Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

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July 2016

Dawn Shipley

in Interviews
Dawn Shipley - photography by Tonya Rodriguez
Dawn Shipley – photography by Tonya Rodriguez

Dawn Shipley

A french poet has once said that «the future belongs to women». I guess he was talking about the future of rockabilly?! Without Marti, Josie, Rosie, Cari, Dulcie that music will indisputably be like a body without some fresh and warm blood. Dawn Shipley is one of these rockin’ladies, a pretty texan gal leading a bunch of Californian fine musicians, some «sharp shooters» who turn her first album “Step it up” into a running fire of efficient rockabillies (a second one is comin’ very soon on ElToro Records and from what I’ve heard it will be brilliant too).
But let’s read how a girl can move from Winnie The Pooh to Patsy Cline?!

by Dave “Long Tall” Phisel and Fred “Virgil” Turgis
First published in 2007


The Rockabilly Chronicle So, how long have you been doing music ?
Dawn Shipley I started singing in church choir and playing piano before I can remember–when I was 3 or 4. Music was always a necessity in my life. This is my first band, though, which was started about 4 years ago.Do you still play piano today ?
I wish I did?! It’s difficult to have a piano when renting an apartment.

How did you get started ?
Dawn Shipley My family was always very musical. My grandmother plays piano by ear, so there was always music around, and we were always encouraged to make music. The piano became an outlet for me growing up, and I always enjoyed singing at the top of my lungs, making everyone around me look at me funny.

Do you remember the first record you bought and/or the one that made you think « Woahhh, that’s what I want to do ! «
Dawn Shipley Oh, I had tons of records when I was little?! I think I got my first little white and blue Fisher-Price record player for my 6th birthday. I had all kinds of records like the Grease soundtrack, My Sharona, Hey Mickey, etc, etc, along with all kinds of children’s records–Winnie the Pooh and so on. I was always playing (and scratching) them and singing along at the top of my lungs. And I always wanted to sing, but it wasn’t until I really listened to Patsy Cline in my early twenties that I knew exactly what I wanted to sing.

Its a long way from Winnie the Pooh to Patsy Cline. How did you discover her music ?
Dawn Shipley My mom listened to classic country (as well as many other things) when I was young, so it was part of my background. But I didn’t REALLY take notice of her until the mid-90’s when I was getting over my strictly new wave phase.

More generally, how did you become interested in rockabilly and all that rockin stuff ?
Dawn Shipley It was at the same time as I fell in love with Patsy’s style and strong voice. I kind of got bored with the new wave and was seeking something new and wanting to broaden my horizons. I started to go see some live bands (in Austin, TX–that’s where I lived at the time) that played a variety of early forms of music, and met people at those shows who got me into hillbilly, early country, swing and rockabilly stuff. Once I first was exposed to the stuff, I couldn’t get enough!

What are your influences as a singer and a songwriter ?
Dawn Shipley Patsy Cline has got to be the biggest influence on me. But there are so many others that have also influenced me–Wanda Jackson, Janis Martin, Goldie Hill, Charline Arthur, Johnny Cash, Lefty Frizzel, Carl Perkins, and the list can go on and on…

On your website, to the classic “desert island record” question, you answer Patsy Cline, Marti Brom and more surprising any Clash . Do you have a punk background ?
Dawn Shipley Ha ha… That’s more from my new wave days. I do love what little Clash I have, but I probably wouldn’t include them if I had to answer the question again. There’s too much wonderful music out there (all types) that I don’t know what I’d choose! Hopefully I’ll never get stranded on a desert island?!

What about your band, where do they come from, were they in other bands before ?
Dawn Shipley Joel Morin, my guitar player, is from Michigan, and has played with Pep Torres, 3-Day Monks, Rebel Train, Original Sinners, just to name a few. Tony Macias, my bass player, is from Los Angeles, and has played with Pep Torres, Annette Valdes and more, and is currently also playing with The Rocketz. Tony DeHerrera, my drummer, grew up in the LA area as well (though was born in Tacoma Washington), and was in a punk band that I don’t know the name of back in his high school days. Currently he plays with the Vaquetones as well.

Do you remember the first show you played ?
Dawn Shipley Yes, our first show was in September of 2001 at Crazy Jacks which was in
Burbank, CA (part of LA for all intensive purposes). We opened for the Paladins

Dawn Shipley - photo © Tonya Rodriguez
Dawn Shipley – photo © Tonya Rodriguez

Does it change something being a woman on the rockabilly scene, is it harder ?
Dawn Shipley People have asked me questions like this throughout my life. I’m also a software developer, something else that is less common for women to do. I guess in someways, in every aspect of life being a woman makes things different. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder. I think all in all, I’ve been lucky being a woman in the rockabilly scene, and for the most part, it’s been easier for me, though, of course, it’s always a challenge and a lot of hard work.

About your album, was it your first experience in the studio. Did you release anything before that ?
Dawn Shipley Yes, the debut album, Step It Up, was my first studio experience, and our first release.

Was it done live in the studio ?
Dawn Shipley Yes, for the most part it was done live in the studio. I lost my voice while recording and had to go back a couple weeks later to do the vocals for one song, but all the rest was done live.

What is the most memorable gigs you played and/or went to ?
Dawn Shipley We’ve had so many memorable gigs, it’s hard to pinpoint a few. It’s always a pleasure to get together with the Honeybees from Chicago and the Casey Sisters from Austin, TX to do our She Demons tours. We’ve only done one tour so far, but hope to get together again soon. We also have had especially good times playing the Rockabilly Ball in Seattle, Washington the last 2 years, and Viva Las Vegas 7.

What can you tell about the new album ?
Dawn Shipley The new album is almost done! We are currently mixing. There are 9 of my originals,1 instrumental (Joel gets credit for this one), a few covers, and maybe a bonus track. The cd is named «Baby If I…» and includes a wide range of songs, including a couple frantic rock ‘n roll tunes, a kind of jazzy number called «Crazy For Your Love,» some honky tonk tunes and more.

Will you have guests ?
Dawn Shipley There are no guests this time, just me and the ‘Shooters. It’ll be out on El Toro sometime soon–Winter, hopefully. You’ll just have to wait and find out on the rest of the details on your own, but I must say, I’m very excited about it?! I think we’ve grown tremendously since «Step It Up» and it shows.

A last word ?
Dawn Shipley I’d just like to say thanks, for doing the interview, and thanks to all the fans out there. I’m blessed to have all the support from everyone that allows me to continue doing what I love. It’s really what keeps us going?! And we hope to see you out there in France one of these days?!
Alright, enjoy, and take care?!

Dawn's albums are reviewed here.

Truly Lover Trio

in Interviews
Marcel Riesco / Truly Lover Trio
Marcel Riesco / Truly Lover Trio

Truly Lover Trio

One of the very good musical surprise for me this last months was the discovery of Truly Lover Trio. I was hooked since the first time I heard “Lonely Blue Dreams” on the Perfect For Parties compilation album.
I then heard “Blueberry Eyes” and it was even better. I finally got a copy of his debut release “Hey Little Girl”. A fantastic mix of rockabilly, sixties rock’n’roll, Beatles influenced stuff and of course Roy Orbison. Marcel Riesco (Truly Lover Trio’s singer and guitarist) proved he was not only a good singer but he’s also a talented songwriter with solid original songs.

by Fred “Virgil” Turgis

You were born in Uruguay, right?
Yes sir. I was born in Montevideo, which is the capital city and holds half of the entire country’s population. I grew up there, went to school, played soccer, football that is, I was an ok goalkeeper, and I also used to be a good swimmer. It’s a beautiful city. Most people compare it with Paris. It’s where they held the first World Cup of Football back in 1930 and the German ship Admiral Graf Spee was sunk there in 1939. My grandfather used to tell me about that, cause he saw it happening. I was born during the terrible dictatorship that covered some countries during the 70s, where ideas were forbidden and people were wanted just because they had “dangerous” brains. My dad has had several occupations: he was a banker for a while, electrician, he wrote songs and lyrics for theatre plays. My Mom is a philosophy teacher and a painter.

How did you “discover” Rock’n’roll?
Well, let’s see…through my mom and my dad. But it was there for the taking. We would listen to a lot music, they would show me songs. I was very little, and I was very much influenced. There was a lot of Beatles and Rolling Stones going on, some Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Springsteen…all that stuff was a heavy influence on me, and contemporary traditional music, and I wanted to be a singer/performer since I was very little. A couple of things turned me on to older Rock and Roll. One of them was Roy Orbison. The movie Back To The Future was very big for me — the ballroom scene, you know, when Marty plays Johnny B Good. Oh man, I watched that TV screen in astonishment. I started researching that music era and I found a lot of stuff and I got really into it for a long time, and formed my first band cause I wanted to perform and be on stage. I couldn’t really afford the CDs or records so I would pick up bits and pieces from here and there, radio and such.

How was the rockin’ scene in Uruguay?
What rockin’ scene? There is no rockin’ scene really. I was the only rockin’ band there. I mean, there is a big music scene with bands coming at you from everywhere, but I know what you mean by rockin’ scene. You mean Rockabilly, or early Rock and Roll sounds. There is a huge Rock and Roll scene, lots of 60s stuff, garage, lots of punk, lot of traditional music, but mostly contemporary stuff, and something that developed into what is called Rock Uruguayo–great bands, very good quality stuff. Not really any roots music bands though, but that’s perfectly fine, cause they are not needed when the music scene is so rich and active with so many different options. What I mean is, you know, American roots music doesn’t come from there, and there are a lot of different kinds of music styles you can choose from and it works just fine. But when a bunch of guys like us showed up, it was like: “wow, who are these guys? And where did they come from?”. We actually became quite popular, appearing on TV and radio and stuff like that. Things were looking good, but I left the country when I was 18 years old.

I guess your parents were very important to your musical development as it was your father who taught you your first guitar chords…
Yes, he plays guitar, and he taught me the first basic chords and techniques. But I wasn’t into the technique part very much. The rest I learned on my own. By that I mean, I learned with records and watching performers. I would see a chord that I didn’t know and would start using it, or hear it on a record and I would say “wow, that’s good!” or “wow, I’d like to use that chord!”. And not only the music itself, but also the attitude and approach towards the music and what music means to you. I know how important it is. I know how music moves the world and how powerful it is and that was part of my education.

Truly Lover Trio
Truly Lover Trio

What can you tell us about your formative years and the bands you’ve played with?
I always played in my band. As time passes, musicians pass as well, and life gets to them. I had a 4 piece band with electric bass in the beginning, and then it became a 3 piece band when I realized I could play the rhythm guitar, the solo parts and sing at the same time. We played a lot, and I learned a lot during those years. Those were adventurous times….they still are, but everything was so new to me back then. Renting equipment, getting lucky to be able to move it around, we didn’t have cars or anything. We used stand-up bass for a while, but that was an instrument that was very hard to find where we were, unless you wanted a brand new one. But we couldn’t afford that. I remember we got one from an antique store, and it was falling apart, the neck was bent and separated from the body and we had to put a huge screw on there. It never worked properly, but we looked cool. You know, we were young and rowdy, trying to fall into a certain category…until we gave up and smashed that thing up! It was such a pain!…we moved to electric bass after that.
This was back in the 1990s. Then, the band went through a period of stand-up bass, and now we have electric bass again. The electric bass fits a lot better with my style and my songs and it gives us a wider range of possibilities.

Would you say that coming from Uruguay gave you influences (even unconsciously) that for instance US bands don’t have and helped you finding you own style?
It helped me think out of the box a bit more. Because I know the world is big, and there is a lot more out there, and I don’t like being limited to anything or classified as anything. So, yes, I think so. And I was heavily influenced by a lot of traditional music from where I grew up, a lot of ideas, and visions of reality. Those things influence you just as much. There is a lot of good music out there. And I had to really crave the music, and it was so hard to get, that that made it a lot more special for me.

You’ve recorded an album in Uruguay that was never released. Why?
Yes, I had been playing for some time and I had some recognition and these people offered me to record an album. This was back in 1998 or 99. So I did. It was for a new label, and they also owned a radio station called XFM from Montevideo, but the station changed owners right then so the stuff was never released for one reason or another.

What kind of stuff was it?
It is great stuff. Once in a while I listen to it, and I like it. A lot of originals, in Spanish and English. I would say 50/50. Very well recorded, we used a lot of studio time, and didn’t really look at the clock on the wall. This was unusual for me so I took advantage of it. Was it already The Truly Lover Trio sound?
Yes, it is the Truly Lover Trio sound, different sounds, and different moods. You might get to hear it one day.

You finally moved to LA, was it just for music purpose?
Yes, I kinda felt that the city appealed to me. I came out here to visit once, and I liked it. The music scene is big here, but not very user friendly, you know.

Your first record shows a real strong talent, real mature, for songwriting. Is this something you’ve worked on for long?
Oh thank you, that’s a nice compliment. Yes, I started writing when I was very young, but I used to keep everything to myself.
I still do, but I’m more open about showing my songs. It’s a work in progress. Like Bob Dylan says: “and artist is always in the process of becoming”. Its true. I feel like I have evolved quite a bit, and I still feel that I am. It’s like being afraid of showing what you are wearing unless you think its somewhat presentable you know? Or if it means a lot to you, you kinda want to save it up, you know?

The first time I heard you, the thing that really impressed me was your voice. Man you can definitely hear some Roy Orbison in it. How did you discover his music?
Thank you. Well, I got to know him when he was with the Traveling Wilburys. At about the same time he passed away. And I watched their video Handle With Care, and there he was with the voice of an angel and looking so mysterious. He totally struck me, even today, he is still my mentor. I basically learned from him, the way to sing and the attitude towards it. I was never trained on how to sing. Nobody sings like Roy Orbison, even today, nobody does. But I play his music all the time, and I research his career.

In terms of songwriting your songs don’t always use the basic pattern. Where does that come from and who are your favorite songwriters?
Yes, I noticed that as well… You know, I don’t really try to do it like that, it just comes out like that. I just write the way I feel like writing at the time. I don’t really go by any formats, or the usual verse-chorus-verse, I just sit down and go wherever the song takes me. Maybe that’s part of the Roy Orbison influence. Of course I love his songwriting. Dylan is a master and I admire him too. He also defies the rules of songwriting.

You used to have a lead guitar player, then you took the lead guitar duties. Even if you had to play lead and rhythm, wouldn’t you say it helped you to refine your own sound?
Oh yes. See, that was kind of a limitation for me because if I want to put a certain accent on a certain part that needs it, or do a certain riff here or there, I do it. Or if I wanna play a longer solo here or there, I play a longer solo. So, that move certainly helped a lot. See, I play in a particular style that fits with my songs in a certain special way.

Talking about guitars, who are your favorite guitar players?
There are a few stylists that I really admire. By “stylists” I mean people that are unique and have their own sound that you’ll recognize next time you hear it. Same thing happens with the singers….Guitarists like Chuck Berry with his double string solos, Eric Clapton with his sweet and stabbing licks, Carl Perkins with his simple but-difficult-at-the-same-time open strings, George Harrison with his Beatles riffs and later on with the slide. You can tell those guys apart from all the others. Bo Diddley too. But also, I like flamenco guitar a lot, Paco De Lucia for instance, he is one of the best of all times.

What kind of stuff was in your record player this last few days?
Oh, I’ve been listening to Bob Dylan’s new collection of unreleased tracks, and there is also a brand new dvd that came out with it. There are some things I listen to in a regular basis besides Roy. I have a Jerry Lee’s Sun Records box that I like a lot. Elvis, his entire career is fabulous. A lot of stuff I used to listen to when I was a teenager I still listen to. I love a British band called Dire Straits. I listened to some Eddie Cochran last week. Also a local band Dawn Shipley and the Sharpshooters are recording a new album and I got to hear their new material.

Truly Lover TrioCould you introduce us the musicians of the Truly Lover trio, please?
Yes, of course. John Carlucci plays electric bass. He’s been playing for a long time. He played with a band called The Speedies and also The Fuzztones in the early 80s. He is awesome. Jeff Gerow plays drums. He is a very popular guy and I’m glad he is with us. He wears the best shirts in town.

Let’s talk about the name Truly Lover Trio, it seems there’s a story behind the name “Truly Lover”??
I was in my early teens….maybe 13, and I wrote a little story that went on and on about a character by the name of Truly Lover. He was a mystery man, but a contemporary knight at the same time. He was kind and he walked the streets at night. All my friends loved the story. They were all a bit older than me, and they started calling me Truly Lover, and the nickname got around and a bit after that I formed my first band, or about the same time. It became The Truly Lover Band by default, and I kept the name.

There’s a Truly Lover Trio DVD out “for fans only” . A word about that?
There are bunch of new things out there, new formats and new capabilities. I thought it could be a great idea if I put some rare, behind the scenes footage and live footage together for the fans. This is amateur video but it gives a bit of an inside view of the band.

A last word?
Its been great. You are a great interviewer and its been a pleasure to be a part of this great project you have going on! Best of luck to you!

The Droptops

in Interviews
The Droptops
The Droptops

The Droptops

The Droptops are an excellent trio from Maryland. They play traditionnal (authentic as some like to call it) rockabilly influenced by Sun Records. So far the Droptops have released one excellent album (reviewed here) on Wild Hare Records, which should be a reference good enough to convince you to get it.While your order is on its way, you can learn more about this fine girls and boy by reading the interview they kindly agreed to answer
A big “thank you” to Elizabeth who collected the answers of her two partners.
by Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Would you please introduce the band?
John plays upright bass and sings and Christine plays drums and I play guitar.

How young were you when you became interested in music, and what was the origin of this interest?
All three band members have been interested in music since they were very young. In high school we all played in school music groups. John played trombone in the jazz ensemble and concert band, Christine played flute in the concert band and orchestra, and I played violin in the orchestra. I was introduced to music by my parents. My father plays classical piano, and my mother is a fan of 50s rock and roll and the Rolling Stones. John became really interested in music at the age of 7 or 8 while learning trumpet and piano. John says, “We had a piano in the house that no one used, so I started playing. As I focused on different instruments, I listened to different kinds of music featuring the kinds of things I was playing. That’s when I discovered jazz, listening to Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, all the standards.”

And then how did you get into Rockabilly?
John always liked Elvis, The Stray Cats, and Bill Haley when he was young. They were a different sound from most stuff that was played on the radio. In high school he found out that there were bands playing that style of music, and a following of people that liked it. I was into Chuck Berry and some other early rock and roll artists like Little Richard through her mom pretty much since birth, and all three of us were in the punk scene in our teens and through that community got introduced to bands like the Reverend Horton Heat and classics like Johnny Cash.

What did appeal you in that specific music?
We like the sheer enthusiasm of the music and the excellent musicianship of many rockabilly artists. Rockabilly is both interesting musically and fun. John adds that he always liked the fact that you could make good music without having to be overly-proficient at your chosen instrument. It’s a lot of fun when you don’t have to concentrate on whether or not you’re the best at what you play.

Are the Droptops your first band?
John and Christine were members of DC punk band the Drednoks, and I was a member of Connecticut punk band the Snatch before we got together to start the Droptops.

Tell us more about you please. When did the Droptops form and how did you meet together?
All three of us have been friends for years. Christine and I met in middle school, and we became friends with John a few years later in high school. After returning to the DC area after college in 2001, we decided to get together along with another friend, Brooks, to put together a rockabilly band. We played as a four piece (with John on vocals and rhythm guitar, Elizabeth on lead guitar, Christine on bass guitar, and Brooks on drums) for a couple of years. In 2003 John and Christine switched instruments, Brooks left the band, and we formed the current version of the Droptops.

Your first album, on Wild Hare, is made of 10 originals. Rockabilly is a very codified type of music. How much of a problem is it to “respect” the genre when you write a song? I mean did you ever think “Na that sounds too modern” or “Hum it’s too close to That’s Allright”
We do think about whether our songs sound too much like other band’s songs, particularly famous songs, when we write. This can be hard, especially if you’ve spent the day listening to rockabilly! On more than one occasion I have written what I thought was a great song only to realize afterward that it was exactly like some song I was listening to earlier. When we write we don’t worry too much about sticking to the “rockabilly” genre. Most of our stuff is probably more like 50s rock and roll than rockabilly anyway. We do probably try to stay away from writing material that sounds too modern. Our main goal in writing songs is to try to write songs that tap into our strengths as a band.

Let’s talk about your influences…
We are all enamored with the Sun Records sound. I worship Chuck Berry as my guitar idol and my other guitar influences include the great Chicago blues artists like Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy. As a bass player, John really likes Marshall Lytle of the Comets for sure because that’s what got him into playing upright bass. Eddie Cochran, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, everything we listen to influences us somehow.

And what are you listening at home?
I listen to a lot of Chicago style blues, jazz from the 1940s to today, and 50s rhythm and blues and rock and roll artists. Christine listens to a lot of 50s rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and doo-wop; anything with a solid beat and energetic delivery. John listens to most of his music in the car: Hank Thompson, Jackie Wilson, Louis Jordan, The Ramones, Gene Krupa, Bob Wills, Charlie Feathers. That’s what’s in his car right now.

What are your projects? Do you have plans for a second release?
We recently recorded two songs as part of a tribute to Buddy Holly. We are waiting to see if and when they will be released. We are also working on material for a second full length album, and John’s other band, The Garnet Hearts, are working on another record as well.

One last word?
We have such a great time playing this type of music. Nothing could be more fun than playing in a rock and roll band!

The Sprague Brothers

in Interviews
The Sprague Brothers - Frank and Chris
The Sprague Brothers – Frank and Chris

The Sprague Brothers

The Sprague Brothers, Frank and Chris caught my attention a few years ago while I was browsing the catalog of Hightone records. Remember it was a time when Hightone had artists like Dave Stuckey, Deke Dickerson, Big Sandy, Kim Lenz, The Hot Club Of Cowtown… anything a decent fan of today’s rockin music (or whatever you want to call it) could dream of. Their references (Buddy Holly, Bobby Fuller, The Everly Brothers), their guests (Deke Dickerson, Eddie Angel, Jeremy Wakefield and Randy Fuller) and, let’s admit it, the cover of “Let The Chicks Fall Where They May” decided me to order this album and the second one as well. I enjoyed these albums from start to finish. It could have stopped here as I hadn’t heard of new release and the only thing I knew was about Chris who was playing drums with Deke Dickerson. So I thought the band was on hiatus. But one day I made a quick search on the internet to discover not only they were still active but never really stopped, having released a bunch of album on their own Essbee label.
And then everything went fast, new stuff was coming from The Sprague Brothers, El Toro reissued the Essbee albums, Chris started a trucking band and Frank was recording merseybeat albums, not to forget his piano quartet, concerto and symphonic poem. Man, for a band I thought on hiatus, that was a lot !
Their career is so vast and their styles so varied, I quickly realised I couldn’t do a short interview without forgetting an aspect of their work. The result is this lenghty, in depth interview and I’ll never thank Chris and Frank enough for their time.

by Fred “Virgil” Turgis

I’d like to start, Frank, with maybe a lesser known fact to our readers: you play and compose classical music and have some records out in that genre. Do you have a “classical training” per se?
Frank-Thanks Fred. Well, I actually have studied music throughout my life. I was always checking out books at the library and also reading scores. I am self taught. I never had the thought of there being a difference between classical and other music; a “G” chord is still a “G” chord in classical or pop. Being well acquainted with music though has made me aware of the amount of work that goes into something like a string quartet (around 3 weeks for me) or a symphony (around 3 months for me) while a song takes me a few minutes to write. It’s comparable to an architect designing a structure that is considered a work of art and a fella building a patio roof on his house on the weekend; there’s just a lot more knowledge about art, form, and techniques required to compose what you call classical music. Hopefully the composer would have some talent to go along with his knowledge, but unfortunately that is often not the case. I hate any music that is made without God given talent. It’s easy to recognize and a waste of the listener’s time.

I believe your mother had a huge influence on your “classical side.”
Frank-Having her records around was great! I used to play those Borodin and Tchaikovsky albums on my little record player along with others like Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Frank Sinatra, and eventually all the rock’n’roll records she started collecting when my dad eased up a bit. He hated a lot of the rock’n’roll because he was a big band trumpet player. But I think that I was exposed to an incredible amount of music in all the different styles. Like I said; I didn’t really differentiate between “Monster Mash” and “Swan Lake.” I could enjoy listening to any music that was sincere and not contrived. Our mom is the same way. She listens to a lot of different music.

You said that the first thing that turned you into playing guitar was Dick Dale…
Frank– Yeah! I used to go down to the movies in Garland, Texas in 1963 with just a quarter (the admission was 15 cents so that left a dime for a red sucker) and they started having the “Beach” movies with Frankie & Annette. The first one I saw was Beach Party and although I was already heavily into all music including rock’n’roll (and I was also skateboarding on a metal wheels skateboard) I flipped out when I saw Dick Dale playing and singing in that film! I started asking for a guitar for Christmas and did get one (a Teisco with 3 pickups. It was red.) and I went down to Gibson’s department store and got a “007” amp. It had the holes where you plug in the guitar cable inside the “zeros” in “007”! Very cool. I eventually started playing all the surf stuff, as well as classical guitar, flamenco, jazz, and of course every style of rock’n’roll, etc, etc.

What about you Chris, what turned you into music?
Chris– Well, I’ve been into music as long as I can remember. My father was a musician; my mother had a nice record collection, as well as Frank. So between all of them I’ve been listening to music my whole life. Frank started teaching me guitar when I was about 5 years old. So I guess growing up with music in the house since I was a child had a major part for getting into music.

Who’s the older of you and did the older turn the younger into new records, like “Don’t listen to that, you should better listen to that!” as they often do…
Frank– I’m actually the middle brother. We have an older brother Billy, and Chris is the youngest. I was always the one into music although our older brother did play drums for a while. I started playing Hank Williams and Johnny Cash albums for my little brother while he was still in his crib. I taught him the words to various songs when he was old enough to talk. And when I started teaching him guitar at age 5 we began learning my originals and also a lot of different songs by the Beatles and others. We first appeared in public together at his school’s talent contest (he was in 2nd grade) in 1975. We did “Rock Around the Clock” with both of us on guitar but with Chris singing. For the next 10 years we practiced and wrote songs together. (I was always trying to get him to start writing songs.) Then in 1985 Chris switched to drums as his serious instrument and the rest is history. We started appearing for family and friends here and there until our first major tour in 1989.
Chris-We both liked the same style of music. Early on in my childhood Frank had a lot of rock and roll records that I listened to. I remember at a young age hating the radio (in the 70’s) because of the disco songs they were playing, so I just stuck to music from the early 60’s and before. I think these days we both hear old records and say to the other, “Here, listen to this!”

Are there any other members of your family into playing music?
Frank-Our mom plays organ and sings, our Dad is a professional trumpet player to this day, and our older brother plays drums and guitar. We have several relatives that are musical.

I’ve also seen you were related to Buddy Holly
Frank-Yes, on our mom’s side of the family. The last “Holley” that we were close to was our Granny.

You’re from Texas, as are many “key” artists” in American music history. Do you think it affects in one way or another your song writing style?
Chris– Well, I think we both grew up listening to Buddy Holly, Bobby Fuller, George Jones, Buck Owens etc. So yes, I think Texas music has definitely influenced our song writing.
Frank-Absolutely. I picked cotton before I was old enough for school and also went bow huntin’ with my uncles. The way a person is brought up and the environment they are in has a definite effect on the music they make. I developed my musical style while growing up in Garland and Wichita Falls seeing the various musical acts there which were mostly rock’n’roll. I think being from West Texas gives our music its own personality and style.

Back to your classical background, does it help you when it comes to write “pop” or “rock” songs? I think about unusual chords, progressions etc.? I also think about the use of strings on “Little Star”…
Frank– Well, I never start out to write a classical piece or a pop song; it just comes out as it is. I don’t like fake music so I don’t force my writing. Love it or hate it, it is natural. I like to think of my music as pure. Whether it is classical or pop I write down the chord progressions and melodies as I feel them. I think that one of the main characteristics of my own style is not only the chord progressions but the effortless modulations from key to key.

And could the reverse be true?
Frank-I suppose that rock and country music finds its way into serious composition now and again. But I don’t make a conscious effort to do that.

Chris you’re mostly known as a drummer but you can play guitar, steel, and bass (I suppose I forgot some)…
Chris– I love to play classical piano as well.

Let’s talk about the Sprague Brothers’ latest release, “Changing the World…” You have some prestigious guests on it, namely Randy Fuller and Edan Everly. How did you meet and end up working with them?
Frank-We’ve known Randy for a long time. We did a tribute to the Bobby Fuller Four in 1996 in Hollywood and Randy came down with Bobby’s drummer DeWayne Quirico and they sat in on “I Fought the Law.” Randy also played with us on our 1st Hightone release Let the Chicks Fall Where They May in 1999. Edan played with us at a bunch of our shows in 1997 and is a good friend as well. He has a fantastic voice like his dad Don Everly. We’re lucky to have very talented people like Randy and Edan as friends.

Did you have the chance and the time to talk about Bobby with Randy during the sessions?
Frank-Randy is a Texas boy like us so we’ve hung out with him many times and had those ‘Texas’ type of talks. He’s shown us Bobby’s Fender Stratocaster and a lot of things that are amazing. He is getting his memoirs together and currently writing an autobiography.

Some of the Sprague Brothers albums are recorded with a band (Let the Chicks Fall, Changing the World…) and some others are recorded with you playing all the instruments. Does it change your approach of the songs and which way do you prefer?
Frank-Nope. The way we originally played was just guitar and drums. That’s the way we toured for a decade. We were inspired by Buddy Holly playin’ with just Jerry Allison. So when we do a basic track for a song it’s usually just me and Chris. Whether we prefer to record a track live with all the musicians or not would depend on the song. Our latest record Changing the World, One Chick at a Time has a track on it called “Wichita Falls Rag” that we recorded live with Deke on rhythm guitar and Jeremy Wakefield on steel and Shorty on Bass.
Chris– I don’t think it changes the approach to the song. I really don’t prefer one instrument to the other. It’s whatever the song calls for.

Now the Sprague Brothers’ albums are on your own labels, Wichita Falls and EssBee (with the exception of the best-of on El Toro). Does it give you more freedom? How were your relations with Hightone? Did they try to participate in the creative process?
Frank-We’ve always maintained our freedom with our music. As the producer I insist on it. Hightone gave some helpful hints that we considered but there was no one that had a better idea on how to do our music than we did. One funny thing; Hightone turned down our original photo for the cover of Let the Chicks Fall Where They May so we used it for our new LP Changing the World, One Chick at a Time! Ha ha.

sprague brothersDo you know when the volume 2 is scheduled for?
Frank-It will be released in January 2007 and will feature a lot of songs written by Chris. We will eventually release as many volumes as necessary to cover the main songs that were on the EssBee releases. I don’t know if El Toro will release the volumes after Volume 2 this January. The releases from Volume 3 onward would probably be on Wichita Falls Records because we only signed a deal for two releases from El Toro. But we appreciate Carlos and his label doing such a great job on Volumes 1 and 2! We’re looking forward to meeting Carlos at the Green Bay Festival that we are playing in May 2007.

When you cover a song with the Sprague Brothers, they are rarely played like the original and you like to mix styles. A Johnny Horton song is played Everly style, Krupa’s “Drum Boogie” has a Bill Haley feel and “Harlem Nocturne” is played with a Ska beat. Tell us about that…
Chris-When we record a cover song, we like to make it our own. I think in respect for the original artist, it’s best to do your own version rather then just copying someone else’s original version.
Frank-The “Drum Boogie” arrangement was something I had always had in my mind since I first heard Krupa’s version while listening to my dad’s big band records. I knew there should be a rock’n’roll version done somehow, so as I grew up and Chris and I were big fans of Bill Haley’s records, I thought of doing “Drum Boogie” like the Comets. The “Harlem Nocturne” song with a Ska beat was another one of my ideas. I learned all of the Venture’s songs including their version of “Harlem Nocturne.” So I just changed the key to g minor and started thinking of it with a different rhythm which was a good fit as Ska. I come up with arrangements by hearing a song differently and get the idea to do it in a different style altogether. But the implementations of my arranging ideas always come to fruition by trying them out with my brother. And he plays an important role in seeing it through. I wouldn’t have been able to do “Drum Boogie” without his great drumming for instance.

It seems that every rockin’ band today wants to record on vintage equipment (mics etc.). What do you think about that? How do you work on the recording level?
Chris-From a drummer’s standpoint; my opinion is vintage drums just sound better!
Frank-I think that the cats who recorded all the great music that is now considered “old’ always wanted the new and latest equipment. Unfortunately nowadays the new equipment is usually outdone by the old. So once in a while there will be something new that can be used, but it’s rare. The most important thing is the “feel” put in the playing, writing, and singing. As we like to say; “if it ain’t got soul, then it ain’t rock’n’roll!”

Do you use different material whether you do a Sprague Brothers or a Merseybeat/Frank Sprague album?
Frank-We play a lot of Merseybeat songs in the Sprague Bros including originals that we both wrote. On my own Merseybeat albums it’s all songs that I wrote myself so that would be the difference. Chris is playing drums on my 3rd Merseybeat LP which will be out before December 2006.

Let’s talk about your musical projects out of the Sprague Brothers. Chris how did you end up playing with Deke Dickerson?
Chris– Deke has been a long time friend of both Frank and I. Deke played guitar with the Sprague Brothers back in 1996. Then he formed his own band in 1998. I started touring with him about four years ago and recorded with him on The Melody.

You’ve been playing with him for some time now and it seems you play a bigger part in Deke’s sound than maybe other players did. Deke’s latest CD, The Melody, shows some of your influences…
Chris– Well, thanks for the kind words. I had a lot of fun recording that record. Deke set out to record songs with a great melody, hence the CD title. And he asked me to write a song or two for him which I thought was a great compliment. I thought that “Give Me Your Sweet Love” turned out to be very nice. I also thought it was a great compliment Deke wanted to rerecord the Sprague Bros. song, “Right or Wrong” as well, too. I also wanted to bring a lot of harmonies to the record.

You also have that Truckin’ music project: Sugarballs & 18 Wheelers. Tell us a bit more. Did the constant touring with the Sprague Brothers and with Deke give you the idea of an album about the road?
Chris– Well, I started singing the Del Reeves classic, “Girl On The Billboard” a couple of years ago on a tour with Deke. It was a big hit with the crowd, so I started learning more and more Truckin’ songs and decided to do a complete Truckin’ CD. And from there decided to form the 18 Wheelers.

What are your references in term of Truckin’ music?
Chris– I’m a huge fan of Del Reeves, Red Simpson, Dave Dudley and so on.And I also enjoy writing new Truckin’ songs. I think being a musician on the road a lot, and being a trucker have a lot in common.

A second album in that genre is almost recorded I think… A word about it. Your self penned songs on Hammer Down were very good and stood proudly near classics. Did you write songs too for this one?
Chris– Thank you so much! Yes, I have 6 new songs I wrote plus a few that I co-wrote that will be on the new record. I’m really looking forward to releasing the new CD. I think it will top Hammer Down!

Frank, with two albums called Merseybeat and The Cavern, no need to ask if you like the Beatles. How did you discover them?
Frank-I was actually into other Merseybeat bands first. And then in late 1965 we moved from Resistol Street in Garland, Texas to Holme Street and the kids there were amazed that we had not heard of the Beatles. The movie theatre we went to finally showed A Hard Days Night and the Beatles cartoons then came on TV so that, along with borrowing records from kids in the neighbourhood, finally got me into the Beatles. My favourite groups at that time were Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, The Standells, etc. After I started collecting the Beatles records they did become my fav though. When they broke up I had to get a new fav to collect so they were replaced by Frank Zappa.
Merseybeat refers more to their early years (their touring years). Do you like the second period, more “experimental,” too?
Frank-Not really. It’s a different energy; more drugs influenced. I guess I like their alcohol influenced years. Lol.

Probably because they were the first and they had a good team of songwriters, the Beatles tend today to eclipse some other bands from the same period (Gerry & the Pacemakers, Freddie & the Dreamers) that have good songs too. What do you think about that and what are your favourites Mersey bands?
Frank-Actually, the Beatles were inspired by Buddy Holly so he was the first, also Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, and others. But besides the Beatles some of my favourites would be The Hollies, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Toggery Five, The Big Three, Herman’s Hermits, The Merseybeats, etc.

You also have another project called “Pirate Music”. What is it exactly?
Frank-When Buddy Holly was performing with just a drummer (Jerry Allison) they played gigs with just the two of them. And being aware of that, my brother and I got the idea to go out and tour with just me on guitar and him on drums. We played that way for about a decade so that was the basis for Pirate Music. It is supposed to be all instrumental though, with just guitar and drums. (It could also be acoustic guitar and bongos). All of the songs are written as program music which means that the title of each song gives the listener something specific to think about while they are listening to each piece. The titles to the Pirate Music songs are always based on historical acts by the Pirates themselves; it’s not based on any fantasy but actual occurrences from the golden age of piracy, 1690-1725. It’s a new style of rock’n’roll, and it’s all instrumental.

Where can we get these records?
Frank-They haven’t been released yet. We’ll let you know when they are. Lol

What are your plans for the future? I believe there’s a new Sprague Brothers album scheduled for real soon. What can we expect?
Frank-Yes, just a couple of weeks from now at the end of October 2006. The new Sprague Brothers’ album is a concept album with only songs that Chris and I wrote. There will be new versions of songs like “She’s Gonna Leave” and others. And there will be new tracks of songs we both wrote that have never appeared on a previous record. The name of the LP is Songwriters.

A last word?
The Sprague Brothers-Thanks to all of our fans and thanks to you Fred for this interview. We appreciate it! We hope you will enjoy our music that will come out in the future as much as you have enjoyed it in the past.
Party on.!

The Tinstars

in Interviews

The Tinstars

The Tinstars
The Tinstars

Coming from Holland, The Tinstars led by singer-guitarist Rick De Bruijn are now rocking the nation and more for almost 20 years. They rocked in Green Bay, bopped at Hemsby, turned Switzerland wild and stormed the Rockabilly Rave. By themselves or when they backed Lil Esther, Ronnie Dawson or Joe Clay to name but a few, they never failed to entertain!
Rick was kind enough to answer some questions for us, thanks to him.

by Fred “Virgil” Turgis

How did you get hooked by the music bug and rock’n’roll in particular?
The Tinstars Well… Some of my older brothers already listened to this kind of music for a long time… The classic Vincent, Cochran, Elvis stuff. And of course the Tielman brothers and my mother had some Marty Robbins, Frankie Laine records as all mothers have and we had radio Caroline. They played this kinda music from day one. I was hooked at it on a very early age.Are the Tinstars your first venture in a band?
No before that I played bass in The Longhorn trio with my nephew Erik and Arnold from the Hillbilly Boogiemen. We even recorded 2 songs for an compilation record.

When and how did the band start?
The Tinstars Me, Tjarco and Peter started the band around 83 as The Tinstar trio you know : 2 guitars and a slap bass.

The Tin Star Trio
The Tin Star Trio

What were your influences when you started?
The Tinstars As my oldest brother is a huge record collector he quickly came up with this tapes with obscure rockabilly on it (White Label and Redita records stuff) which we start to cover giving it the Tinstar treatment. But I would say Joe Clay and Ronnie Self knocked me out and still do.

And what are you listening today?
The Tinstars Now I listen to a lot of country music. I always did but more often lately. Mainly Lefty frizzel who is my number one hero.

Do you remember a record or a gig that changed your life (well it’s maybe a strong word but you see what I mean, something that made you think “Wow that’s it!!”)
The Tinstars Yes seeing the Blue cats in France in 83 and hearing Don Cavalli putting his soul in some Charlie Feathers songs in France (with 2 Tinstars backing him) made me almost cry! Nobody’s better than the Don. Yeah and the Sundowners (Carl Sonny Leyland) in Slagharen! The Riverside trio too…

That’s a great band, I really like them…
The Tinstars We played with them on Hemsby… Strange guys!

How did you get the name, by the way?
The Tinstars It comes from the movie The Tinstar with Henry Fonda. It’s from 1956 or 57. And the director is the same as High Noon although we didn’t realise it then. When we needed a name i just saw the movie on television! 20 years AGO!! I liked the movie and the name… so… Tinstar trio and later we changed that to the Tinstars!

You even had a trumpet player…
The Tinstars Yay! The trumpet player! We had him to do all the Sonny burgess stuff. He was a roadie. We did that 15 years ago… Good fun! REDHEADED WOMAN…!! Hahaha means a lot more now then 15 years ago..

How did this changes influence your sound and the evolution of the band?
The Tinstars Well I dont think the sound of the band changed that much we are a lot older so we do a little less rolling on the floor! Good thing, it saves me money from the dry cleaner but we still are pretty wild I have to say

Netherlands had a very big rockin’ scene in the late 80’s with a lot of rockabilly, neo-rockabilly, psychobilly bands and labels. How is it today?
The Tinstars Not as big but still very fanatic in a way I didn’t see it changed that much. I think it is similar to France you know? Not as big but sure still there!!

As the Tinstars, you sometime back rockabilly legends. How do you approach that? Do you play the songs note for note or do you try to bring the Tinstars’ touch?
The Tinstars Man we sure did so many to name them, around 16 I guess… We always tried to lift them up to go wild the Tinstar way and we succeed doing it many a times! You should have seen us with Joe Clay!! We used 2 drummers, as on some of his recordings. We were supposed to back up Jimmy Wages but he passed away 3 weeks before the show..

Did you record with some of them?
The Tinstars No only with Ronnie Dawson. As the Tinstars are not very fund of recording studios! hahaha

In the list of artists you backed, who thrilled you the most?
The Tinstars I have to say Joe Clay and Rudy Grayzell. Great guys… We had a lot of fun with these two DUCKTAIL cats.

I’ve seen a clip on youtube of The Tinstars playing with Rip Carson. He seems really wild on stage, is he easy to work with?
The Tinstars Jeff (Rip) is a dear friend that we backed up about 10 times. A nice dude, talented boy, and fun to hang out with. If we can reach him that is hahaha. He is probably shaving his beard off.

TinstarsDo you have a particular artist you’d love to make a duet with or simply meet him?
The Tinstars Yes..with (again) Don Cavalli. He is my dear buddy and he is the best… at least for me that is. We played with him and when this guy starts singing and strums his guitar. MAN! And I wouldn’t mind to hang out with Jerry Lee to have a drink with!! (or two).

Tell us a bit about your records. I know about an album out as the Tin Star Trio on Rockhouse now reissued on Rarity. Do you have any other recordings?
The Tinstars Uuuhh that album is 20 years old hahaha. We recorded 4 songs for an upcoming E.P “Take me to that place” and we are going to record an album for Empire Records soon but right now we are working on Lil Esthers new c.d. We recorded the songs for that already (with songs from Big Sandy, Don Cavalli and John Lewis on it)

Do you play on vintage equipment?
The Tinstars I’am a collector of that stuff for a long time tube stuff, amps, recorders, mixers, mikes etc. Old instruments too but on stage we use the reissue stuff for the amplifiers. I packed it all up now, but going to use it in the near future for sure.

What are your plans for the future?
The Tinstars To continue what we are doing I guess… and to concentrate on recording more.

A last word?
The Tinstars Thanks for talking to me Fred! I enjoyed it, I really did.
The Tinstars are still going strong and that without a website, myspace or sending this Newsletters out! Never change a winning team(?)

Josie Kreuzer

in Interviews

Josie Kreuzer

Josie Kreuzer
Josie Kreuzer

Josie Kreuzer appeared on the rock’n’roll scene around 1992 with the all female rockabilly band Whistle Bait. They soon estabished a name as a solid live act. Sadly, Whistle Bait never released anything (but they recorded some tunes with Wally Hersom at his Wallyphonic studios) and eventually broke up in 1996. Josie then started her own label (She-Devil) and 1997 saw the release of her first solo album “Hot Rod Girl” with Hot Rod Lincoln providing her back-up band. Two years later, she gave us “As Is” a great album with some honky tonk influences, and in 2002 followed “Beggin’ me back” her best record to date and the perfect mix of all her influences. Produced by Mark Neill, with Craig Pacham on drums and Rip Carson on bass, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Note to the reader : this interview has been conducted a few years ago (sometimes between As Is and Beggin’ Me Back) but I thought it was worth publishing as more of the infos are about Josie’s influences and things like that.

by Fred “Virgil” turgis

Can you tell us how you became involved into rockabilly ? Who (or what) was the shock that decided you to become a singer?
Josie Kreuzer I grew up in a very musical household. There seemed to be some kind of music playing most of the time. My mother’s record collection was huge–chock full of blues, jazz and rock n roll. It was hillbilly & rockabilly that struck the strongest chord with me, moved me the most. I started writing songs when I was eleven, really with no intentional goals that I can think of. It wasn’t until I started working at a record store as a teen, that I discovered the more obscure rockabilly music which made me even love it more, and that was when I decided to get a guitar and eventually start a band.
Nowadays what are you influences and what are you listening to ?
My influences are always expanding. They’ve always spanned across many genres of music, not just rockabilly. Lately I’ve been listening to alot of old western swing, mariachi and Hawaiian 78’s, plus a lot of Jazz & vocals like Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Kay Starr. I just got back from playing a festival in Australia where I picked up a few CDs from some of the current rockabilly bands out there, so I’ve been listening to those lately as well–The Satellites and The Satellite V are two bands to look out for… really good stuff.

Whistle Bait (Josie Kreuzer, Cleo Ramone, Jennifer Quinn, Teri Tom)
Whistle Bait (Josie Kreuzer, Cleo Ramone, Jennifer Quinn, Teri Tom)

Reading an article about Whistle Bait, it seems you had a wide range of influences (from Wanda Jackson to the Ramones).
Josie Kreuzer Hmm, where’d you find that article ? Yes, if I tried to list all of my influences it would take months and scrolls of paper! I have shelves & shelves of records & CDs and I’m continually buying new stuff all the time.

Could you tell more about this band and how did it sound?
Josie Kreuzer Whistle Bait was my very first band. It was actually all of the members’ first band as well. I started it when I moved to LA in 1992. It was an all-girl rockabilly band, and believe it or not I hadn’t had the intention of starting an all-girl band…it just sort of happened that way. It was a four piece–lead guitar, upright bass,drums & myself on Rhythm guitar & vocals. We were extremely raw sounding –as first bands usually are.

Any chance to see an official release of the demos recorded by Wally Hersom?
Josie Kreuzer That’s a frequently asked question…still, after all of these years… But honestly, 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?! I guess I probably shouldn’t mention this, but there are live videos of us too.

Why did Whistle Bait break up?
Josie Kreuzer Mainly because 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. We also had some disagreements on the business side of things which I won’t go into.

Is it true that it was just before you were due to play Hemsby?
Josie Kreuzer Gosh, you know everything, don’t you ? It’s a classic story. Our last show ever was at The House of Blues in LA on Elvis’ birthday for their annual benefit. Unfortunately we didn’t know it was our last show when we were playing it! Soon after, we had a band meeting or fallout–whatever you want to call it… I had been unhappy for a long time with the music situation, and at that meeting a lot of «certain» business issues came up…we all left pretty pissed off. I decided that it was best if the band didn’t continue… I wasn’t even sure what the hell I was going to do. I had absolutely no plans of doing a solo thing–probably just starting a new band. Whistle Bait had one final gig to do–we were committed, the contract was signed, it was Hemsby 16. Unfortunately the rest of the girls refused to follow through on the booking commitment. I told them 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.

Your first album is straight (and first class) rockabilly. On the second we can hear a touch of country with the presence of the steel. Does it something you did consciously ? Would you like to go more in that style (with fiddle etc.)?
Josie Kreuzer Now that I look back, I realize «As is» was just myself coming full circle. In my earlier years, I was really more hillbilly sounding, but no one really knows this because the first recording that everyone has heard is ‘Hot Rod Girl’… I never «consciously» plan the songs I write, they just come out. «As Is» was just a product of the songs that came out of me at that period of my life. You see, for me, I can’t just sit down and say «well gee, I think. I’m gonna write a rockabilly song today’, my songwriting goes much deeper than that….it’s influenced by what’s going on around me. The arrangements (e.g. steel guitar) just come to fruition as I get together with my band. I happened to have a steel player there at the time, and I just liked the way it sounded. I have a hard time with genres. Unfortunately they have to categorize us somehow. I really just play the music that is deep in my heart, and that just so happens to be categorized by people as rockabilly…so when I slightly stray from that it worries some people–I don’t know why–hillbilly rockabilly–honky–tonk–whatever you want to call it–it all has soul, and that’s what I like creating—music with soul.

Josie kreuzer - Beggin' Me Back
Josie kreuzer – Beggin’ Me Back

Being a rockabilly artist is surely not easy, I guess. But is it more difficult to be a woman on that scene?
Josie Kreuzer It’s both– Working with a band, club bookers and sound guys is more difficult in that males tend to hate being told what to do by a the end we are always considered a ‘bitch’ where as if I were a man, I’d be considered assertive and be respected to a greater extent. But it’s also easier being a woman in that we have higher recognition on the scene because there aren’t as many doing it. So, lot’s more press and photo ops!

You produce your records and you run your own label. Is it to have more control over your recordings ?
Josie Kreuzer It’s entirely to have total control over my recordings. I have total accountability for everything. I know exactly how much and where every last cent is going from my CD sales earnings. Ask any artist who is with an Indie label, and they probably haven’t even seen $10,000 bucks so far…. and if they have, they are probably wondering if they’ll ever get anything else. Ask any artist who is on a major label and they probably haven’t even seen one penny because they are still paying off their massive debt to the label. It’s sad but true.

Would you like to produce other artists on She-Devil ?
Josie Kreuzer I don’t think I would ever have enough time! Plus I don’t think I’d like to be responsible for other band’s income… Too much of a pain and too much work!

Did you play with rockabilly singer of the first generation as Wanda Jackson or Janis Martin ?
Josie Kreuzer Oh yes, I’ve played with Wanda before – she is still just as rockin as ever – and what a voice?!

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