Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

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March 2016

Various Artists – Western Star Rockabillies 4

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/VARIOUS

various_western_star_rockabillies_vol4Western Star Records – WSRC 035
Sanity – Rockin’ Rocket 88 / Rain – Bill Fadden and The Silvertone Flyers / Forget Me – Bonneville Barons / Shake Rag – Jack Rabbit Slim / Three Months To Kill – Graham Fenton / Rocket Ship Mama – Warren Scott and The Memphis Playboys / Got A Lot Of Rhythm In My Soul – Miss Jean Vincent / Bluer Than Blue – Rudy La Crioux and The All-Stars / Record Hop – Sue Moreno and Jack Rabbit Slim / Thinkin’ ‘Bout You – Rockin’ Rocket 88 / Lone She Wolf – Lil’ Red and The Doghouse Trio / Rockin’ Rollin’ Stone – Bill Fadden and The Silvertone Flyers / Teenage Bug – Rudy La Crioux and The All-Stars / The Fire Is A-Burnin’ – Sue Moreno and Jack Rabbit Slim / Roly Poly – Graham Fenton / Back No More – TJ and The Bellevue Bombers / Fool For You – Bonneville Barons / The Storm – Rockin’ Rocket 88 / Dirty Billy – Kansas City Cryers / Rock It – Warren Scott and The Memphis Playboys

Volume Four of the Western Star Rockabillies serie is another good occasion to see the good health of this music in UK and the impeccable taste of label owner/producer Alan Wilson.
It also show that the term rockabilly encompass a wide range of music and as they say there’s a little bit for everyone here (and a lot for everybody if you ask me).
Matchbox’s Graham Fenton backed by the Western All Stars (the house band) offers a solid rendition of Roly Poly (with steel guitar) and Huelyn Duval’s Three Months to Kill. If Fenton’s album on Western Star is entirely like this I’m gonna get me a copy for… tomorrow!
Label’s biggest seller, Jack Rabbit Slim are present here under many forms. “Shake Rag” is taken from their latest excellent album. A part of the band is also featured on the Warren Scott tunes, in a 50’s sounding style (I try to avoid as possible the term authentic). Also playing in this style are Bill Fadden (who’d make Charlie Feathers proud with his rendition of rain) and Rudy La Crioux.
Women are not forgotten with Miss Jean Vincent, Sue Moreno (backed by Jack Rabbit Slim) with a mean rocker and a self penned country rocker and Lil’ red and the Doghouse Trio (featuring Rusti Steel).
One highlight of the album is Rockin’ Rocket 88’s the Storm that sounds like an unissued Blue Cats track from the Fight Back period with a fiddle. I know it sounds weird, but you have to listen to it! There’s plenty of good stuff in that excellent album (including my favorite artist of Western Star the Bonneville Barons) and it’s the perfect occasion to discover the label and that sure will lead you to buy the albums.

Available at Western Star.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Root’n Toot’n

in Albums/Contemporary artists/R/Reviews
Root’n Toot’n - Raw & Uncut
Root’n Toot’n – Raw & Uncut

Root’n Toot’n – Raw & Uncut

Mandy’s On A Diet – Rockabilly Baby – Walking The Floor Over You – Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain – Cry Cry Cry – Greenback Dollar – Four In The Morning – There’s A New Moon – Tom Dooley – Turn Around – Putting On The Style – Turn My Picture Upside Down – Itchin’ For My Baby – Candy Kisses – Little Red Wagon – She’s My Baby
This British trio consists of well known members on the English scene coming from bands like The Sureshots, The Skiprats, Cat Scratch Fever and Country Cattin’. They play hillbilly bop and rockabilly with a touch of skiffle here and there with spare instrumentation (two guitars and a bass with sometimes a washboard or a ukulele) and though their set mainly consists of covers, they manage to stay true to the originals and bring some fresh air in this timeless classics in the same time. And believe me, it’s not an easy task with Cash’s Cry Cry Cry. On Faron Young’s “Four In The Morning”, you’d swear to hear an unreleased Elvis Sun master with Cliff Gallup guesting on guitar that stayed on a dusty shelf for years.
Talent knows talent and you’re not surprised to see that Chris Cumming, from the now legendary Riverside Trio, is involved in the production of this album. Well played, varied, fun, pleasant, superbly produced, boys (and girl) let me tell you one thing, you won a new fan.
Get it at

Root’n Toot’n - Making Hay
Root’n Toot’n – Making Hay

Root’n Toot’n – Making Hay

Big River – Your Cheatin Heart – Man Of Constant Sorrow – Wabash Cannonball – I’ll Hold You In My Heart – Cocaine Blues – Lord It’s Hard To Be Humble – Roly Poly – Mr Moon – The Words Of Love – Have You Ever Been Lonely – Battle of New Orleans – Deep In The Heart Of Texas – Oklahoma Hills – Goodbye Marie – You Are My Sunshine
Our favorite British hillbillies are back with a brand new 16 songs platter, all covers but one, the excellent Words Of Love. There’s no big changes or departure from their precedent release, but if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it, as they say. You’ll find hillbilly, bluegrass, skiffle mixed with rockabilly (Malcom Yelvington’s Goodbye marie). Colin Mee is at ease on ballads like Eddy Arnold’s I’ll Hold You In My Arms but he can deliver strong uptempo numbers like Cocaine Blues.If Mee takes the lion’s share of lead vocals, Mandy sings too and gives a good rendition of Jim reeves’ Have You Ever Been Lonely. She also plays clarinet on Deep In The Heart Of Texas one of my absolute favorite, that made me think of the novelty western swing style of Bob Skyles and His Skyrockets. I’d love to hear a full album like this. A highly entertaining album.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Country Cattin

in Albums/CD/Contemporary artists/Reviews
Country Cattin’ - Movin’ On
Country Cattin’ – Movin’ On

Country Cattin – Movin’ On

Cool & Crazy Record s CD005
Call Me Lonesome – Honky Tonk Girl – Hangmans Boogie – See You in My Dreams – Pinball Millionaire – I Got a Problem – Blue Days Black Nights – Hocus Pocus – I Believe in Love – Convicted – Dear John – If Your Ever Lonely – Blues Come Around – Mobilin’ Baby – Just Because – Movin’ On
With this album Country Cattin’ can stand proudly next to The Riverside Trio or The Rimshots, who were, in my humble opinion, two of the best. Hillbilly boogie, honky tonk with a bit of rockabilly, what more could you ask for? Dave Brown’s voice is excellent (it sometimes reminds me Johnny Horton), Johnny Vee’s guitar skills are also amazing. From rockabilly licks to Chet Atkin’s (I’ll see you in my dreams), he knows them all! Don’t forget the slap bass which is the backbone of the band as they are drumless and the “newest” member Chris Cummings (from the Riverside Trio) on steel guitar. He also recorded this album at his Riverside Studios. A very good album that I warmly recommend, despite the cover design I’m not too keen on.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Quarter Mile Combo

in Albums/Contemporary artists/OPQ/Reviews
Quarter Mile Combo - Motels Gas & beer
Quarter Mile Combo – Motels Gas & beer

Quarter Mile Combo – Motels Gas & beer

6 Volt Records / Rhythm Bomb [2009]
Kitten – Electrified – Cougar Mama – Rodeo Show – Good Lovin’- Knockout Punch – 100 Miles to Heartbreak – Preacher Man – Word to the Wise – Wrecking Ball – Boss Lady – Getting Wild (Drinkin’ Song)

These quartet (three guys and one girl) comes from California and this is their debut album released on their own label 6 Volt Records (distributed by Rhythm Bomb Records in Europe). They’re led by the rockin’ voice of Nettie Hammar, and man, she sure knows how to rock. The twelve songs are originals, penned by bass player Todd Jenkins or drummer Gary Daly. There are many great moments on this album. Electrified and Wreckin’ Bell are two traditionnal rockabilly numbers while Kitten and Cougar Mama show the influence of the Reverend Horton Heat in the structure and the solos. It also features a solid rocka-ballad with some kind of Doo Wop vocals (Knockout Punch) and a bit of country with 100 Miles To A Heartbreaker. Preacher Man is very original opening with a church organ and then evoluting into a “film noir” ambiance. The well named Getting Wild closes the set. By no means traditionnalist, though respectful of the past (once again think Reverend Horton Heat) the Quarter Mile Combo deliver here a good debut album.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Jeff Potter – Great Big Beat

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Jeff Potter - Great Big Beat
Jeff Potter – Great Big Beat
El Toro Records – ETCD 8010
She’s Got A Great Big Beat – All Right With Me – When The Moon Comes Up – Golden Roll – I Can’t Believe – She’s So Explosive – Time On My Hands – Somebody Loves You – High Octane – Kinda Lovin’Man – Let’s Go To The Moon – Modern Busy World – Get Some Rest – Some Of The Time – The Romp

Jeff Potter (who plays piano, guitar, drums, organ) with the help of a cast of fine musicians (including Betsy-Dawn Williams and guitarist extraordinaire Graham Tichy) offers here a very good self penned album full of piano led rock’n’roll (“High Octane”, “She’s Got A Great Big Beat”), doo wop (“She’s So Explosive” with excellent bass vocal from Tichy),ballad (“I Can’t Believe”, “It’s A Busy World”) and a couple of instrumental thrown in for good measure “Golden Roll” (a tune with a strong Bill Dogget’s Honky Tonk feel on which Potter plays organ) and the rockin’ (with a 60’s vibe) “the Romp”. You can hear the influences of Jerry Lee Lewis (of course), Fats Domino, Buddy Holly (on “Some Of The Time”) and more modern bands like The Blasters. Truly a great rock’n’roll album.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Pachuco José i Los Diamantes – Vamos A Bailar

in Albums/Contemporary artists/OPQ/Reviews

Pachuco Jose - Vamos A Bailar
Pachuco Jose – Vamos A Bailar
Wild Records
Vamos A Bailar – Saleroso – Chicas Patas – Tiburon – Muy Sabroso Blues – Que Se Mueran Los Feos – Tin Marin – Tako’s Rock – Chucos Suaves – El Alacran – Marjiuana Boogie – All Night Long

In the the fifties, Lalo Guerrero created a style of his own by merging American rhythm’n’blues and swing with elements of Mexican culture and a bit of Samba and Mambo here and there.
Half a century later, a bunch of young and talented musicians (including members of the Vargas Brothers, the Lonely Blues Boys, Los Rhythm Rockets and Lil’ Gizelle’s band…) revive the genre. So if you dig all the aforementioned styles as well as Bill Haley’s rock’n’roll with a Mexican flavour (not to be confused with Bill Haley’s Mexican Twist during period!), this record is definitely for you. The opening/title track is the perfect example starting on a jump/swing beat, then the vocals in Spanish and two breaks with Latin arrangements in the middle. The musicianship is perfect with a special mention to Gil “El Guapo” Rodriguez for his clean and sharp guitar solos both on electric and on Spanish guitar (Que Se Mueran Los Feos). A very exciting and brilliant album that is sure to become the official soundtrack of all your parties.
And to add more coolness, this cd comes in a beautiful gatefold which is the closest thing to a good old vinyl in this digital days.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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