Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

Monthly archive

May 2015

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes

in Albums/CD/Contemporary artists/Reviews
Nico Duportal & his Rhythm Dudes - Dealing with my blues
Nico Duportal & his Rhythm Dudes – Dealing with my blues

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes – Dealing with my blues

Rhythm Bomb Records ‎– RBR5844 [2016]
Don’t You See – I Know The Rules – Now Hush – The One To Blame – I Will Unfriend You – Mess And Chaos – Benzola Ascensor – Sometimes – Brand New Day – Junior’s Mambo – Soul Patch – Long Way To Go – Mess And Chaos (Acoustic Bonus Track)

Nico Duportal,French ace guitar player and singer, is not the kind of guy to rest on his laurels. One year after the excellent Guitar Player (that I hope you all own) he releases a brand-new platter that is even better. Once again, the Rhythm Dudes (Pascal Mucci on drums, Alex Bertein on baritone, Thibault Chopin on upright bass, Sylvain Téjérizo on tenor and Olivier Cantrelle on piano and organ.) are here to provide the perfect background to let the many talents of mister Duportal shine.

While his previous album was almost 100% rhythm’n’blues, “Dealing With My Blues” expands his musical horizons and shows the influence of many other genres, including a heavy dose of Soul with, terrific idea, the use of an organ (and if you like Jimmie Va. There’s someTilt a Whirl band, you’ll be delighted) Mambo too with Junior’s mambo penned by  Tim Lelegems ex-Fried Bourbon and Shakedown Tim and the Rhythm Revue, a band recently produced by Duportal. There’s also a bit of of surf (Soul Patch), a hint of Calypso (the One to Blame) and more modern things like Mess and Chaos (that Don Cavalli co-wrote) that shows that Duportal is not a “revival” guy and that his music is not a piece of museum.

All songs are originals mostly penned by Duportal but bass player Thibault Chopin composed two (and co-wrote another). In addition to Junior’s Mambo Tim Lelegems co-wrote I will Unfriend You (facebook friends beware!) and last but not least French blues legend Benoit Blue Boys penned Benzola Ascensor an instrumental on which he also plays harmonic (by the way Nico will appear on Benoit Blue Boy’s forthcoming album, a tribute to French Rock’n’rollers of the of the fifties like Mac Cak.)

Buy it here or if you order from France here.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes - Guitar Player
Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes – Guitar Player

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes – Guitar Player

Rhythm Bomb Records  – RBR5800 [2015]
When I’m Gone – Lost In The Game – Polish Woman – Oh Baby – Can’t Afford To Lose Her – She Knows How – Real Good Lovin’ Tonight – Big Mary’s – Guitar Player – Oh Oh – Josh & Slim – Much Later – Polish Woman (bonus track, unreleased version)

If you dig 50’s black rhythm’n’blues, stop what you’re doing right now and run to your local record shop – if it still exists – or go to Rhythm Bomb’s website to buy Nico Duportal’s amazing fourth album. When you listen to it, you’d swear that someone has unearthed a lost recording made for Peacock or Specialty and put it on cd.
The last time I had the same level of enthusiasm for a similar artist was at the turn of the millenium when I listened to Nick Curran’s debut album.
Like Curran, Duportal has the whole package: the voice, a guitar style in which one can hear the influences of Tiny Grimes, T. Bone Walker, Gatemouth Brown and Johnny Guitar Watson and the songs (and he even has the look!). Six out of 12 are originals he wrote or co-wrote and double bass player Thibaut Chopin wrote another one. The cover are well selected coming from the catalog of Jackie Brenston, Titus Turner, Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Eddie Bo.
One word has to be said about the Rhythm Dudes without whom this album wouldn’t be such a success. The rhythm section (Olivier Cantrelle on piano, Pascal Mucci on drums and Chopin on bass) keeps a steady beat whith precision and swing (yes, both!) while the horns (Alex Bertein on baritone saxophone and Arnaud Desprez on tenor) are groovy, juicy and hot.
A must have.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Jimmie Lee Maslon

in Albums/Reissues/Reviews
Jimmie Lee Maslon - My Wildcat Ways
Jimmie Lee Maslon – My Wildcat Ways

Jimmie Lee Maslon – My Wildcat Ways

PART-CD 6109.001 [2014]
Your Wildcat Ways – Hard Hard Man – The Haunt You Baby Rock  – Salacious Rockabilly Cat – All These Things – Please Mr. Dee Jay – The Girl I Left Behind – Please Give Me Something – Rockhouse Dreams – Turn Me Around – Sugar Coated Baby – I’m Gonna Love You Tonight – Hello My Darlin’ – I’m A One-Woman Man – Be Careful – Be Bop Boogie Boy  – Dance To The Bop – I Need Love – Love Me  – Yeh! I’m Movin’ – Long Gone Daddy – The Drag – Bip Bop Boom – A Rockin’ Good Way – Your Wildcat Ways – Please Give Me Something

May the Gods of Rock’n’roll, whoever they are, bless Andy Widder and his label Part-Records for their unflagging work. After Ravenna & the Magnetics, Mac Curtis and Ray Campi, he continues to explore Rollin’ Rock back catalog and reissues the one and only Jimmy Lee Maslon.
Maslon is a one of a kind Rockabilly singer, like a volcano always menacing to erupt, something like Charlie Feathers, Lux Interior and Gene Vincent all rolled into one. Feathers for he shares the same Rockabilly integrity and no nonsense approach, Lux for the weird aspect he sometimes has and Vincent for the torrid side he can reveal (when he’s not weird). And don’t forget to add some Clarence Frogman Henry for good measure.
Those twenty-six rockabilly jewels recorded in the early 70’s influenced countless of bands all around the world and you won’t find absolutely no fillers here, how many can claim that?
And this beautiful music comes with a rich booklet with liner notes written by Ronnie Weiser, Poison Ivy, Ray Campi, Johnny Legend, Wild Bob Burgos, Rip Masters and Jimmie Lee himself.
Essential to any Rockabilly collection.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Wyatt Christmas Trio

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/UVWXYZ

wyattchristmas-trio-got-rhythm

Wyatt Christmas Trio – I’ve Got Rhythm

Part CD 6107-002
I Wear My Suit – Step It Up And Go – Movin’ On – I’m Goin’ Wild – Live It Up – It’s One Of These Nights – Red Hot – Sea Cruise – Mr Jones – Ride On – Sugar Sweet – Blues Is All Around Me – Diggin’ The Boogie

“I’ve Got Rhythm” is Wyatt Christmas Trio’s second album. It’s an interesting mix of Rock’n’Roll, blues (jump, rockin’ or classic), Rockabilly, Doo Wop and a bit of Jazz too. There’s a lot of variety all through the records. They add plenty of little things to always bring something new to each song whether it’s a different lead singer, some doo wop backing vocals (making them sound a bit like the Speedos or the Keytones), slide guitar, a couple of guest on blues harp, boogie woogie piano and saxophone, each song song different from the previous one. Some numbers have a slight pop edge that could appeal to a broader audience which is everything we could wish for them.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Krewmen

in Albums/Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews
The Krewmen - Into the Tomb
The Krewmen – Into the Tomb

The Krewmen – Into the Tomb

Lost Moment Records ‎– LMLP 014 [1987]
Let Loose – Should I Stay or Go – Devil’s Daughter – Public Enemy Number One – Hava Nagila – Curse of the Pharaohs – Solid Gold Easy Action – Hostage – I’m Not Dead – Swamp Club Ball

Third and last release with the classic Psychobilly line-up of the Krewmen (Tony Mc Millan on guitar, Mark Cole on vocals, Dominic Parr on drums and Jason Thornton on double bass).
The sound hardens a bit compared to the Adventure and Sweet Dreams with a fast paced cover of the Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go (a song that was heavily covered by Psychobilly bands at one point). Other covers are T-Rex Solid Gold Action and a Dick Dale inspired version of the traditionnal Hava Naguila.
All in all it’s a solid album, though maybe a little less essential than the first two albums.


The Krewmen - Plague of the dead
The Krewmen – Plague of the dead

The Krewmen – Plague of the Dead

Lost Moment [1988] – Reissue Part Records – PART-CD 6114-001 [2014]
Plague of the Dead – I’m Not Your Stepping Stone – Scream of the Banshees – Jeanie Jeanie Jeanie – What’s Wrong – I Can’t Stop – Take a Little More – The Clock – Legend of the Piper – Do You Wanna Touch – Beat the Devil – My Generation

One can distinct three main periods in the history of the Krewmen. The first one was the Rockabilly-blues years that saw the release of two singles with Carl Sonny Leyland. Next they changed their style to psychobilly with Mark Cole on vocals and the recordings of three classic psychobilly albums (the Adventure of, Sweet Dreams and Into the Tomb). Cole eventually left in 1987 and Tony McMillan, then guitar player took over the vocal duties and came with a new line-up including Steve Piper on drums and a Mark Burke.
The sound changed with the line-up too, getting harder and including different elements than Psychobilly and Rockabilly like metal, punk rock, glam rock. “Plague Of The Dead” combines all those influences. The choice of the covers reveals this orientation and McMillan’s varied tastes. From Eddie Cochran’s Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie to Gary Glitter’s Do You Wanna Touch via The Who’s My Generation and Steppin’ Stone (Paul Revere, The Monkees but also covered by The Sex Pistols). Tony quotes classic rockers like Chuck Berry and Elvis for influence but he also adds Alice Cooper, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jimmi Hendrix and Sex Pistols to the list.
It wasn’t easy to follow Cole and their first three albums, but McMillan succeeds to renew the band and “Plague Of The Dead” contains some very good moments like “Legend Of The Piper”, “Take A Little More” and the previously mentioned covers. It’s  also quite refreshing to see a band that doesn’t care about boundaries.
So once again it’s agood job from Part Record to reissue this album (with interesting booklet that contains press clips). Hopefully they’ll release the rest of the band’s discography in the near future. One can only regret the label didn’t include the non-album b-sides released at the same time as bonus.


The Krewmen - Power
The Krewmen – Power

The Krewmen – Power

Lost Moment LMLP 021 [1990]
Devils Lair – Miranda – Undead – The Rats – Anymore – Stone – Get Lost – 2 Souls – Knight Moves – Back To The Ball

Little by little, fans of the Krewmen saw them adding more and more hard core elements to their music and slowly drop the rockabilly idiom out of their sound. This musical position culminates with Power, which is plain hard-roce with heavy and distorted guitars, hard pounding drums with breaks, raspy voice and powerful slap bass. Some elements are even strictly heavy metal / hard rock with tatseless guitar like Knight Moves.
It’s still very well produced and play and features ecellent tunes like Back to the Ball a follow up to Swamp Club Ball from Into the Tomb, but far from the traditionnal psychobilly sound of the three albums released with Mark Cole.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Sun Demons

in Reviews/S/Singles

The Sun Demons – Return of…

Floyd Burney Records ‎– FBEP-001 [1997]
Damn Drunk! – Pick-Up Truck – The Lonely Man – Portrait To Go

The Sun Demons were an exciting rockabilly trio made of Dan Edwards (guitar/vox), Jeff West (uprightbass/vox) and Joe Tatar (drums/vox).
If their songs and style are rather  traditionnal they’re not against a little modernity that you find in Edwards’ guitar sound that is not that far from the great Brian Setzer (Rant and Rave period). West and Edwards sing lead on two songs each, both being two solid singers with a distinctive style. Good production with a powerful slap bass too.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Red Peters and her Solid Senders

in Albums/Contemporary artists/R/Reviews
Red Peters and her Solid Senders - Rockin' Out The Blues
Red Peters and her Solid Senders – Rockin’ Out The Blues

Red Peters and her Solid Senders – Rockin’ Out The Blues

Crazy Gator Records ‎– CGRLP003 [1997]
My Man Ain’t Coming Inside – The Big Saturday Nite – Gettin’ High – As Long As I’m Movin’ – Ride Daddy Ride – Rock This Joint – I Ain’t Talkin’ – Hey Everybody – Whole Lotta Shakin’ – Shake That Thing

Red Peters, the girl with the big voice, and her band the Solid Senders (guitar, honkin’ saxophone, trumpet, drums and double bass) and guest Chris Gardner (Stargazers) on piano released Rockin’ Out the Blues, their debut 10″ in 1997. With no concession made to modernity this hot platter is a white heated slab of late 40’s/early 50’s Rhythm’n’Blues and Jump in which one can hear the influences of Ruth Brown, Big Mama Thornton, Big Joe Turner and of course Ella Mae Morse. The band’s originals match with the covers easily. Red’s voice is really impressive, confident and powerful without shouting while the band provides a solid backing.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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