Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

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January 2016

The Black Crabs

in AB/Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews

Black Crabs Shake It LooseJohnny 7 and the Black Crabs – Shake It Loose

 

Ravenous Records – 2017
Shake It Loose – Thank You, Heart Attack – Flexi-Flyer – Broken – Hey Little Sister – Rockin’ In The Station – Felon Love – Stupid Games – Sunday Drive – Wife Of The Party

The Black Crabs return with a brand new album with 10 exciting new songs, all from the pen of Johnny 7 (aka Jonathan stuart), the band’s guitar wizard and singer.
On this platter, he’s joined by Wesley Amundsen on double bass and Mike Daugherty and Tom Forster (who played on the band’s first two efforts) share the drummer’s seat.
What I like with Stuart and the Black Crabs, it’s their attitude. These guys don’t believe in labels and tags. It was true with Blast Off and 13 Times, and it’s truer with Shake It Loose. They have that “whatever works as long as it rocks” philosophy that is quite refreshing in those times of “I’m more Rockabilly than you” era. Sure, they like Rockabilly, no doubt about that. Suffice to listen to the guitar or the superb slap bass sound (by the way, it’s the moment to say a word about the excellent recording work made by Stuart at his own Cleopatra Studios.) But they use the genre as a starting point to create their own brand of music. On that Rockabilly skeleton, they graft elements of jazz (it’s so good to hear some different chords variations), bop, western swing (lot of steel guitar on that one), Beatles sense of melody and plain old rock’n’roll. All that rolled into one makes the Black Crabs sound.
Open minded and more than able with their instruments, they have no boundaries to stop or refrain their creativity and the result is always imaginative and surprising.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Black Crabs 13 timesThe Black Crabs – 13 Times

Black Cat Boogie – Say Mama – Romeo’s Teacher – Nothing Ever Happens – Three Cool Cats – Caravan – Not Knowing How – Congratulations – Messin’ Around / Corndog – Give It Up – Thirteen Times – Going Home – Hidden Track
This is their second album and I have to say that I love The Black Crabs. Who wouldn’t? They have one talented singer/songwriter/guitar player that mixes rockabilly, blues, surf, twang, in one word a true rock’n’roll player, an excellent rhythm section with a drummer who swings the rock and rocks the jazz, and one of the coolest and gifted bass player. Like their previous album it mixes various influences, the modern with the old, the whole thing being very well produced and recorded. Along with rockabilly (Black Cat Boogie), you’ll find an excellent rocker with a 60’s vibes and a farfisa organ (Romeo’s Teacher), a stroll (“Three Cool Cats”, that has a bit of a “spy-movie” sound on the guitar), an uptempo jazzy/pop number (Thirteen Times), a kinda Les Paul instumental (Caravan), a jazzabilly duet between Kirsten and Tom (Messin’ Around with slap bass to the fore and rich drums breaks) and plenty of rock’n’roll in between (including Gene Vincent’s Say Mama, Going Home). A superb album and a perfect demonstration for anyone who still believes that rockabilly and rock’n’rol means “retro”.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Black Crabs Blast OffThe Black Crabs – Blast Off

Self-Released
Blast Off! – Pickup Line – Can’t Find the Doorknob – Shelton Express Cat’s Pajamas – Sweet Sweet Girl Dangerous Curves – I Do – Rink Lay – Poor Jenny – Stink Bomb – Dirty Old Man – Singin’ The Blues – Ready Ready Ready
Coming from Seattle, The Black Crabs are The Donettes minus Rebecca the singer. Originally the band was formed for a short time to back the legendary Wanda Jackson but they’re still together playing their brand of modern rockabilly and that’s a good point for us. Guitar player and lead singer Jonathan Stuart wrote eight songs and the remaining six are covers, ranging from Don Gibson to The Sonics via The Everly Brothers. With such different covers you’re not surprised to hear more than just rockabilly (well represented throughout this album with Kirsten’s effective slap bass) in their influences. A little bit of Link Wray here (the instrumental named… “Rink Lay”),jazz (“Cat’s Pajamas”), 60’s stuff (“Stink Bomb” with twangy electric bass) and a pitch of country. The whole album is played with a positive “don’t look back” attitude (very nice production work) which is a good way to take a fifty year old musical tradition into the new century.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Find these fine platters on the band’ website : http://www.theblackcrabs.com/store/store.html

 

The Donettes

in Albums/CD/Contemporary artists/Reviews
Donettes - Hello Baby
Donettes – Hello Baby

The Donettes – Hello Baby

Boogie Woogie Country Girl – Mercy – The Walk of Shame – Going Steady – The Right String but the Wrong Yo-Yo – Got My Mojo Working – Rocket Sixty-Nine – Sweet Boy – Whipper Snapper – Hello Baby – Baby, Baby (Don’t Be Mean)
The sound of the Donettes has changed a little bit on this album (their third). You can hear the influence of the Black Crabs (the other band Kirsten, Tom and Jonathan play with) to bring their traditional rockabilly into more “modern” fields as shown on the opening tracks : two wild pieces of rockabilly with mean guitar. Then, it’s time for a break in the pace with the fine “Walk Of Shame” with nice backing vocals provided by The Horton Brothers. “Going Steady”, is a honky tonk from the Faron Young’s catalog with guest player Jeff Bottomley on pedal steel guitar. “Right String (but the wrong Yo-Yo)” is another rockin’ tune with Kirsten, Johnny and Tom taking a chorus each and Rebecca proves, once again, she can yodel with ease. The next song is the occasion to change the mood once again, giving a superb rendition of Muddy Waters’ Got My Mojo Working with Hammond organ by Ian Mc Lagan (is he the same from The Small Faces? I think so.). Another link to The Small Faces is the Todd Rhodes-Connie Allen’s risqué blues “Rocket 69”, also covered by Ronnie Lane,.but their version while staying true to the original brings some nice jazz chords into the mix. Back to rockabilly with “Sweet Boy” penned by lead singer Rebecca Kemberling. “Whipper Snapper” and “Hello Baby” are two slow/mid tempoes where the skills of guitar player Jonathan shines throughout. The album ends like it starts with the rocking “Baby Baby (Don’t be mean)”. It’s available at www.thedonettes.com and while you’re there, buy the other two : they’re both great.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Kim Lenz (reviews)

in Albums/Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews

300Kim Lenz and the Jaguars – Follow Me

Riley Records RRCD-4007
Pay Dearly – Follow Me – Deejay – Tumble and Fall – Whiplash – Ghost Of You – Cry Wolf – Number One Reason – Three-Cornered Heart – Shadows On The Old Bayou – Right Here With Me – Trust No One

For her fourth album, our favorite rockabilly redhead has once again gathered a fine array of musicians whose names should speak to every Rockabilly fans: Carl Sonny Leyland on piano (who also produces), Ramon, Espinoza and Ashley Kingman on guitars, Kevin Stewart on double bass and Kevin O’Connor on drums. A couple of guests joined the fun too: Dawn Shipley sings harmony vocals on one tracks, Shorty Poole plays steel, Ron Dziubla blows his sax and James Stevens plays guitar.
All songs but two – Rikki & the Rikatones’ Whiplash and Johnny Horton’s Shadows on the Old Bayou – are originals with eight penned by Lenz and one by Espinoza.

Follow Me is more eclectic than her previous efforts ranging from Honky-tonk (Right Here With Me) to straight Rock’n’Roll with some jump-blues, jazzy stuff (the New Orleans tinged Ghost Of You that only needs a horn section to be complete) and of course plenty of Rockabilly with top notch musicianship from start to finish .
Kim Lenz’s albums remain a sure buy for fans of roots music.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Kim Lenz - It' All True
Kim Lenz – It’ All True

Kim Lenz and the Jaguars – It’s all true

Riley Records RR3008 [2009]
Touch Me – That’s The Breaks – Zombie For Your Love – Ramblin’ Feeling – Chocolate Eyes – I’ll Tell You When – He’s All Mine – Speed Limit – Know-It-All – I Break A Heart Every Night -Burning Rubber – Shined Up And Ready To Shout

At last! Ten years after her last studio album (a time she employed to have and grow up a baby) Kim Lenz is back with former Jaguars Nick Curran (guitar), Scotty Tecce (drums) and Jake Erwin (double bass). Did the maternity tame her? Well, not at all. On the contrary she comes back with an album almost too hot to handle on which she penned seven songs.

Fill with high octane rockabilly (Lenz vocals and Curran’s guitar blend particularly well), it also features hillbilly harmonies (Zombie For Your Love), a bit of jazz with I’ll Tell You When written for Kim by Sage Guyton of The Lucky Stars and even a waltz, I Break A Heart Every Night, that benefits of superb harmonies from Scotty Tecce’s side band The Fabulous Harmonaires. Icing on the cake, Big Sandy contributes one superb rockabilly on which he duets with the fiery redhead and co-wrote another.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Kim Lenz - the One and Only
Kim Lenz – the One and Only

Kim Lenz and the Jaguars – The One And Only

Hightone Records – HCD8108 [1999]
Howl At The Moon – One And Only  – Somebody Lied  – If You Don’t Like My Peaches (Don’t Shake My Tree)  – Rock And Roll Guitar  – Choctaw Boogie – Comin’ Back Strong  – Dancing Me To Death  – Crawlin’ Back – Truest Love  – Fit To Be Tied  – Stick ‘Em Up Honey – Flame Of Love  – You’ve Met Your Match

 

 

 


Kim Lenz - s/t
Kim Lenz – s/t

Kim Lenz and her Jaguars – Kim Lenz And Her Jaguars

Hightone Records – HMG 3003 [1998]
Saturday Jump  – Kiss And Tell Baby – I Swear I Was Lying  – You Ain’t Seen Nothin’  – Thinkin’ About You – The Swing  – Havin’ A Ball – Shake A Leg – Ten Cats Down  – Dang Good Stuff  – You Made A Hit – Twinkle, Twinkle – Up To My Old Tricks Again  – Devil On My Shoulder

 

 


Kim Lenz - Shake A Leg
Kim Lenz – Shake A Leg

Kim Lenz and her Jaguars – Shake a leg!

Wormtome (1000 WT 706)
Shake a leg, – Up to my old tricks again – Bop City – Minus One-Blastoff.
Awesome debut ep by one of today’s finest Rockabilly singers. Miss Lenz knows how to capture the spirit of Rockabilly, she growls, she hiccups and most of all she makes you want to bop. In that she’s perfectly helped by the Jaguars (Mike Lester on guitar, Chet Johnson on drums and Deke Dickerson on double bass and also behind the console).
Side A features two songs penned by the singer while B side is made of two rather obscure covers: Sherry Davis’ Bop City and  The Sonics (not the well known garage band) Minus One Blast Off.
Ten minutes of pure Rockabilly bliss but rather hard to find today (it was limited to 1000).

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

 

Kim Lenz

Hank Edwards

in EF/Reviews/Singles

Hank Ewards - In the silence of the NightHank Edwards With Hal Peters And His Trio – In the Silence of the Night

Goofin Records GOOFY 533 {1992}
In the Silence of the Night – I Wish I Has a Nickel
Another case of « wrong time, wrong place ». Had Hank Edward come from the USA and been active in the late 40’s/early 50’s, he would have shared the stage of the Opry or the Hayride with Hank Williams or some other great names of the time. Instead he comes from Sweden and began releasing records in the 80’s for an audience of fine connoisseurs.
This honky tonk single released for Goofin seems to come straight from the 50’s. Everything here is close to perfection the songs (one original on side A and a cover of Hank Williams that certain discovered under the name of Tell Me Little Darlin on the Riverside Trio debut album – on the side B), the voice and the backing provided by the always excellent Hal Peters and his trio.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers

in Albums/CD/Contemporary artists/Reviews
Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers - The Real Deal
Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers – The Real Deal

Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers – The Real Deal

Crazy Rhythm CRCD16 [2015]
My Baby’s Been Cheating Again – Rattlesnake Daddy – Don’t Blame It On Me – Smokey Joe’s – Drapes ‘n’ Drainpipes – Something Wrong With You – Zing Zing – Drive-In-Movie – What Will I Tell My Heart – Hush Your Mouth – No Kissing At The Hop – Wo Ho-Ho-Ho – Little Miss Misguided – How Do You Do Me? – La La La – You Done Me Wrong Domino

Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers are still here, still crazy and still ready to rock! Their latest album named “the Real Deal” demonstrates that they still feel like a bunch of new kids ready to embark for their first tour and cut their debut album.

This 16-track album contains mostly covers (only three originals here) and sounds like a tribute to black Rock’n’rollers in general (Thurston Harris, Art Neville, Huey Piano Smith, Phil Flowers) and Fats Domino in particular with no less than five songs from his catalogue In addition of the guitar and some slap bass, Lyndon Needs add a welsome pumping and rockin’ piano to these tracks. The originals are in the same vein with Little Miss Misguided sounding similar to Little Richard and the album closes with You Done Me Wrong Domino.
A couple of rockabilly numbers complete the set list for it wouldn’t be a Cavan album without that hiccupy vocals that made his trademark.


Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers - Rollin'n'Rockin
Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers – Rollin’n’Rockin

Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers – Rollin’n’rockin

Crazy Rhythm CRCD15 [2012]
Man At The Crazy House – Diddley Diddley Daddy – You Must Be Crazy – She’s My Baby – Wild Woman – Crazy World – Put The Shoes On Willie – Tear Drop Valley – You Devil Doll – Run Diddley Daddy – Next Time You’re Leavin’ * Rollin ‘n’ Rockin’ – Pretty Susie Sunshine – The Great Grandfather – I Just Like Rock ‘n’ Roll – Crazy Fuckin’ Rocker.
Cavan and the boys don’t show any sign of weariness nor any envy to retire. Quite the reverse! They even seem to have found a second youth. Four years after “Let’s F***** Rock!” and in the wake of their 40th anniversary they return with a brand new studio album simply called “Rollin’n’Rockin“. More than just a title, it’s a profession of faith for the Welsh combo.
“Rollin’n’Rockin” present 16 new cuts, including seven covers and nine originals (seven by Cavan and two by Lyndon Needs). The sound of the album is rather raw and quite close to its predescessor which suits the band and their brand of rockabilly fine especially on the wilder tunes like I Just Like Rock’n’roll and Crazy Fuckin’ Rocker. It also works fine on the more bluesy songs, and this album have plenty with no less than four tunes lifted from Bo Diddley’s repertoire and one Cavan original (Next Time You’re Leaving) that seems to come straight from the Chess catalogue. In addition to this you’ll find two country influenced numbers (Wild Woman, Teardrop Valley).
Cavan’s albums range from very good to excellent and that one certainly falls in that second category.


 

Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers - Who's gonna Rock ya?
Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers – Who’s gonna Rock ya?

Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers – Who’s gonna Rock ya?

Crazy Rhythm CRCD 014  [2010]
CD 1
1 . WILDEST CAT IN TOWN (1974) – 2. TEDDY BOY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL (1974) – 3. MY LITTLE TEDDY GIRL (1974) – 4. ROCKABILLY STAR (1974) – 5. BOP LITTLE BABY (1975) – 6. TEDDY BOY BOOGIE (1975) – 7. SHE’S THE ONE TO BLAME (1975) – 8. SADIE (1975) – 9. HARD ROCK CAFE (1975) – 10. GET YOURSELF A BAND (1976) – 11. KNOCK KNOCK (1976) – 12. WAITIN’ FOR MY BABY (1976) – 13 BOPPIN’ N’ SHAKIN’ (1977) – 14. OLD BLACK JOE (1977) – 15.MY OWN WAY OF ROCKIN’ (1977) – 16 . MY LITTLE SISTER’S GOTTA MOTORBIKE (1977) – 17.TENNESSEE BORDER (1977) – 18.ROCKABILLY RULES OK! (1979) – 19. FLIGHT TO THE USA (1979) – 20. TROUBLE TROUBLE (1979) – 21. BOTH WHEELS LEFT THE GROUND (1979) – 22.ARE YOU STILL CRAZY (1981) – 23. PUT A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW (1981) – 24. JUMP N’ JIVE (1982) – 25. ISLE OF CAPRI (1982) – 26. ALLIGATOR SHOES (1982)
CD2
1. ROLLIN’ THROUGH THE NIGHT (1984) – 2. JEEZY PEEZY (1984) – 3. SHE STOOD ME UP (1984) – 4, YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE (1989) – 5. IT’S WILD , IT’S WEIRD , IT’S CRAZY (1996) – 6. EVIL HEART (1996) – 7. TEDDY BOY FLICK KNIFE ROCK N’ ROLL (2001) – 8. LIZZY BETH (2001) – 9. RHYTHM ROCKIN’ BLUES (2001) – 10. TEDDY BOY BLUES (2008) – 11.WHO THE F*** DO YOU THINK YOU’RE TALKIN’ TO ? (2008) – 12. TRAIN I RIDE (2008) – 13. SHE’S ALRIGHT (2008) – 14. BYE BYE BO DIDDLEY (2008) – 15. REBEL TED (1983) – 16. THE ROCKIN’ ALCOHOLIC (1983) – 17. ALABAMMY GAL (1983) – 18. TAKIN’ CARE OF MY HOME (1983) – 19.ROLLIN’ THROUGH THE NIGHT (1983) – 20. LOVE RAN OUT ON YOU (1983) – 21. JEEZY PEEZY (1983) – 22. SHE STOOD ME UP (1983) – 23. SHE’S MY LOVIN’ BABY (1983) – 24. DON’T MESS WITH MY DAY OFF(1983) – 25. BYE BYE BABY BLUE (1983) – 26. WHO’S GONNA ROCK YA? (1985)

The name says it all! 40 years of Rockabilly loyalty, who can claim that?
Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers have decided to celebrate this anniversary with best of that comes in a nice two cd set. I’m personnaly happy no one asked me to do the selection. Their albums containing very few fillers I would have ended with a 130 song best-of… Anyway, the band did a wonderful job and you’ll find the hits and the crowd favorites (Teddy Boy Boogie, Old Black Joe, My Little Sister’s Gotta Motorbike, Rollin’ Through The Night, Are You Still Crazy…). This songs are the perfect introduction to the world of Cavan. But the fan who owns the albums is not forgotten, far from that. The package includes for the first time on cd the very sought after first ep and icing on the cake you’ll find 11 demos dating from 1983 and one from 1985. Two songs are totally new (Rebel Ted written with and for a fan) and Alabammy Gal a typical Cavan ballad that strangely never was recorded for an album. Nine others are demos for the Rollin’ Through The Night album. Here, you hear Cavan and Lyndon Needs playing rockabilly stripped down to its bare essential. It’s raw, it’s crude, it’s rockabilly like it should always be. I can only agree with John Kennedy author of the liner notes when he says “these songs are as good as anything the band have ever recorded”. In the same vein “Who’s Gonna Rock Ya” is another demo dating from 1985 for a song later recorded for “It’s Wild, It’s Weird, It’s Crazy”.
It comes with a 64 page booklet, with a full story of the band told by those who made it with a lot of rare and unseen photos that is worth the price of the set alone.
So, I guess you understood that, whereas you’re an old or a new fan, this record is totally essential, so join the fun and celebrate this anniversary. Need I ask who’s gonna rock ya?


Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers - C'Mon Let's F***in Rock
Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers – C’Mon Let’s F***in Rock

Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers – C’Mon Let’s F***in Rock

Crazy Rhythm CRCD 013 [2008]
Groovy At The Movie – Teddy Boy Blues – Bing Bong Boogie – No Angie Baby – Be My Honey Baby – Train I Ride – Who The Fuck Do Ya Think You’re Talking To? – Bye Bye Bo Diddley – This Heart’s On Fire – Tailor Made – Cool As My Baby – She’s All Right – Peek-A-Boo – Don’t Knock What You Don’t Understand
Eight years (an eternity) after the release of Rhythm Rockin’ Blues, Cavan & The Rhythm Rockers return with one of their best album ever. Talking about return, “Let’s Fuckin’ Rock” also sees Graham Price, bass player on Our Own Way Of Rockin‘ in 1977, back in the band.
It’s amazing how fresh they sound after four decades and many young band should learn a thing or two from this guys. The least you can say is that this band has aged well and helped by a fantastic vintage sound they deliver a killer album containing 14 new tracks, 11 penned by Cavan, one by Lyndon Needs and one by Graham Price. You’ll find Sun influenced rockabilly ala Mystery Train (Be My Honey Babe featuring Cavan’s son Joe on slap bass), Train I Ride a mean rockin’ blues in a Shakin’ All Over/Brand New Cadillac vein, a well deserved tribute to Bo Diddley with Bye Bye Bo Diddley (though I found it disturbing to imagine Terry Walley as The Duchess:-), instant Cavan classics (Groovy At The Movie and Teddy Boy Blues). In addition to his usual wild guitar solos, Lyndon plays slap bass on numerous tunes, including Who The F**k Do ya Think You’re Talkin’ To? which is sure to please Charlie Feathers fans and Cool As My Baby that reminds me a bit of Boppin’ Bonnie (Eddie Bond has always been a favorite of the band).
The sole cover is Don’t Knock What You Don’t Understand in a Johnny Cash way, which sees Cavan delivering no less than one of his best vocal performance.
C’mon let’s fu***in buy it!


Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers - Cool and Crazy Rockabillyy
Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers – Cool and Crazy Rockabilly

Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers – Cool and Crazy Rockabilly

Crazy Rhythm CRCD 010 [1981 – reissue 2003]

1.Lonesome baby blues 2.Standing in your window 3.Are you still crazy 4.I’ll be there 5.Hey good looking 6.She’s a crazy child 7.Big black Cadillac 8.Train of love 9.I forgot to tell my baby 10.Crazy stomp 11.Johnny’s gone walking 12.Teenage heart 13.Betty Lou’s got a new pair of shoes 14.Boogie woogie country girl 15.Big black Cadillac (Big Beat remix) 16.Are you still crazy (piano version) (Big Beat remix) 17.Train of love (Big Beat remix) 18.She’s a crazy child (Big Beat remix) 19.Hey good looking (Big Beat remix) 20.Crazy little teddy girl (Big Beat remix) 21.Put a light in the window (Big Beat remix) 22.Boogie woogie country girl (Big Beat remix) 23.I forgot to tell my baby (Big Beat remix) 24.Crazy stomp (Big Beat remix) 25.Johnny’s gone walking (Big Beat remix) 26.Lonesome baby blues (Big Beat remix) 27.Betty Lou’s got a new pair of shoes (lost remix) 28.Teenage heart (lost remix) 29.I’ll be there (lost remix)
Cool and Crazy is the band’s obscure masterpiece. Due to circumstances too long to explain here (but fully described in the liner notes), this album was published in two different versions and two different mixes, one on Polarvox, a Finnish label (Cavan had a gold record with Still Crazy there), another, the most well known on the French Big Beat label.
The Polarvox sides are simply amazing, and really deserve to be rediscovered which is now possible with this cd but both versions are included, so you can make your own idea.
The opening track, “Lonesome Baby Blues” quickly sets the mood. You’re bound to listen to a great album. I’ve always been crazy over their slow and mid tempo (Sadie, Dolores etc.), so I enjoyed a lot their cover of Hoyt Jackson’s Standing At Your Window and their own Johnny’s Gone Walking, a gentle song which deals with teenage romance in a Chuck Berry way  (Johnny’s gone walkin’ with Sadie Lou / Billy gone home with Pam / Gotta get me a steady gal / I’m just a lonely man / They all went walkin’ side by side  / Jenny gone courtin’ with Sam / Gotta get me a steady gal / I’m just a lonely man / I just seen Jimmy with Mary Lou / Walkin’ in the pale moonlight / He walked up to her front door / And then he kissed her goodnight). It’s probably one of my favorite Cavan song ever.  In a similar mood you also have I Forgot to Tell My Baby, man, how I love when Cavan croons.
Are You Still Crazy is a wild piece of Rock’n’roll and appears here without the piano part (which was dubbed later for Big Beat). I’ll Be There is Cavan at its rockabilly best and features a nice acoustic guitar solo. Hank Williams’ Hey Good Looking is given Cavan’s treatment and is another great moment from Lyndon Needs. Back to acoustic rockabilly with She’s A Crazy Child. The crazy beat of Big Black Cadillac and Crazy Stomp are examples of the tight rhythm section of the Rhythm Rockers. Train Of Love is a classic rockabilly using a train shuffle similar to Mystery Train with Lyndon Needs in full Scotty Moore mode. Still in the Sun Records mood, Teenage Heart is a Johnny Cash inspired song and another proof of Cavan’s talent as a lyricist. Big Joe’s Turner’s Boogie Woogie Country Girl closes the set in beauty
The Big Beat mixes are slightly different. It’s not that easy to tell what exactly changes, maybe the rhythm section is more to the front. If you’re familiar with Cavan imagine the same album but one with the sound of Crazy Rhythm and the other more like Rollin’ Through the Night. It also features two songs that weren’t on the original release Crazy Little Teddy Girl (the name says it all) and a cover of the Four Lads’ Put A Light In The Window that finds Cavan and the guy in a Shakin’ Stevens way.
An absolute must have.
Available here.


Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers - Rockability
Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers – Rockability

Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers – Rockability

Crazy Rhythm CRCD 008 –  [1977 – reissue 2002]
Get yourself a band – Stompin’ shoes – Sweet baby Jean – Knock knock – Waitin’ for my baby – Feelin’ blue – That’s what made me cry – Hey pretty baby – Sweet little pretty thing – Delores – Nobody else like you – Gonna leave this town – Get yourself a band (reprise)
Rockability is the band’s second album and the first one for Charly.
Contrary to Crazy Rhythm, an album full of youthful excitement, it shows more maturity and a band that wants to use the studio at his full capacity. It also benefits of a more comfortable budget and the knowledge of producer John Schroeder who previously worked with Status Quo.
Like the previous one (Crazy Rhythm), all songs are originals, nine by Cavan and three by guitarist Lyndon Needs.
The warm and round sound of the bass intro of the country-ish Get Yourself A Band opens and closes the set (“a thousand miles away from home, playing in the band, doing all the smoke filled bars up and down the land“).
In between you find a pretty good mix of rock’n’roll (Stompin’ Shoes, Knock Knock), rockabilly (Nobody Else Like You, That’s What Made Me Cry) and of course their country tinged ballads, sad (Feelin’ Blue) or gentle ( Sweat Baby Jean, Sweet Little Pretty Thing and Delores both featuring Cavan at his hiccuppy best).
Superb from start to finish.


Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers - The Way It Was
Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers – The Way It Was

Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers – The Way It Was

Crazy Rhythm CRCD 012  [2006]
Teddy Boy Rock ‘n’ Roll – Caterpillar – One Hand Loose – Rock ‘n’ Roll Ruby – Down On The Farm – That’s Alright Mama – Half Hearted Love – Love My Baby – Midnight Shift – Bop Pretty Baby – Teddy Boy Boogie – I’m Comin’ Home – Rockin’ By Myself – Big Blon’ Baby – It’s All Your Fault – Baby Let’s Play House – Boogie Woogie Country Girl – The Monkey & The Baboon – Pins & Needles – Sweet ‘n’ Easy – Whatcha Gonna Do
Hey you, young rock’n’roller who’s reading this, you don’t know how lucky you are! You can go out, see a live band (in any style : rockabilly, neo-rockabilly, psychobilly etc.) and you have access to a lot of reissues and obscure songs via labels like Bear Family, Ace and others. And of course, you have the internet But things weren’t always like this. Back in the 70’s, rock’n’roll was dead and it seemed that everyone wanted to play 15 minutes songs about knights and unicorns. And suddenly, coming from nowhere (actually the Wales) came 5 Teds who were firmly decided to bring rock’n’roll at the place it deserved: the top. They were among the first to play Blue Suede Shoes, That’s Allright or I’m Comin’ Home again, long before Brian Setzer even buys an Imperial Rockabillies compilation. This 21 songs cd presents Crazy Cavan’s recordings from 1970 to 1973, before the release of their first album. Even in their formative years, their style is already here. A mix between country tunes, rockabilly (Ray Campi’s Caterpillar, Elvis’s That’s Allright, Feathers’ One Hand Loose) and blues here and there, with that distinctive bass guitar and drums played on the snare’s rim. A recipe that made its proof, isn’t it? Another thing that made The Rhythm Rockers so unique when they appeared was their aptitude to write solid originals, you find a bunch of early rendition of their soon-to-be classics (Teddy Boy Boogie, Bop Pretty Baby and the anthem Teddy Boy Rock’n’Roll). Within the years, Cavan and his boys, kept the same direction and stayed true to their music and produced many classic albums (Crazy Rhythm, Rockability, Rollin’ Through The Night til the recent Let’s Fuckin Rock) and this one is as great and is one unique chance to see the roots of the band but maybe more destined to hardcore fans who already own their previous records. If you’re a newcomer to the world of Crazy Cavan try the forementioned albums or “Live At Pickets Lock”.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Las Pistolas – Deadly Combination

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews

laspistolasWestern Star WSCR048 [2011]
Pistol Packin’ Peggy Sue – Rhythm In My Soul – The Cinnamon Kid – She’ll Rock Your World – Jump Start – Rock Around With Ollie Vee – Jessica Rabbit – Liquor and Las Pistolas – Don’t Shut Me Out – The Return of Eddie Sin – Lost It All – Sunday Lover – Black Widow – Lady Luck – Sad But True

Las Pistolas are a modern rockabilly trio (guitar, slap bass, drums), and though they already had a cd ep out (on Raucous I guess) Deadly Combination is their first full length featuring 13 originals and only two covers. The opening track, a My Baby Left Me/That’s Allright type of rockabilly, didn’t impress me that much: good but not very original. Things went drastically better with “I’ve Got Rhythm In My Soul”, a hot boppin’ neo-rockabilly number. The rest of the records confirmed that the first song was just an exception. The main core of their music is rockabilly with a modern twist and melodies. But one will also find a western tinged ballad (Cinnamon Kid) and some wild numbers with saxophones (She’ll Rock Your World and the excellent Jessica Rabbit that features a honkin’ Las vegas solo at the end). Liquor and Las Pistolas is a Diddley beat blues with harmonica, tambourine, maracas, distortion on the voice and slide guitar. If you like Wild Billy Childish this one is for you (I only regret they don’t do more in that style). Like any decent rock’n’roll record, Deadly Combination features a nice ballad. This one is called “Lost It All” and even features Alan Wilson on piano. The playing is great, the solos are inventive and the recording as usual with Western Star is top notch. Strongly recommended.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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