Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

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August 2016

The Whyos

in Profiles
The Whyos
The Whyos

Coming from New Jersey, The Whyos were Mike Girao (guitar), Tim Gorell (vocal), Brian Post (bass guitar) and Joe Geary (drums). They released an album on Dutch Rockhouse label in 1984  with additionnal musicians Mike Baumann (p) and Chris Galli (sax) who also appeared on stage with the band.
They became very popular in New Jersey in clubs in the 80’s, opening for Marshall Crenshaw and the Stray Cats.
They also signed a Capital record contract for a year but no album was released.
Their brand of neo-rockabilly was cleaner than many other acts and showed some new wave influenced.
They also did a cover of a Led Zeppelin song for a tribute record and their song “1-2-3-4” appeared on The Dirt Club Compilation.
Bassist Brian Post sadly passed away in 2012.

Albums

The Whyos, Rockhouse Records, 1984
Singles & EPs
Full Arms And An Empty Heart / Onetwothreefour, Rockhouse Records SP 8408, 1984
Full Arms And An Empty Heart, Fake Doom Records FDR 004, 1984
Talk To Me Like The Rain, Rockhouse Records SP 8502, 1985

The Roy Kay Trio

in Interviews

Roy Kay TrioI love to be surprised in music. Of course I’m always happy to buy a record I’m sure I won’t be disapointed with (you can’t go wrong with Deke Dickerson, Marti Brom, Big Sandy to name but a few). But sometimes I just buy records for the name of the band, the cover they play (or the ones they don’t play), pictures I saw or guys they’ve played with. That’s what happened when I ordered “Wanderin’ Mind” by The Roy Kay Trio just because Deke Dickerson was the producer. And, man, what a good choice I did that day. This “classic” rockabilly trio (two guitars and a slap bass) played the best rockabilly I’ve heard since High Noon, melodic and agressive in the same time. Then a few years later the band released “Knockin’ Em Back” which was, believe it or not, even better. Once again Roy Kay showed he was a accomplished songwriter with mid tempos like “In the middle”, “Overboard” and the beautiful slow “Tell me your dreams”. In 2005 they released their third effort “Rock-A-Way Lonesome Moon”, another killer. This interview took place just after they went to Berlin to record it..

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

 

Could you introduce us the member of the band ?
Roy Kay:Robin Cady on upright bass and Mike Geglia on electric guitar

What did you grow up listening to ?
Roy Kay:All kinds of music. My mom was a Bing Crosby fan, my brother, 9 years older than me, was into the Beatles and the Beach Boys. I used to dig through all their record collections. My dad was a clarinent/saxophone player in the late 40’s/early 50’s for small swing combos. He didn’t play much by the time I was growing up, I think that made the idea of playing music live more intriuging. Since then, I’ve been into a lot of different things, garage, punk, early country, western swing, early rhythm and blues. I dig country blues from Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Sleepy Johh Estes, Arthur Crudup to name a few. I like Muddy Waters before he moved to Chicago and started playing the kind of music I think most people stereotypically think of the blues. I’ve always liked rockabilly in one form or another, from my mom’s 8-track tape Elvis collection to the Stray Cats when I was twelve to when I first saw Johnny Cash in London in ‘94.

In your biography, you’re talking about punk bands you’ve played with. Could you tell us more about this period?
Roy Kay:Sure, I grew up in Orange County, California. The punk scene was doing really well in that area with bands like Agent Orange, Adolescents, Social Distortion and DI and great all ages venues like Fender’s in Long Beach and LA’s Olympic Auditorium. There was also a DJ show on a local radio station, Rodney Bingenheimer… The label Posh Boy released these compilations called Rodney on the Roq (KROQ – I think it’s a top 40 station now). Anyway these were my first punk records, with bands like Black Flag, the Minutemen, Circle Jerks and a bunch more. I dug it and started a band when I was 15, Red Scab, with my two best friends. We played shows, mostly crazy parties, including a house wrecking party, for two years and recorded two demo tapes. It was a lot of fun and I still see some of the people from those days at rockabilly weekenders here and there.

You were a drummer at that time ?
Roy Kay:No, I started the band singing and playing bass guitar. I moved to bass guitar/backing vocal when a friend of mine wanted to become the singer. I started playing drums in 1999.

Do you still play drums ?
Roy Kay:Yes, occasionally. It’s a really cool instrument. The last project I played drums in was a 40’s rhythm and blues bands with some good friends in Seattle.

When did you first start playing rockabilly? How did you discover that style?
Roy Kay:In 1999, I played drums for a short lived band called the Knocked-Outs. I was just learning drums; it was great at the beginning. After a year, I really wanted to play music with fewer people and less instruments, so in 2001 I decided to start the trio. As far as discovering the style, like I mentioned before, I’ve always known about it, but I really started being serious about it after I saw Johnny Cash in London. It was a great show in a small club and I’ll never forget it.

Did you record things before the Roy Kay Trio ?
Roy Kay:Yes, lots of stuff. One punk demo still survives from 1986 and the rest are from various bands from ‘87 til ‘98. Mostly experimental lo-fi blues.

How did you meet Robin and Mike ?
Roy Kay:I met Robin in the Knocked-Outs and I met Mike through a guitarist wanted ad!

You formed the trio in 2001, did the line up remain steady?
Roy Kay:Yes, I’m thankful for that. Robin and Mike are great to work with and a lot of fun to hang out and travel with.

Roy Kay trioThen you met Deke Dickerson and he produced your first album. Who approached who at first?
Roy Kay:I asked Deke if he was into it and he said yes. I had met him a few times before through mutual friends in Los Angeles. That recording session for Wanderin’ Mind was a great weekend. He was really easy to work with.

Lance LeBeau said about Sun studio (where he recorded with Go Cat Go) « Sun studio is an amazing place, the vibe in that room is chilling; there’s a definite air to that place. To me the room felt alive of energy». Was it the same at Electro-vox ?
Roy Kay:Not really, the studio has been through a lot of changes, even in the last two years. The building is interesting, the location is great and the room has really good accoustics, but that place is more about the current people involved. Wally Hersom is a great engineer. For that session he used mostly his own equipment and it worked out great. Knockin’ Em Back was Ashley Kingmans first job as a producer. He did a fantastic job. We all had a blast that weekend !!

You have a 45 out. What about this one. Is this a preview of the forthcoming album, or will they be available only on vinyl ?
Roy Kay:No it’s not really a preview, and yes, this will be only released on vinyl for now. We recorded this in a couple hours at the same place we recorded Wanderin’ Mind. Travel Bound is a wild song that we wanted to record for Tex who runs Miz. Liz Records. The B-side is an old western swing song and we added our own arrangement.

And what about the new songs to appear on compilations ? Where ? When ?
Roy Kay:There are a few compilations coming out, one on KamiKazi Records and another that our local radio station put out for Seattle’s Shake the Shack Rockabilly Ball, but both of those use previously recorded material.

You’re back from Berlin, where you recorded your next album, how was it?
Roy Kay:It was great, it’s always fun going over there. The tour was great. Good crowds at the festivals in Waldorf and Berlin. The Voodoo Bar in Goettingen once again was incredible. Small club, but one of the wildest crowd anywhere. The recording was real cool. Working with Axel at Lightning Recording was a great experience, he really works for the right sound for every song. He puts a lot of heart into what he does.

What can you tell about us this new recording?
Roy Kay:I think it’s real cool, we’re all really happy about the way it came out and can’t wait to release it. It’s different from the second record (Knockin’ Em Back) just like the Knockin’ Em Back was different from Wanderin’ Mind. This record is very inspired by music from the early fifties especially the work from artists like Tillman Franks, Faron Young, Webb Pierce, Jimmy and Johnny and Curtis Gordon. We’re currently mastering the record right now. It will have 14 songs with 11 to 12 new originals.

Did you record stuff only for the album, or also for compilations and 45 rpm?
Roy Kay:We recorded 18 songs all together, we may or may not use them for something else. We definitely want to do a few more singles, we’ll see what happens.

Do you have a release date?
Roy Kay:Not exactly, but it should be out by the fall of this year! Look for it and we hope you enjoy it!!

I saw that it will be out on Rhythm Bomb records. Do you stop the activities of Lur Liner?
Roy Kay:No, LurLiner will continue to run.

Have you been approached by other labels ?
Roy Kay:Yes, other labels have made us offers, but Rhythm Bomb worked out the best for us. We had a great time touring Germany last year and this is a great reason to go back.

You toured europe last year, do you have special memories. And will you come back ?
Roy Kay:D-Day was a blast! But along the whole tour all the people were great. We made a lot of friends and I’ll be glad when I get to hang out with them again. Later in the year we are planning a longer European/England tour in October.

You’ll be at the the next Hemsby ?
Roy Kay:Yep, it looks like Sweden and Finland too, but we’re still working out the details!!

Talking about festivals, how was Oneida?
Roy Kay:I had a real good time at Green Bay, different from other weekenders I’ve been to. Great for seeing music with 120 bands, but not nearly as many people dancing during the DJ sets as other weekenders. One of the reasons might have been there was always a band playing at one of the 4 stages, so lots of people were moving around trying to see as much as they could.

Roy Kay TrioWhat is your best memory?
Roy Kay:One highlight for me was to see so many friends from all over the world in Green Bay, Wisconsin! Best music memory, if I had to pick one it would be Jimmy Cavello’s set, especially singing Rock, Rock, Rock. To me it sounded like little time had passed since he originally recorded it.

Did you back “original” artist?
Roy Kay:No, got to see our good friends back up plenty though. The Ragtime Wranglers, The Fly Rite Boys, Deke and Wally all did a fantastic job.

Your cd’s are very well designed. They are credited to GiantRoybot.inc. I guess you’re the « Roy « in Roybot…
Roy Kay:Yep, that’s me.

This is your job, or do you play music full time ?
Roy Kay:I’m happy you dig the designs, because that’s what I do when I’m not playing music. I’ve been doing graphic design for 10 years.

What about the rockabilly scene in Seattle ?
Roy Kay:Lately it’s been good, not too many touring bands in the last year, but the local shows are crowded.

Johnny Burnette, Carl Perkins and Hank Williams or Texas rockabilly a la Budy Holly are obvious influences (among others). Did more recent bands like High Noon influence you ?
Roy Kay:I would say inpire, more than influence. The real influence comes from the original 50’s artists, like Charlie Feathers and Jack Earls, but when I hear a new band do something really cool, it reminds me that there is a lot of great ideas still in Rockabilly.

What is for you the ultimate rockabilly singer ?
Roy Kay:I’m not sure if I have one. I really like Charlie Feathers especially the country songs, and the way the Burnettes sing with intensity. I like Webb Pierce, althought he wouldn’t be classified as a rockabilly singer. If I had to pick one, I’d choose Carl Perkins or Curtis Gordon. They both can sing with heart in a subtle way from a rockin’ tune to a country ballad.

A last word to conclude ?
Roy Kay:Thanks for the great questions and I hope we can make it to France this year!

The Retarded Rats

in Albums/Contemporary artists/R/Reviews

Retarded ratsThe Retarded Rats – I Hate Chocolate

Killjoy records – Kill 024 [2017]

The Head and the Axe – Survival

A broken record player coupled with a busy schedule delayed the review of a batch of vinyl records I received from Killjoy records, including this single from the Retarded rats. And just when I finally can review it, I hear the news that they decided to take a break . Rats !

Killjoys is known for its colored vinyl releases and cassettes. This single makes no exception to the good taste of the label. It comes in a beautiful gatefold sleeve, nicely designed and illustrated with… a flexi disc inside. Yes you read well, a flexi disc.
For releasing such beautiful objects, Flatty and Anna Killjoy deserve all our respect, admiration and support (in other words : buy the discs !) But they deserve all of that and more  for another simple and obvious reason : their music.
A side could be described as psychedelic-psychobilly, not that surprising for a song about voices in the head that lead to a hatchet in a skull.
B side is more rocking with a slight western twang. It also features pretty good lyrics too. Like everyone I like songs about vampires, ghouls and zombies but I was pleased to find more personnal and almost reflective lyrics that find a strange echo with the news of the band calling it quit.

Limited to 500 copies.

Available here and here.


The Retarded Rats - Screams from the 10th Planet
The Retarded Rats – Screams from the 10th Planet

The Retarded Rats – Screams from the 10th Planet

Killjoy Records KILL-017
The Engine Starts – No time to die – Neo-psychobilly – You Lost my brain – Headshot – Searching – Fingertip in the Sky – Inquisition – the key – Coulrophobia – Nananananananananananana – Screams fromt he 10th planet

I sometimes fear that I don’t have the legitimacy to review Psychobilly albums. After all, I stopped following the evolution of the genre since the mid 90’s, when bands began to incorporate too much elements of metal, hardcore or were just playing punk with a slap bass. But the Retarded Rats LP came as a nice surprise. I first thought that the main reason was due to the sound that brought back my teenage year. But it was much more than that. And simplier: the Retarded Rats are a pretty good band.

With the feet firmly rooted in the classic Psychobilly tradition of the mid 80’s/late 90’s, this trio (Gordon melmac on drums, Flatty Killjoy on guitar and organ and Anna Killjoy on doublebass and lead vocals) from Leipzig, Germany, takes the genre one step further without denaturing it. Without a doubt the light guitar, the slap bass (a real slap bass with warm notes and a wood sound, not that horrendous metallic clicking sound one too often hears) and even the voice of Anna, the female lead singer (I couldn’t help but think about Something Shocking or Dypsomaniaxe) belong to the what is usually described as old school psychobilly but the melodies, the songs (all originals) and the arrangements are 100% their own.
By no means are the Retarded Rats a nostalgic band playing a music of the past. They have too many good ideas for that. The sound has a lot to do with that too, it’s raw – recorded live on 8 track reel to reel – but not dirty (well, okay a bit dirty, but just what it needs, see what I mean)

In the end the best way I can find to describe this excellent combo is the title of one of the best songs of the album: neo-psychobilly.
Like Rockabilly, Psychobilly saw a lot of 80’s bands reforming in the recent years to play weekenders, that’s a good thing (who wouldn’t like to see legends?) but I firmly believe that the future of Psychobilly lays in bands like the Retarded Rats who bring new blood and ideas but remain faithful to the genre.

Order it here : http://www.killjoy-records.de/en/home/136-the-retarded-rats-screams-from-the-10th-planet.html

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Shaun Young (High Noon, Thunderchiefs…)

in Interviews

This interview with Shaun Young was made in two sessions. The first part took place sometime at the end of 2001. This was before the release of “What Are You Waiting For” and the conversation turned around Shaun’s past band and influences. The second took place in 2006 after the release of “Wiggle Walk”, Shaun’s solo album and the succesful gigs of High Noon at Green bay and the Rockabilly Rave.

by Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Part 1 : Shaun Young, the 2001 interview

Shaun Young
Shaun Young

I’d like to know how you became involved in rockabilly etc. Is it something that comes from your parents or are you a «self made» rockabilly boy?
Shaun Young: My parents did have allot to do with it. My Dad is a big Buddy Holly fan and both of my parents love the Everly Brothers. They would sing Everly songs in harmony together when I was young. They also sang tunes like Frauline by Bobby Helms, Mom liked Ray Price , George Jones and Elvis. After digging into their records I started to search out stuff myself and found out about Gene Vincent, Johnny Burnette, Sid King and all the classic rockabilly.

You played in the Shifters before High Noon. Could you tell more about this band?
Shaun Young: The Shifters was a teenage rockabilly band (not real good ) but it was a way to start to learn how to «play it right». I formed the band with some guys from school.

Is there a connection with the Jinns?
Shaun Young: After graduation we found out about a band in Denver called Bop Street. The Naulty brothers, Pete and Brian, were the core of the group who later formed the Jinns. They were a big influence, they were older and knew allot more about the music than us. Pete turned me on to Ronnie Self and Ronnie Dawson to name a few. It was through them I met Todd Wulfmeyer (guitarist for the Jinns and Marti Brom) and Kevin. They both joined the Shifters soon after.

Now let’s talk about High Noon. How did you get together?
Shaun Young: Sean Mencher was playing with a country band called Chapperal and they opened for the Shifters. Kevin and I were very impressed by his playing and song writing. He dug the Shifters energy, so we started talking about rockabilly and how we thought a band should sound. Soon after that and though a long series of events the three of us ended up jamming in Seans garage. We had so much fun playing Elvis Sun tunes and such we all decided this was the band we had all dreamed of.

Did you find your sound immediately?
Shaun Young: Yes and no. When I see old video of High Noon I’m surprised at how much we sound the same now as then. We did how ever evolve and refine the sound as we went along with becoming better players and song writers. I think we all had a certain individual style that just messed real well and produced a strong combined result.

How did you meet Willie Lewis?
Shaun Young: Kevin and I had heard his first record in Denver. We were saying «Who is this guy?» Then our old friend Todd Wulfmeyer found him and introduced us. Willie came out to some shows we did up in Colorado. We told him how cool it would be to have a 45 rpm record out on Rockabilly records, and he agreed. He was the only record company crazy enough to put out a 78 rpm disc.

High Noon, Sean Mencher, Kevin Smith, Shaun Young
High Noon, Sean Mencher, Kevin Smith, Shaun Young

There was this record with Beverley Stauber, wich came after your first release but it wasn’t exactly your sound. Could you tell me more about these session?
Shaun Young: Man, what can I say about that mess. We were hired to back her up. I hate the way that thing was recorded. It was a huge studio with mikes everywhere. We were just warming up and goofing around when they recorded the songs I was singing. I didn’t know they would put them on the record. Beverley was a friend of ours and we were trying to help her out.

Then High Noon stopped. Why?
Shaun Young: We had been on the road for years, making no money, sleeping on floors, riding trains, and missing our family. Don’t get me wrong we loved to play music for every one who would listen and getting to see the world is something not every one gets to do. But it starts to wear on you when your always worried about paying the bills. Remember this was before the scene was as organized as it is today. We had to do every thing our selves. Seans wife Leslie booked and managed the band, with out her and Sean busting there humps we would have gone no where. Sean and Leslie then decided to move their Family up to Portland Maine. It was an chance for their three kids to go to good schools and be close to there Grandparents. So we just had to slow down. I don’t think any of us really look at High Noon as ever being broken up. We have way to much fun together to ever say the last show was the last. We just have differn’t prioritys and responsabilites to take care of. We will continue to make music together when ever the right opportunity presents it’s self.

Could you name some of your major influences as a singer?
Shaun Young: Buddy Holly, for both singing and writing, Gene Vincent, Tommy Duncan (with Bob Wills band) Tony Williams (from the Platters) are some favorite singers of mine.

And some songwriter…
Shaun Young: For writing Hank Williams, and Harland Howard.

After the High Noon days, we discovered Shaun Young the drummer. When did you start drumming?
Shaun Young: I started drumming when I found some vintage drums at a local flee market. I got a great deal on them so I thought I’d better learn to play them. I always dug the drums and drummers like Gene Krupa and Dickie Harrel. So I would get a lesson from Bobby Trimble every time Big Sandy was in Austin and I picked up a gig playing with Marti Brom. It was trial by fire, either learn to play decent or look like a fool. That was in 93 or 94.

It seems, especially on the Jive Bombers recordings, that you work hard to get the good sound and the way you beat the skins. Do you play on vintage drumkit?
Shaun Young: I Have or have had three vintage kits I’ve recorded with. 1940 Ludwigs, 1949 Leedys and 1938 Slingerland Radio Kings. It is very important to me to have a good sound when I drum. I studied old records magazine articles and such to try to find out how the old guys tuned there drums. Then I tried to play with in that style.

Who are your favorite drummers?
Shaun Young: Gene Krupa, Chick Webb, J.I. Allison, Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, Bobby Trimble is the best on the modern scene, too many to list!
Let’s talk about the Jet Tone Studio. Is it true that this name comes from an airport wich was near the studio, and sometimes you had to stop recording while the plane were flying?
Shaun Young: Jet Tone Studios was my extra bedroom. My wife Kristi and I lived right be the Airport and yes we did have trouble with low flying planes ruining recordings.

Would you like to produce artists like Sean Mencher do?
Shaun Young: Yes, I love to. Any body need a producer?

Jet Tone Studio/Jet Tone Boys : how did you meet Marti Brom?
Shaun Young: We met Marti at the local flee market. Her husband Bob just walk over cause he saw a greaser looking guy. I told him I had a band and Marti should come and sit in with us so people would find out about her.

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

You also played with the excellent Jive Bombers?
Shaun Young: The Jive Bombers came to be out of a band I played drums with called the Big Town Swingtet. It was a Swing combo (Two trumpets, trumbone, tenor sax, guitar, stand up bass, drums and a great female vocalist named Dana Dattalo.) We played gigs just for fun and had a good following. After Sean moved, High Noon wasn’t playing locally much any more so some of us decided to become more serious. We formed the Jive Bombers and then the swing craze hit. We played all the time and made good money while having a lot of fun. We weren’t really a swing band but more of a Jump blues band. Then Dana got a good job offer in Hawaii and left the band. I didn’t think it was worth it to replace her so we split up.

As a member of a Jump Blues/Swing/ Jive band, what do you think about those so-called Swing band that jumped on the success of the Swing revival?
Shaun Young: There wasn’t to many good ones. I dig swing and when I say swing I mean Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, and Count Basie. I never head any new bands that sounded like them.

Do you still play rockabilly as a singer/guitarist ?
Shaun Young: I still gig as Shaun Young with The Horton Brothers and drummer Buck Johnson backing me up along with guys like Leroy Biller on guitar and T Bonnta on piano when ever they’re available. We play rockabilly and country tunes, a few new songs I’ve written, but mostly covers. We hardly ever rehearse and play purely for the fun of it.

What about Shaun Young and the New Blue Moon Boys ?
Shaun Youngg: The New Blue Moon Boys is a group that gets together twice a year to play an Elvis tribute show at the Continental club. The band includes: Bobby Horton on guitar with brother Billy on up right bass, Lisa Pankratz on drums, T Bonnta on piano, and the Lowels (Bill Bailey, Mike Heil, and Roger Wallace) singing back ups We start as a trio doing Sun stuff and then add drums and piano to play early RCA tunes. We end up with the Three backing vocalist singing the Jordanaires parts. Its a fun show to do.

What are your projects ?
Shaun Young: My main projects of late have been building cars. I just finished a 31 ford model a Hot Rod and a buddy of mine in my car club, the Kontinentals, is customizing my 51 chevy. I’m having fun taking a break from playing music and mess with cars. It’s something I Haven’t had time to do for a while. I do have a new solo record in the can and almost ready for release. Look for it on Goofin’ records soon.

A last word?
Shaun Young: Just want to say what a thrill it is to be part of something like High Noon! Thanks to everyone out there! See ya down the road.

Part 2 : Shaun Young, the 2006 interview

The last time we talked, you ended the interview saying “I’m having fun taking a break from music and mess with cars”. It seems that things have changed this last few years…
Shaun Young: Yes, Ive become very busy with music again and it feels great after a bit of a break. Ive been doing some different things, playing electric guitar, writing new instrumental tunes as well as new vocal songs. Playing a bit more with the Horton Brothers backing me around Austin and having a blast with the new Surf band The Thunderchiefs!

You’ve played some gigs with High Noon. How was it to play together again?
Shaun Young: It is always great to play with High Noon, its heaven! Its kind of like riding a bike; we played for so long together that you just kind up pick up right where you left off. I just get swept away by the feel of that band. With just the three instruments it seems the music has a rhythm all it own.
The other great thing about getting to play with High Noon is just getting to sing those songs. I think weve really written some nice songs through the years and I wish I got to sing them more often.

High Noon’s return at Green Bay coincided with the release of “What are you waiting for?” your first release together for years. Was it important for you to come with new material?
Shaun Young: Yes very important. The last thing any of us want High Noon to turn into is a reunion band playing all the old hits from the early nineties. You have to have fresh stuff, new songs, and new challenges. If youre going to do it, do it right. Thats the motto we try to live by.

You did a great show at the 10th Rockabilly Rave. Sadly Kevin couldn’t make it and was (greatly) replaced by Jimmy Sutton. A word about him…
Shaun Young: Most folks probably all ready know about Kevin getting hired by Dwight Yoakam. Its a great opportunity for him, the big time and he deserves it! Sean and I are so proud of him. Well when Kevin got the call from Dwight we were all ready booked at the Rave so we had two choices. Either cancel or play with a fill in bass player. Playing with a fill in player isnt something we would normally even consider but when Jimmy Sutton said hed play my mind was at ease.
High Noon is its own weird special thing and its hard for anyone to step in and play. Not that the music is complicated or no once else out there is good enough to fill our shoes or something, Im defiantly not saying that! Its more like the three of us have been screwing it up for so many years together it makes it difficult for some one to step in and groove like the band normally does. Does that make sense? Any way, weve know Jimmy for all most as long as High Noon has existed and of course we are BIG Jimmy Sutton fans so I felt like yeah, we can pull this off. Well Jimmy did more that just fill in and pull it off. He took it over and made it his own! That set wasnt High Noon with Jimmy Sutton filling in on bass it was High Noon period.

Do you plan to record new stuff with High Noon?
Shaun Young: You know, we do have some tentative plans that Im trying to sort out.
I wish I could tell yall more than that cause there may be some exiting things in the near future for High Noon. Is that big enough of a tease? Ha ha.

2005 saw the release of your newest solo output “Wiggle Walk”. A word about the “genesis” of this record.
Shaun Young: Wiggle Walk! That was a fun record to make! It was great to finally record a record with the Horton brothers, Dave Leroy Biller Buck Johnson and T Jarrod Bonta, the band that Ive been playing gigs with in Texas for ten years. Weve been gigging with that lineup ever since Billy and Bobby moved to Austin but other commitments have kept us form doing a record until now.

Shaun Young, with Dave Biller, Billy Horton, Bobby Horton and Buck Johnson.
Shaun Young, with Dave Biller, Billy Horton, Bobby Horton and Buck Johnson.

I had a bunch of songs written that Bobby and I had been getting together and arranging. Bobby is my right hand man when it comes to fleshing out my song Ideas and Billy is a great producer and engineer in the studio. How can you go wrong with a line up like that? I cant say enough good things about all those guys and I have for pinch myself to make sure its real when Im singing in front of that group of top notch musicians!
People seem to really like that album and we really appreciate all the great things folks have said about that one.

One of the band you’re involved with are the Thunderchiefs. How did you come with the idea of a surf band?
Shaun Young: Its a funny story. I used to play lead electric guitar when I was a teenager back in Colorado. Kevin and I had a band called the Shifters. We were a typical teenage rockabilly band, loud fast and not that good! Ha ha ha.
Well I had to play lead because we didnt know any other rockabilly guitar players.I was an ok guitar player but when we met Sean Mencher I thought heck I dont need to mess with this anymore, hes got it down! So its been like 15 or 16 years since Ive tried to play any electric lead guitar. Well about six months ago I bought a Fender Stratocaster and started to relearn a bunch of old instrumental guitar tunes I used to play as a kid. Typical stuff like Walk Dont Run and Pipeline.Well I was telling my buddy Joe Emrey I thought it would be fun to start a Surf band and play some of these tunes just for fun.
Joe I a great Surf guitar player who had a band called Death Valley here in Austin back in the early 90s. High Noon used to play show with them quite a bit back then. He is now the singer and guitarist for a KILLER garage rock band called the Ugly Beats. Any one who digs 60s garage rock needs to check out the Ugly Beats! Well Joe says that sounds like fun, I want to play bass!
I thought that would be great since Joe has never played bass in a band before and Im not the worlds greatest guitar picker so this will work well. I figured If I just found a group of guys that wanted to mess around and learn as we went I wouldnt make any good players bored with my screw ups.
Well, that whole plan went out the window when Bobby Trimble heard about it.
Bobby is one of my closest friends and we always wanted to play in a band together. Were both big Surf music fans. Bobby just moved to Austin from California this past year and its great to have him living in Texas! Any way when Bobby got wind of or little plan he told me DUDE, Im playing drums!!! I thought well heck if Bobby is going to play the drums Id better get good fast or Im going to start to stick out! So we got together over at Joes house for our first rehearsal and had a ball. We new we need to find a second guitar player to fill things out.
Well, thats when Mike Guerreo called Joe. Mike Is well known to Surf music fans as the incredible lead guitar player of the Austin Surf trio The Sir Finks. Their Boss Guitars of the Sir Finks album is one of the best modern surf records ever! Mike hadnt been playing much since the Sir Finks, spending time raising his family and such. Mike tells Joe he wants to play guitar with us. When Joe Told me that I about fell on the floor! Thats like starting your first rockabilly band and having Cliff Gallup call and say he wants in the band.
So suddenly we had a very good Surf band put together. All of us have been writing original songs for the group and we start recording our first album next month. It will be out on Wormtone Records This summer. Any one whos interested can check the band out on myspace.

You also play with the Limelights…
Shaun Young: The Limelight guys have been busy with other things so I havent been playing with that band for quite some time now
It was a fun band to play drums in, very Bill Haley and the Comets type of feel.

With all those bands, do you still find to build cars?
Shaun Young: Not as much as Id like! I still take time to mess with my cars any chance I get.
I love my hot rods. Working on them, driving them, taking the roadster and racing at the drag strip are my big escapes from the stress of life!

A last word?
Shaun Young: Thunderbird um I mean Thunderchiefs!
Just a thank you to all the fans who like what I do. Im still in shock that any one even cares about my little music projects and I really appreciate all the support.

Reviews on this site: Shaun Young (solo); the Jive Bombers

 

 

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