Crow-Matic Records 2017
Hug And Spank And Kiss – Hop Skip And Jump – Gettin’ That Lowdown Swing – Whoa Boy – No More Nothing – Be Bop A Lula – I Never See My Baby Alone – We’re Gonna Bop – Crawdad – Cadillac Model – Wow Wow Baby

This fine trio returns with another killer album. It kicks off with the Berry influenced “Hug, Spank and Kiss” written by Slim Sandy and featuring Eddy Cavalero (of the the Cavaleros, a band that also features German Ebert of the Hillblly Boppers on drums) on electric lead guitar. Back to a more acoustic sound with the Collins Kids’ “Hop Skip & Jump” with Willa Mae on lead vocals and harmonies by Slim. “Getting that Lowdown Swing” tales the listener back to the early western swing era (before the genre had a name). In the same vein you’ll find “Cadillac in Model A” and “No More Nothin'” both with Mike Sadava steel. He also plays on “I Never See My Baby Alone”. I always liked that one and the Hillbilly Boppers do great justice to that song.
There’s also a good dose of Hillbilly Bop with “Woah Boy” and “We’re Gonna Bop”.
Another good one is their cover of “Be-Bop-A-Lula.” It sounds like the Everly Brothers version but played by a skiffle band. More skiffle-billy follows with “Crawdad” that changes of pace in the middle and evolves into “Rollin’ My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”
Like the previous one it’s joyful and exuberant and it’s highly contagious.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers - Jump Back!
Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers – Jump Back!

Slim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – Jump Back!

Crow-Matic Records 2014
Jump Back, Love Me, Darlin’ Cory, I’m A Hog For You Baby, Jump Rope Boogie, n The Road Again, Pistol Boogie, Can’t Find The Doorknob, Cow Cow Boogie, Rock ‘n’ Roll Ruby, Rollin And Tumblin

Slim Sandy (Peter Sandmark) is a well known figure on the rocking scene. He drummed for Ray Condo, sang and played guitar in the Crazy Rhythm Daddies and released several albums as a one-man band. He now has a new band, the Hillbilly Boppers, with Willa Mae on washtub bass and harmony vocal and German Ebert on drums, Slim Sandy taking the lead vocals and playing harmonica and swingin’ guitar.

If you want to have a slight idea of the joyful noise made by this hot and fine trio, imagine a mix between the Delmore brothers, Jimmy and Johnny (thanks to Mae’s perfect harmony vocals ) played by a jug band (think Gus Cannon/Noah Lewis) with a swingin’ and a rockin’ edge and some skiffle elements and the fervor of some bluegrass gospels thrown in for good measure. It features eleven tracks lifted from the catalogs of Ella Fitzgerrald, Sun records, Jimmie and Johnny, Muddy Waters and everything good in between  Not only the music and the songs are solid but this record also has a communicative « joie de vivre » that is sure to make you move your feet.  Strongly recommended.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Slim Sandy - rough and ready
Slim Sandy – rough and ready

Slim Sandy – Rough & Ready

Sleazy Records SRCD09
Bow Legged Daddio-Cats Was A Jumpin’-Couldn’t Sleep Last Night-Flathead Ford-Slow Down Baby-No Gasoline-Mr. Guitar-Gettin’ By Jus’ The Same -Three Alley Cats-Party In Room 109
Here is a new short ten tracks Cd from the one-man band Slim Sandy for the spanish Sleazy Records. Slim is part of a today one-man trend with people like Bloodshot Bill, Scott H. Biram, Sheriff Perkins, The Legendary Tiger Man, Mark Sultan, Muskrat, Mr. Bonz, Urban Junior, Reverend Beat Man, The Fabulous Go-Go Boy and Rizorkestra just to name a few of them. But most of these guys are on the trashy side and are influenced more by Hasil Adkins or the sixties garage sounds than Doctor Ross or Harmonica Franck.
Slim with his guitar, harmonica, and suitcase drum is on the rockabilly, blues and hillbilly side. This album “Rough & Ready” with his eight self-penned songs and two covers (John Worthan’s “Cats Was a Jumpin’” and Roy Hall’s “Three Alley Cats” even if his “Flathead Ford” is very similar to Papa Lightfoot’s “Mean Old Train”) will delight the raw and primitive sound lovers. The last track “Party in Room 109” is a song Slim wrote based on the events that happened in room 109 at the Red Hot and Blue Rockabilly Weekender 2006. Don’t have to tell you that there were a lotta booze, yellin’ and savage rock’n’roll involved.
David “Long Tall” Phisel


This is Slim Sandy
This is Slim Sandy

Slim Sandy – This is Slim Sandy

Crow-Matic Records
Don’t Need Nuthin’ – 7 Nights To Rock – Come Back Baby – Bicycle Boogie – You Can’t Fool Me – Cabin By The Creek – California Blues – Down In Kokomo – The Way You Dance – Rock It All Night
This cd offers 10 cuts (three covers and seven originals) recorded live by Slim Sandy, the one man hillbilly blues band. Harmonica, guitar, drums and vocals all played in the same time by the same man. Slim Sandy’s inspiration goes from blues (Doctor Ross’ Come Back Baby) to hillbilly (a great rendition of Jimmie Rodgers’ California Blues with yodel) with a lot of Hasil Adkins and Rock’n’roll in between. Sandy’s own are great too and well written. Sure the sound is raw, but you don’t expect a one man band sounding like a Phil Spector production, do you? Believe me, you can’t go wrong with this guy !
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

 

Whistlebait (Josie Kreuzer)

in Profiles

Whistlebait formed soon after Josie Kreuzer (vocals and rhythm guitar) moved from Buffalo to Los Angeles in 1992. A couple of months later,  she met guitar player Teri Tom through an ad in a local newspaper and both of them then recruited double bassist Jennifer Quinn and their first drummer, a guy called Scott soon replaced by Cleo Ramone. Within a year she left and Elaine Ferraro took her place behind the drums. It was their first band. Their lead singer remembers “We were extremely raw sounding –as first bands usually are.”
Their first gig was an opening slot for High Noon and they also opened for Glen Glenn and Lee Rocker.
The band never had any official release though they made two demos, one they weren’t satisfied with and a second one recorded by Wally Hersom (Big Sandy). Talking about this recording and the eventuality to release it Kreuzer joked ” I really don’t know if those recordings will ever be released—I can’t foresee putting them out in the near future…. Maybe after I’m dead or something?!”

In 1996, just after a show at The House of Blues in LA on Elvis’ birthday for their annual benefit Whistlebait disbanded “we wanted to go in different directions musically. I wanted to stay traditional rockabilly, I think the others were aiming more towards a harder edge/alternative sound” explains Kreuzer.
It happened just before the band was scheduled to perform in England at the Hemsby weekender “I told (the rest of the band) that we should at least do this last gig, but they wouldn’t budge (cause they were still angry with my decision to quit the band)… so I called the promoter of Hemsby and told him that the band broke up, but if he wanted, I would still come over and do the show alone. I’ve been a solo artist ever since.” Kreuzer pursued as a solo artist releasing three albums on her own label with Teri Tom appearing on the second one (As Is, 1999).

Whistlebait (second line up): Teri Tom, Jennifer Quinn, Josie Kreuzer and Elaine Ferraro
Whistlebait (second line up): Teri Tom, Jennifer Quinn, Josie Kreuzer and Elaine Ferraro

Josie Kreuzer’s interview here.

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