Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

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January 2017

The Pringles

in Albums/Contemporary artists/OPQ/Reviews
The Pringles - Rockin' Like A Man deluxe
The Pringles – Rockin’ Like A Man deluxe

The Pringles – Rockin’ Like A Man

Rhythm Bomb Records RBR 5842
Im In A Whirl-Try Me-Burnt Toast And Black Coffee-Aw C’Mon Baby-Dimples-Watch Out-Bongo Guitar-La Fiesta Esta De Ambiente-Midnight Cryin Time-Jump Jack Jump-Keep A Knockin-Train Kept A Rollin-Rockin Like A Man

The Pringles are a Japanese band made of two lovely ladies (Mei and Yuki) backed by four boys (guitar, double bass and two drummers are credited – a sax can also be heard on some songs) who know their stuff. Mei and Yuki mostly sang in harmonies a set consisting of a majority of covers ranging from Johnny Burnette’s frantic rocker Train Kept A Rollin to John lee Hooker’s Dimples with some Little Richard, Myron Lee, Wynona Carr and Shorty Long in between. Two songs are from the band (Watch Out by Yuki and Rockin’ Like A Man by Mei) and they’re good enough to stand next to these classics without shame and you come to regret they don’t write more stuff, which would make a more personal record. To be honest this record sure won’t change your life, but there’s enough good points to make it a pleasant affair and an excellent party record. A new album is already planned for 2017, so follow this band closely.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Star Time Playboys (the)

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S
Star Time Playboys (the)
the Star Time Playboys – it’s star time!

The Star Time PlayBoys – It’s star Time

Martin’s Garage ‎– ST13-CD-016 [2016]
Barnyard Bob – Sugar Cube – Havana – I’m Surfish – Red Rose Rag – Starless Night – Don’t Wait – Swingin’ With Zotel

I’m awfully late with taht review and thatt’s a shame. I should have reviewed this all instrumental album way much earlier, because it has every quality I ask to this type of records: it’s very well played (and I mean extremely well performed) and it’s short. I hear you moan “if it’s that good why are you happy that it’s short?” Well, too often, instrumental albums tends to be repetitive on the long distance with a couple of filler here or there. Nothing like that here, only the best material ended on this platter. This is just perfect.

The Star Time Playboys take their name from Bob Wills’ band which is always a plus in my book and come from Slovenia. It’s Star Time! is their debut album and it’s a superb mix of country jazz that reminds you the likes of Jimmy Bryant and Jimmie Rivers (also Dave Biller). latin beat with a rock feel, hot and fast picking, surf with a blues influence (kinda Link Wray meets Freddie King), 60’s influenced instrumental and a definitive rockabilly feel everywhere.

The rhythm section is hot and perfectly support Urban Zotei who instantly made his place among today’s great guitar players like the previously mentioned Dave Biller, but also Paul Pigat or Jinx Jones.

I wish to hear more from them in the future and I’d love to hear them try some stuff with a steel guitar.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

V/A El Mexican Rock And Roll

in Albums/Reissues/Reviews
V/A El Mexican Rock And Roll
V/A El Mexican Rock And Roll

Volume 1
El Toro [2009]
La Orquesta de Pablo Beltran Ruiz : Mexican Rock And Roll – Gloria Rios : El Relojito – Orquesta De Cuco Valtierra : Only You – Los Lunaticos : Ya Vistete Kitty – Orquesta De Venus Rey : Al Compas Del Rock – Los Llopis : Basta Arturo – Las Supersecas : El Rock De La Carcel – La Orquesta Royale Y Sus Cantantes : Por Lo Que vivo – Daniel Santos : Baila Conmigo – The Goya Cats : El Gato Del Express – La Orquesta De Pepe Luis : El Rock Universitario – Ricardo “Rebelde” Lemus y Sus Rocks : Arroz – Los Xochimilcas : Xochimilcas Rock – Los Lunaticos : Donde La Pescaste – Gloria Rios : Es Un Golfo – Los Supersecas : Te Quiero, Te Adoro Y Te Necesito – Los Lunaticos : El Reloj – Ricardo “Rebelde” Lemus y Sus Rocks : Perro Callejero – Juan Garcia Esquivel y Su Orquesta : Politecnico Rock And Roll – The Goya Cats : Mezcal – Los Trincas : Nena – Gloria Rios : La Mecedora – Los Xochimilcas : Rock Rollin’ Rock – Gloria Rios : Jazzeando “En Vivo” Uniseed – Los Supersecas : Tutti Frutti

By 1955 the rock’nroll craze hit the world. Separated by just one border, Mexico was among the first to succumb. This compilation gathers some of the first Mexican musicians that tried to play this music.
If some are just big bands or hotel / dance orchestra trying to jump on the bandwagon and are not very good, the carefull listener will find a couple of little gems. Gloria Rios, featured here with four songs, has a good Bill Haley like rocker and shows a good understanding of the genre. The other songs are tamer but quite good too. Los Lunaticos can play both wild and melodic stuff. One of my favorite band is Los Llopis, that manage to emulate Haley’s sound and that’s too bad they only have one song. Another highlight are the Goyo Cats that play two hot instrumentals with sax, guitar and steel guitar. You’ll also find hot guitar and piano solos but drawned in average material.
Next to original material, you’ll hear Spanish covers of Elvis’ Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, Tutti Frutti and I Want You, I Need You I Love You executed with various degrees of success.
An interesting compilation but probably more for curious listeners than the casual rock’n’roll fan..
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Marti Brom (reviews)

in AB/Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews
Marti Brom - Not for nothin'
Marti Brom – Not for nothin’

Marti Brom – Not For Nothin’

Ripsaw / Goofin GRACD 6705 [2010]
Finders Keepers / Get A Little Goner / Mascara Tears / Not For Nothin’ / Forbidden Fruit / Something Blue / Never No More / Sweet Baby of Mine / Blues Keep Calling / Sweet Thang / Write Me In Care of the Blues / Feelin’ Right Tonight / I Get the Blues When It Rains / A Fool Such As I / Spook House

“Not For Nothing” is not only the return of Marti Brom but it’s also the return to life of a legendary label: Ripsaw. For this album the rockin’ brunette gathered a cast of musicians of the Washington DC scene.
The opening track – Finders keepers – is a cover of Wynona Carr on which she’s appropriately backed Del Pushert (who toured with Elvis) on sax. The singer does a great job and it’s good to hear her on uncovered ground like this. Get A Little Goner, the following number finds her in well known territories with a twangy honky tonk number featuring Bill Kirchen, by far the best track of the album with Arty and Linda Hill’s Mascara Tears a straight honky tonk on which her Patsy Clyne’s voice makes wonders. In the same vein you’ll find Something Blue from the pen of Teri Joyce. The Austin songwriter wrote some of the best songs ever sang by Brom and this song makes no exception: another Honky Tonk tailor made for her. The title track, a Sean Mencher number, is good until the distorted guitar solo (Mencher would have done a better job no doubt about that) and there’s too much echo on the voice for me. Pat Brown’s Forbidden Fruit is hardly better. Bobby Sharp’s Sweet Baby Of Mine could have been very good. It’s a groovy number in a similar vein than Hit the Road Jack with saxes but once again the guitar could be more subtle. Globally, one can say that the very weak point of this album lays in the rockin’ numbers on which the guitarist can’t help but over playing, and to make things worse, with a bad sound. Strangely, for a singer that delivered some very good rockabilly numbers (remember Lassoed Live) this album works chiefly when she sings country or blues inspired numbers. But as they say every rule has its exception and “I Get the Blues When It Rains” is the perfect demonstration of that. They try to give it a western swing touch but end sounding more than Asleep At The Wheel rather than Milton Brown (in other words they don’t swing to save much). In the end “Not For Nothin’” is only half convincing, but I wouldn’t say that Brom is to blame but the problem comes from the band. You can only regret her previous albums on which she was backed by members of High Noon or the excellent Barnshakers.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Marti Brom plays Heartache Numbers
Marti Brom sings Heartache Numbers

Marti Brom – Sings heartache numbers

Goofin’ Records
One Way Ticket To The Blues – Alone At A Table For Two – Three Hearts Later – Four Walls – Five Fingers To Spare – Whiskey Six Years Ago – Seven Lonely Days – Eight Weeks In A Barroom – Apartment No 9 – Ten Minutes Till Heartaches – A-11 – The Twelfth Of Never – Thirteen Steps Away

I heard about this “Heartache Numbers” project a couple of years ago, and was very interested in the concept. Each track is a song containing the number of it’s track listing on the CD. (for example: Track #7- «7 Lonely Days», Track #9- «Apartment #9», etc.) HOW CLEVER!!! And it ends with the unlisted track- «Heartache By the Numbers». Okay- so Marti’ gets kudos for the concept of the record alone. Even though I usually have gripes with records that are all covers, this is an exception because of the clever concept and the fact that it is Marti’ Brom and she can pull it off. I was thrilled to find it was no longer just a «concept», and that the recordings were finally finished and released in time for the Oneida 50’s Fest. I had to get a copy. I have always been a Marti’ Brom fan, no matter what she does. Every record is different for her, but she has such an impressive range, she can master a multitude of musical styles. Still my favorite Marti’ recordings are her country ballads. Imagine- a whole record of country ballads by Marti’! The emotion of these songs perfectly showcases her ability as a singer. I don’t know much about 60’s Country, but I was turned on to the genre when I lived in Austin, TX, where it is a staple. I miss the honky-tonks where I could have a tear in my beer, but this CD brings it all back to me. My only warning to listeners is that, if you are drinking while you are playing the CD, you will probably be crying by the end. Remember that the title is «Heartache Numbers».There is only one Patsy Cline cover on the record, but the obvious comparison to her vocal stylings is still evident. Like Patsy, Marti can yank at those heartstrings with her dynamic range and emotional vocal manipulation. (Marti- don’t get offended about another Patsy comparison. It is definitely a compliment from me.) Vocally, this record is flawless. It is, in my opinion, Marti’s best vocal performance on a recording-and all of her recordings are superb. And, as always, she has selected the best backing musicians for the genre. (Bobby Flores- fiddle, Justin Trevino and Kevin Smith- bass, Debra Hurd- piano, Levi Mullen- guitar, Dickie Overby- steel, Buck Johnson and Lisa Pankratz- drums) If you like 60’s country, it doesn’t get any better than this! When I am drinking alone, I am going directly to this CD for company.To top it off, the «Maven of Style» models a «Cari Lee» original creation on the cover- a saloon-girl style satin/fringe dress! (I thought Cari Lee was a singer- how did she have time to become a kick-ass seamstress as well? I want my own «Cari Lee» dress!). Plus, the liner notes are by the one and only Wanda Jackson! You know it must be good if the «legends» are raving about it.

In conclusion, Marti’ is still my idol. Buy all of her records!

Little Rachel

High Noon the Rockabilly trio

in Albums/Contemporary artists/GH/Reviews
High Noon - Flatland Saturday Night
High Noon – Flatland Saturday Night

High Noon – Flatland Saturday Night

Bear Family
Glorybound – Stranger Things – She Forgot Her Memory – When She’s Good – Let’s Go Daddy-O – Long Empty Stretch Of Highway – My Ex Is Why – Beautiful – Rock Too Slow – Rockin’ Wildcat – Rockin’ Beauty – Old Habits – Flatland Saturday Night – Bluebonnet Boogie – Not For Nothin’ – Rattlesnake Man – Mixed Signal Mama – Fishing Hole Boogie – I’m Not Blue – Gotta Lotta That – Doggone That Cat – Now You’re Gonna Be Loved – Comanche Moon – Kiss And Tell Baby – Slow Down Baby – It’s The Beat – High On A Hill – Hanging From The Old Oak Tree – My Little Thrill – Call Of The Honky-Tonk – Quick Hand (demo) – My Heart Cries Yes (demo)

If you’re familiar with the Rockabilly genre, High Noon needs no introduction. But just in case… They were with Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Trio and the Dave and deke Combo, one of the bands that led the revival of American Rockabilly and among the first in the USA to play this music as if it came straigth from the fifties.

For any true Rockabilly lovers, High Noon almost sounded too good to be true: Shaun Young’s voice conjured the memories of the great Texas Rockabilly singers (among them a certain guy from Lubbock). Sean Mencher’s bag of riffs seemed bottomless. Unlike too many Rockabilly guitar player who were happy to copy Hank Garland or Scotty Moore, Mencher developped his style by listening to the generation that came before like Merle Travis but also Oscar Moore or Charlie Christian. And there was Kevin Smith who showed everybody what “slapping a doghouse bass” really meant (and he was more than able to sing harmonies too.)

Like an aknowledgement to their contribution to this music, High Noon now receives the Bear Family treatment, a well deserved treatment to the legends they are.

Except for the two demos (Quick Hand and My Heart Cries Yes) all songs (32 !) here are lifted from their Goofin’ records. So don’t expect to find songs recorded for Willie Lewis’Rock-A-Billy records or songs from their mini-album Texas style that saw High Noon playing with steel, fiddle, banjo and accordion (maybe for volume 2, who knows?)

Anyway if you don’t own anything from this great band, this is the best introduction you’ll find with a thick 40-page booklet (though the interview with shaun Young looks exactly like the interview I did with him a couple of years ago).
Read more at: https://www.bear-family.com/high-noon-flatland-saturday-night.html


High Noon - Texas Style
High Noon – Texas Style

High Noon – Texas Style

 Exile Records ‎– EX10EP09 [1994]
Crazy Mixed Up World – He Won I Lost,  She’s Found – Across the River – My Heart Cries Yes (but my mind whispers no) – Movie Magg – Red Barn Boogie

The Texas Rockabilly trio released this 10″ mini album in 1994. First, look at that cover! It’s perfect! Congratulations to Carlos Fernandez who captured the band in action. Then the music… For this one, High Noon took a slight departure from their usual brand of stripped down rockabilly and brought some guests to the party.
The opener is a cover of the Willie Dixon song made popular by Little Walter. The trio with the help of Alvin Crow on fiddle and John Ely on steel turns it into a superb hillbilly bop with Shaun Young yelling the name of the musicians in the great Bob Wills tradition. As usual Shaun’s vocals are superb, Sean Mencher’s guitar inventive and Kevin Smith provides the perfect backbone with his slap.
Next is He Won, I Lost, She’s Found, penned by Mencher. This Honky Tonk with steel, fiddle and harmony vocals (provided by Brent wilson of the Wagoneers) is sure to make you cry in you beer. The side A closes with Across the River, another Mencher original. It’s another fine ballad enlightened by Mike Maddux on accordion.
Side B opens with My Heart Cries Yes. Can these boys play bluegrass. You bet they can! With the help of Danny Barnes (Bad Livers) on banjo. Perkins’ Movie Magg is here to remind you that High Noon is one of the very best (if not the best) Rockabilly band of the late 80’s/early 90’s. Finally the steel and the fiddle return for Hank Harral’s Red Barn Boogie to conclude this mini album in beauty.

Vince and the Sun Boppers

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/UVWXYZ
Vince and the Sun Boppers
Vince and the Sun Boppers

Vince and the Sun Boppers – Gone For Lovin’

Rhythm Bomb RBR 5830
Bad Boy Rock – Black Haired Woman – Bunny Love – Dance With Sally – Devil Eyes – Gone For Lovin – Mama Little Chicky – I’m Longing For You – It’s You – Lone No More- Ooh My Baby – You Gotta Be Mine

When he recorded Elvis Scotty and Bill in July 1954, Sam Phillips probably didn’t know that not only he was writing history but more than 60 years later, folks from all around the world, young and old, would continue to play this music.

Vince and the Sun Boppers are one of those bands who perpetuate the tradition of classic Rockabilly (I don’t like the term authentic, for me as long as it’s played with the heart, whether it’s Big Sandy, Crazy Cavan or the Rockats, it’s authentic) These four cats (Vince Mannino: vocals lead guitar, Francesco Ardito: double bass, Silvio Chiodo: acoustic guitar and John Ziino: drums) come from Sicily but had Rhythm Bomb, their label, told me those songs came from a lost Sun session (I guess there’s a reason why they’re called the Sun Boppers)  from 1956 I would easily have believed them.

Everything here sounds period perfect. The rhythm section is top notch with a solid acoustic rhythm guitar, a light double bass – unlike too many bass players Mister Ardito knows that you don’t need to slap on all songs when you have a drummer – that perfectly matches with the drummer who manages to perfectly nail that Jimmy Van Eaton/ WS Holland sound. And of course there’s the voice and the guitar.
All these qualities to serve a bunch of excellent self-penned songs that manage to be both originals and in the tradition. As I said Vince and the Sun Boppers’ main influence is clearly the Sun sound but one can also hear the influence of Texas Rockabilly bands like Sid King and the Five Strings on a tune like Mama Little Chicky. Equally great is “It’s You” with its Jordanaires like backing vocals.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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