slim sandy

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Slim Sandy / Slim Sandy and his Hillbilly Boppers

Slim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – It Ain’t Right

Crow-Matic Records [2021]
Ice Water – Sweet Love On My Mind – It Ain’t Right – Sag Drag And Fall – Hillbilly Fever

Each new Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers is like reuniting with old friends. You’re always happy to meet them. Or it’s like turning the dial of your radio and hearing an old familiar voice, like the old-time radio shows.
Keeping the same approach with no concessions to trends or modernity, the trio, augmented here by the excellent Tom Hammel on steel guitar, rips through five hot numbers that are sure to give you the Hillbilly fever.
Glenn Barber’s Ice Cold Water seems tailored-made to received the Hillbilly Boppers’ treatment with Slim and Willa Mae singing harmonies like Jimmy and Johnny. Which led us to Sweet Love On My Mind. The Hillbilly Boppers’ version owes more to their version than Johnny Burnette.
Stuff Smith’s jazz/jive classic It Ain’t Right was already played by Slim with the Crazy Rhythm Daddies. I suspect their version to be also inspired by the Washboard Wonders, who recorded it on Bluebird in 1936. Anyway, Slim Sandy and the band turn it into a hillbilly/jug number, with perfect harmonies.
Their cover of Sid King’s Sag Drag and Fall proves how comfortable they are with bands having one foot in country music and the other in Rockabilly.
Hillbilly Fever (Little Jimmy Dickens) is another perfect vehicle for the band.
As for the previous release, this one is very joyful, exciting and as I said, they have something amicable in their music.
This one and the other albums can be found on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and all musical platforms.
Also pay a visit to the band’s website at
https://slimsandy.wordpress.com/


Slim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – Done Gone!

Crow-Matic Records 2018
Done Gone!  – Chicken Shack Stomp – Romp and StompI’ve Got the Boogie Blue

Though tempting, it’s not always evident, nor fair, to compare one band to another to describe its music. You can give a vague idea, but you can also fail to describe the band’s personality. And you can’t deny that Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers have tons of personality. Album after album they created their style and no contemporary band sounds like them.
If you ever asked yourself (be careful, it’s here that I slip the comparison) “What if the Delmore Brothers had recorded a session with the Cannon’s Jug Stompers?” I guess that the result would be quite close to Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers’ latest ep.
The title track is pure hillbilly yet rocking at the same time. Chicken Shack Stomp is in the same vein and features Mike Sadava on steel guitar. Both are sung by Slim Sandy.
The B-sides opens with Romp and Stomp. Willa Mae and Slim Sandy sing harmony vocals on that one. I wrote it in previous reviews but let me say it again: Willa Mae is a real plus to the band with her mastery of washtub bass and her contribution to the vocals. This is confirmed by Charlene Arthur’s I’ve Got the Boogie Blues on which she sings lead.
All in all, Done Gone is an excellent ep that encompasses the sound of the band perfectly. The vinyl adds to the beauty of the thing, especially with a cover drawn by Slim Sandy/Peter Sandmark.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers - Boogie Woogie FeverSlim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – Boogie Woogie Fever

Crow-Matic Records 2018
Done Gone  – I’ve Got the Boogie Blue – Boogie Woogie Fever – Romp and Stomp – Chicken Shack Stomp – Buster’s Dream – Everybody Loves My Baby – It’s All Your Fault – Hillbilly Ball  – Crazy Bout You – No Good Daddy   – Saturday Night Fish Fry   

I was still catchin’ my breath and restin’ my feet after listening repeatedly to “Getting That Low Down Swing” that “Boogie Woogie Fever” arrived in my letter box. Slim! Dont you have no pity? Anyway, my feet will rest later. This new album contains twelve songs including four by Peter Sandmark/Slim Sandy.  They mix hillbilly, western swing (hence the return of Mike Sadava on steel for three tracks), hokum, jug bands music, country blues (with plenty of harmonica), skiffle, a dash of rockabilly and some rhythm’n’blues sparkled here and there.
This cocktail has proven to work very well for the trio (and their occasional guests) and “Boogie Woogie Fever” makes no exception. As they say “if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.”
We all know Peter since his Ray Condo days and the Crazy Rhythm Daddies so for a change I’d like to talk about the other two. Willa Mae is a real plus on vocals. Not only her voice blends very well with Peter’s when they sang together (take a listen to “No Good Daddy”), but she’s also top notch when she takes lead. I especially liked her rendition of “Everybody Loves My Baby.” And despite the apparent simplicity of her instrument (the washtub bass) she can get take the best out of it. The other key element is German Ebert sparse drumming. You won’t find drum rolls or crash cymbal here. He plays just what is needed, and it’s a quality. Talking about musicians, fans of Ray Condo will be happy to find Edgar Bridwell on violin on one track.
The cd comes with a 8-page mini comics drawn by Peter Sandmark but I’ve been told that it’s selling like hot cakes, so you’d better hurry if you want one (Slim Sandy’s website).
You can also find it (and the other albums) on Spotify, iTunes and Google Play.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers - Getting that low down swingSlim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – Getting that Low Down Swing

Crow-Matic Records 2017
Hug And Spank And Kiss – Hop Skip And Jump – Gettin’ That Lowdown Swing – Whoa Boy – No More Nothing – Be Bop A Lula – I Never See My Baby Alone – We’re Gonna Bop – Crawdad – Cadillac Model – Wow Wow Baby

This fine trio returns with another killer album. It kicks off with the Berry influenced “Hug, Spank and Kiss” written by Slim Sandy and featuring Eddy Cavalero (of the the Cavaleros, a band that also features German Ebert of the Hillblly Boppers on drums) on electric lead guitar. Back to a more acoustic sound with the Collins Kids’ “Hop Skip & Jump” with Willa Mae on lead vocals and harmonies by Slim. “Getting that Lowdown Swing” tales the listener back to the early western swing era (before the genre had a name). In the same vein you’ll find “Cadillac in Model A” and “No More Nothin'” both with Mike Sadava steel. He also plays on “I Never See My Baby Alone”. I always liked that one and the Hillbilly Boppers do great justice to that song.
There’s also a good dose of Hillbilly Bop with “Woah Boy” and “We’re Gonna Bop”.
Another good one is their cover of “Be-Bop-A-Lula.” It sounds like the Everly Brothers version but played by a skiffle band. More skiffle-billy follows with “Crawdad” that changes of pace in the middle and evolves into “Rollin’ My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”
Like the previous one it’s joyful and exuberant and it’s highly contagious.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers - Jump Back!
Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers – Jump Back!

Slim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – Jump Back!

Crow-Matic Records 2014
Jump Back, Love Me, Darlin’ Cory, I’m A Hog For You Baby, Jump Rope Boogie, n The Road Again, Pistol Boogie, Can’t Find The Doorknob, Cow Cow Boogie, Rock ‘n’ Roll Ruby, Rollin And Tumblin

Slim Sandy (Peter Sandmark) is a well known figure on the rocking scene. He drummed for Ray Condo, sang and played guitar in the Crazy Rhythm Daddies and released several albums as a one-man band. He now has a new band, the Hillbilly Boppers, with Willa Mae on washtub bass and harmony vocal and German Ebert on drums, Slim Sandy taking the lead vocals and playing harmonica and swingin’ guitar.

If you want to have a slight idea of the joyful noise made by this hot and fine trio, imagine a mix between the Delmore brothers, Jimmy and Johnny (thanks to Mae’s perfect harmony vocals ) played by a jug band (think Gus Cannon/Noah Lewis) with a swingin’ and a rockin’ edge and some skiffle elements and the fervor of some bluegrass gospels thrown in for good measure. It features eleven tracks lifted from the catalogs of Ella Fitzgerrald, Sun records, Jimmie and Johnny, Muddy Waters and everything good in between  Not only the music and the songs are solid but this record also has a communicative « joie de vivre » that is sure to make you move your feet.  Strongly recommended.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Slim Sandy - rough and ready
Slim Sandy – rough and ready

 

Slim Sandy – Rough & Ready

Sleazy Records SRCD09
Bow Legged Daddio-Cats Was A Jumpin’-Couldn’t Sleep Last Night-Flathead Ford-Slow Down Baby-No Gasoline-Mr. Guitar-Gettin’ By Jus’ The Same -Three Alley Cats-Party In Room 109
Here is a new short ten tracks Cd from the one-man band Slim Sandy for the spanish Sleazy Records. Slim is part of a today one-man trend with people like Bloodshot Bill, Scott H. Biram, Sheriff Perkins, The Legendary Tiger Man, Mark Sultan, Muskrat, Mr. Bonz, Urban Junior, Reverend Beat Man, The Fabulous Go-Go Boy and Rizorkestra just to name a few of them. But most of these guys are on the trashy side and are influenced more by Hasil Adkins or the sixties garage sounds than Doctor Ross or Harmonica Franck.
Slim with his guitar, harmonica, and suitcase drum is on the rockabilly, blues and hillbilly side. This album “Rough & Ready” with his eight self-penned songs and two covers (John Worthan’s “Cats Was a Jumpin’” and Roy Hall’s “Three Alley Cats” even if his “Flathead Ford” is very similar to Papa Lightfoot’s “Mean Old Train”) will delight the raw and primitive sound lovers. The last track “Party in Room 109” is a song Slim wrote based on the events that happened in room 109 at the Red Hot and Blue Rockabilly Weekender 2006. Don’t have to tell you that there were a lotta booze, yellin’ and savage rock’n’roll involved.
David “Long Tall” Phisel


This is Slim Sandy
This is Slim Sandy

 

Slim Sandy – This is Slim Sandy

Crow-Matic Records
Don’t Need Nuthin’ – 7 Nights To Rock – Come Back Baby – Bicycle Boogie – You Can’t Fool Me – Cabin By The Creek – California Blues – Down In Kokomo – The Way You Dance – Rock It All Night
This cd offers 10 cuts (three covers and seven originals) recorded live by Slim Sandy, the one man hillbilly blues band. Harmonica, guitar, drums and vocals all played in the same time by the same man. Slim Sandy’s inspiration goes from blues (Doctor Ross’ Come Back Baby) to hillbilly (a great rendition of Jimmie Rodgers’ California Blues with yodel) with a lot of Hasil Adkins and Rock’n’roll in between. Sandy’s own are great too and well written. Sure the sound is raw, but you don’t expect a one man band sounding like a Phil Spector production, do you? Believe me, you can’t go wrong with this guy !
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

 

Slim Jim Phantom, the Rockabilly cat!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Slim Jim Phantom in action

Slim Jim Phantom

He’s banged the skins for rock ‘n’ roll supergroup, Dead Men Walking.

He’s drummed for the rockabilly star-studded 13 Cats.

He’s played with the Head Cat, Col. Parker, his own Phantom Trio, and…did I mention a little band from Long Island, New York called the Stray Cats? He’s Slim Jim Phantom, rockabilly’s man of a thousand faces.

Since picking up his first pair of drumsticks at the age of ten, Slim Jim Phantom has become widely recognized as rockabilly’s premiere drummer. With a distinctive standup drumming style inspired by the genre’s musicians of yesteryear, Phantom’s skin skills are in high demand.
by Denise Daliege-Pierce

Who taught you to play the drums?
Slim Jim Phantom I pretty much learned from—took lessons from—Mousie Alexander, an old time jazzy guy. Benny Goodman’s drummer, I think. At least, that’s what he said. I’d like to believe him.

How did your love of rockabilly—both the music and the lifestyle—develop?
Slim Jim Phantom I had always liked rhythm and blues music. There were no Hootenannies, no Viva Las Vegas’s kind of thing—none of that existed. I think that we [Stray Cats] first discovered it with the Beatles and Carl Perkins kind of records. Nothing like that was available at the time, really. We rediscovered Elvis, really. We knew the fat Elvis; that was it. From there, we met English kind of guys: teddy boy types. It was just really trial and error.

The Tomcats - 1979
The Tomcats – 1979

Was it difficult to switch from drumming in a sitting position to drumming while standing?
Slim Jim Phantom I don’t remember it being difficult. It was the cool thing that no one else was really doing. It was a different concept. I kind of kept pushing it all forward. It was pretty easy.

Who, would you say, have been your biggest musical influences?
Slim Jim Phantom Really, any of the original rock ‘n’ rollers. Elvis, of course; Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins…Little Richard was a big influence—any one of those original rock ‘n’ rollers. The Beatles; Led Zeppelin…anything that was true to rock ‘n’ roll. Ricky Nelson; the Johnny Burnette Trio—we played a lot of songs off of those records.

The Johnny Burnette Trio was just incredible. I recently read a book titled Rockabilly Legends, in which the author claims—I’m not sure if you’ve heard this story—that the term “rockabilly” was started by the Burnette brothers’ song “Rockabilly Boogie”, which they wrote for their sons, Rocky and Billy.
Slim Jim Phantom I don’t know. I’d heard that “rockabilly” was first used by some record executives or [Sun Records founder] Sam Phillips. It’s all stories, and you never know which ones are true. I just did a gig with Rocky Burnette. I had about twenty minutes’ notice!

What brand of drums do you play?
Slim Jim Phantom Gretsch.

Why do you prefer the Gretsch brand?
Slim Jim Phantom Well, they kind of endorsed me. I think a lot of it has to do with Gretsch having a certain history with rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll. Fred and Diane Gretsch met me as a teen. It’s American…it’s just a great product.

I know that you are frequently asked about your least favorite Stray Cats album, but which is your favorite?
Slim Jim Phantom Almost every guy’s first record is their favorite. Look at the Beatles; the Rolling Stones. It’s your greatest accomplishment. The fact that the gigs and the hard work have finally paid off…you did this. The first record that anyone makes is always their favorite. You didn’t really make demos then. The fact that we had a pretty unique story—we moved from New York to London. We had everything against us: no money, no place to live; no one was recording this music. We were All-American, like the Yankees. Now, new fans of rockabilly are rediscovering our music. Our music is like the “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Rockabilly Boogie” of today. “Rock This Town” and “Runaway Boys” are like that.

Phantom, Rocker and Slick - 1985
Phantom, Rocker and Slick – 1985

How was Phantom, Rocker & Slick formed?
Slim Jim Phantom Wow, Phantom, Rocker & Slick. Right after Stray Cats, we all had to take time off. I think that Earl Slick had just done John Lennon’s record when he was killed. I think that I met Julian Lennon, and he said, ‘You should all get together.’ Brian was doing a solo thing. We had a deal with EMI and we had just gone off a record with Stray Cats, and didn’t want to do that, but everything I play winds up sounding like me. We were young and trendy. The first record was really good. Phantom, Rocker & Slick sounds a little more rock ‘n’ roll; a little more metal. I think we made the Top 20 with that first record.

What caused the group to split up?
Slim Jim Phantom Well, Brian called and wanted to do the band again. The Stray Cats are first priority.

I own a copy of the Carl Perkins television special from the mid-1980s in which you, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and numerous other musicians performed with the rockabilly legend. What was that experience like for you?
Slim Jim Phantom I’ve been very lucky to get these historic kind of events. David Edmunds—he produced three or four of the really good Stray Cats records—was the musical director for the show. He called the Stray Cats, but we’d split up. He hired Lee and me for the rhythm section. The cool thing was we rehearsed about a week before the show. Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, George Harrison—all the older guys kind of kept to their selves. We were the young guys. I went up to George and broke the ice. We became pretty friendly after that. The show went so well; such a positive kind of experience.

George was reclusive—was out of music for about six years. For a good three years, we became friendly. He gave me some things, like some old boots from the Beatles. You could sense a certain enlightenment about him, or elevation. I spent the day with him before he died—he was just an amazing character.

How did you obtain your role in the Charlie Parker biopic Bird?
Slim Jim Phantom I got it pretty much by accident. I can mention that I worked with an Oscar-winning actor and director at the same time. How many people can say that? Forest Whitaker is, probably, the best actor around. Clint Eastwood’s an award-winning director.

It—somehow—had to do with the agency I was with needed a drummer who looked like they were playing the drums, but not, and who could talk, at the same time. And my wife at the time was an actress. So, I did it—five, six, eight lines—for a month. I didn’t really want to do it, but my son was being born, and SAG [Screen Actors Guild] insurance kicked in and covered it. I was nervous about my lines, I repeated them a billion times. So, I get down to the set; there’s an old little trailer. Someone took me inside and introduced me to Forest. We were hanging out and talking. Forest and I became good friends for a few years after that.

Did you ever consider pursuing acting on a larger scale?
Slim Jim Phantom No, it seems too hard, going to auditions; the rejection of it.

How did you become a member of Dead Men Walking?
Slim Jim Phantom Dead Men Walking is just another chancy, cool thing. On the first Stray Cats tour of England in 1980, we got to the first gig. Mike Peters of the Alarm, his band was the opening act. Mike and I became pretty good friends. After a few weeks, we found out they’d just brought their instruments and started playing. They made believe they were the opening act, but they weren’t. But, by then, they were so entrenched in the tour…

How often, in rock ‘n’ roll, do you meet someone and stay friendly with them for 25 years, putting together a thing of a group with three or four hit songs each that everyone knows? It was Mike, [Spear of Destiny’s] Kirk Brandon, [the Damned’s] Captain Sensible and me. We did it mainly acoustic. Mike called me one day at home and said, ‘I’ve got this concept.’ I said, ‘I’m doing it.’ I can’t say no to Mike. We made a record this year.

I’ve heard that you sang lead vocal on “Runaway Boys” during a recent DMW tour. How did that feel?
Slim Jim Phantom Oh, it was good. I can warble my way through it, I sing most of the Stray Cats songs, I can warble my way through most of the songs, except “Stray Cat Strut”. Brian and Lee can sing. You have to be a singer to sing “Stray Cat Strut”. Mike Peters has a great voice and sings it on the tour. I know what Ringo felt like when he sang with the Beatles. I think that the audience appreciates me singing those songs.

For those who may not know, you have recently become involved with the Love Hope Strength Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing treatment and support for cancer patients. How did your affiliation with the group come about?
Slim Jim Phantom That’s Mike Peters. Like I said, I can’t say no to Mike. Mike Peters is a cancer survivor. Twice. The first time, he had it nine years. Nine years. It came back when we were on tour. We only cancelled one show, because he had to have tests done. After six months of lockdown—chemo and remission—we walked the steps of the Empire State Building. We recorded the performance on the deck. It was another one of those great historic events. We’re gonna do the Eiffel Tower [in the future].

How did you meet fellow Head Cat members Lemmy Kilmister and Danny B. Harvey? How did the three of you come together to form the group?
Slim Jim Phantom Lemmy is another guy I’ve known—27 years. He was one of the first guys at a Stray Cats gig at a pub in London. There were, like, ten people there—Keith Richards was there; Chrissie Hynde was in the audience. Lemmy’s a very hip guy, very knowledgeable; a big Buddy Holly fan. We became friends back then and stayed friends.

He moved to L.A. on the street next to me. We played one track on a tribute album to Elvis. Me, Lemmy, Danny B. and Johnny Ramone—who we also lost to cancer—got two or three songs we wanted to play and came back every day for two weeks, until we had a record. I’ve known Danny B. since [his days with] the Rockats.

Headcats in action.
Headcats in action.

Danny B. Harvey is just tremendous. He can, pretty much, do anything musically.
Slim Jim Phantom Danny is as good as everybody: as good a guitar player; as good a producer.

Our readers may be unaware that you own a West Hollywood, California nightclub called the Cat Club. How do you juggle your numerous music projects—Stray Cats, Dead Men Walking, the Head Cat, Slim Jim’s Phantom Trio, 13 Cats—with your Cat Club duties and family life?
Slim Jim Phantom Me, my little trick is I have a very big calendar with big squares that I hang on the wall. I have bad handwriting. I use a Sharpie. Like music—when the Cats call, that kinda trumps everything. E-mail’s great. E-mail’s perfect, ‘cause the time doesn’t matter. If I have a question for Captain Sensible, I can send an e-mail anytime. Everyone has it, except Lemmy. Sometimes, things overlap. Guys in rock ‘n’ roll are more together than you think.

On a different note, are there any contemporary rockabilly musicians that you enjoy listening to?
Slim Jim Phantom Guys who I became very friendly with is Living End. [Guitarist/vocalist] Chris Cheney’s become a very good friend of mine, and they wanted to meet me. My son played a record for me, and I loved it. I think that Big Sandy’s very good. Hot Rod Lincoln’s very good. Sue Moreno; Tiger Army. Reverend Horton Heat is very good. He’s become a friend.

Danny B. has a group called Lonesome Spurs with Lynda Kay—she’s a star. She’s the real deal. Lonesome Spurs is like a country version of White Stripes, which is my favorite band. I just did a couple gigs and needed a bass player, so I used Rory Justice. He’s very good. Eddie Angel’s great. He has a band, the Neanderthals. I think the Neanderthals are the most entertaining band around. We’re gonna try to plan a little tour with the Neanderthals and the Head Cat.

I know that Brian Setzer has developed ear problems as a result of years of playing electric guitar. Have you had any wrist pain after drumming for so many years?
Slim Jim Phantom No, I’ve been pretty fortunate, somehow.

What is your favorite Stray Cats-related memory?
Slim Jim Phantom It’s my whole life, really. So many things that have happened came from that. Probably hearing the first record for the first time; hearing “Runaway Boys” on the radio for the first time. The odds were stacked against us for making it. No one was playing this music. There was no template for it.

Jim, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today. Do you have any final thoughts that you would like to share with our readers?
Slim Jim Phantom I do a lot of work with ONE.org. They don’t want any money, just an e-mail address. Go check it out; sign up. It takes two seconds. Just two seconds, and you’ll be doing something nice for me.

or more information on Slim Jim Phantom, the Love Hope Strength Foundation, ONE.org, or to purchase some of Slim Jim’s music, check out the following websites:
www.slimjimphantom.com
www.facebook.com/officialsjp
www.one.org

Buy the magazine!

We launched a paper version of the website under the name of Jumpin’ from 6 to 6.

Issue 2 (October 2021) features the first parts of our stories of the Rockats, the Quakes and Red Hot’n’Blue. It also features interviews with Neo-Rockabilly legend Dave Phillips and Harry & the Hounds.
Articles about Vinylux records, the Ringlets Trio, the Black Crabs, Little Rachel, Slim Sandy and his Hillbilly Boppers, the Nitros, the Swamp Dogs and Ravenna & the Magnetics, and more than 100 records reviews complete this 68-page issue.

You can buy it through amazon in the following countries.


The first issue (February 2021) contains 68 pages of interviews (Miss Lauren Marie, the Piccadilly Bullfrogs, Phil Haley, Pat Cupp, Crazy Cavan) articles (the story of the Stargazers, Ripsaw records, Happy Drivers, Crazy Legs, Memphis Rockabilly Band, Colton Turner) and more than 100 records reviewed.

You can buy it through amazon in the following countries.

Reviews

Compilation albums

Pat Capocci (reviews)

Pat Capocci – Hot Hot Heat

Pat Capocci Hot hot Heat

Sleazy Records – SR169
Hot Hot Heat / Where the Eagles Fly

Released in 2019 on Sleazy Records, this is another incendiary record by Pat Capocci. On this single, he’s backed by Lieven Declercq on drums, Clark Kenis on double bass and Walter Broes (Ratmen, Seatsniffers, Smokestack Lightning) on acoustic guitar.
The A-side is mean Bo Diddley-tinged number, whereas the b-side is more Country-Rockabilly-American, not that far from some of the best Lee Rocker’s recordings. Both come from the pen of Capocci and are excellent. It also comes in a superb package, beautifully designed by Chris Wilkinson.


Pat Capocci - Coming In Hot
Pat Capocci – Coming In Hot

Pat Capocci – Coming in hot / Burn it down Baby

Ruby Records RR 45 102 

Ruby Records did it again! After launching the label with none other than Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys they joined forces with Australia’s number one rocker, mister Pat Capocci and the result is another killer single.
Side A is a crazy rocker with wild drums, rockin’ piano and Pat’s guitar all over. Side two is bluesier, with a bit of Jimmy Reed’s Shame, Shame, Shame on the beat, and a perfect dirty guitar sound.


 

Pat Capocci - Delinquent Beat
Pat Capocci – Delinquent Beat

Pat Capocci – Delinquent Beat

Press-Tone Music PCD 17 {2009}
Leave The World Behind – All My Fault – Delinquent Beat – Barebones Barber Shop – Devil At My Door – Trapped In A Cage – Sally Ann – Dynamite – Devil Got My Baby – All Night Long – Capocci’s Crawl – Pinch Me Quick – Half-Way Dead – I Promised I’d Never Fall In Love Again

This is Pat Capocci’s second lp and third release if you count Preston Rockabilly vol. 2. And once again it’s been recorded by Graeme Thomas one of the most talented man when it comes to record roots music.
Capocci is backed by the finest musicians you can find on the Aussie’s scene, namely John Flynn and Cal Robinson on bass, Ezra Lee on piano, Ricky ‘the goet’ on drums and Danny Wegzryn on harmony vocals.
This album marks a slight departure in Pat’s sound and shows the young singer/guitarist focusing on his harder stuff. Thus one can hear on a majority of songs the influence of Dale Hawkins (and his two guitar players the great James Burton and Roy Buchanan) as well as Roy Hall. This is for the core of the lp, but one will also find a Texas blues shuffle (Sally Ann), a Bo Diddley Beat (Delinquent Beat) and a jazz ditty (Barebones Barber Shop). The latter made me think how good it would be to hear Pat and Ezra Lee doing an album worth of King Cole inspired material. All My Fault evokes the sound of Carl Mann. Talkin’ about Sun pianists, the listener will also hear in Lee’s piano shades of Charlie Rich too.
Capocci’s Crawl is a fine instrumental with a swamp mood while Clifton Chenier’s All Night Long(the sole cover of the album) is turned into a mean rocker.
Believe me when I say that “Delinquent Beat” is without a doubt one of the best rockin’ record released this past decade.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Pat Capocci - Steppin Out
Pat Capocci – Steppin Out

Pat Capocci – Steppin’ Out

Press-Tone Music PCD 11 {2008}
Dead End Track / The Pickle / Way Too Long / Gonna Have Me Some Fun / Shake Me Up / Mary Jane / Sick And Tired / Steppin’ Out / Hillbilly Girl / Give Me A Break / Blue Skies Turn Grey / Chasin’ My Tail / Free And Easy / News Travels Fast (And So Do You).

Pat Capocci is nothing else than one of the best thing to happen to modern rockabilly in years. “Modern” is probably not the right word to describe the sound of this rockin’ cat. He often sounds as if he came straight from the fifties. And this guy has the whole package that would make more than one envious: he has the look, the songs (he penned all songs but two on this album), the sound, the voice and he’s more than able when it comes to deliver a hot (or a smooth) guitar solo.
On Steppin’ Out, his debut album, he shows the wide range of his style and skills. Needless to say that Rockabilly stands in good position with songs like Dead End Track, Steppin’ Out or the excellent Blues Skies Turn Grey that reminds me a bit of Al Ferrier (yes, he is THAT good). There’s also a couple of wild rockers like Free and Easy, Give Me A Break (with a Grady Martin-esque baritone guitar) or the frantic Mary Jane.
Pat is also more than able to deliver some hot blues songs, like the Pickle, an instrumental with piano in the style of Johnny Guitar Watson, and Shake Me Up.
Gonna Have Some Fun leans more on the jazz side, but is equally successful.
At this point, I can believe what you’re thinking: It would be too good to be true if this young cat could also play country music. You bet he can! And with style! Just listen to the hillbilly bop of Hillbilly Girl and Chasin’ My Tail (both featuring Rick Dempster of the Dance Hall Racketeers on steel guitar) the latter having a touch of Buddy Holly’s Gotta Get You Near Me Blues. News Travels Fast (And So Do You), an excellent country shuffle that seems to come straight from the 60’s, rounds up the set with class.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Preston Rockabilly - Vol. 2 - Out Of The Valley
Preston Rockabilly – Vol. 2 – Out Of The Valley

Preston Rockabilly Vol. 2 – Out Of The Valley
Press-Tone Music PCD 13
Pat Capocci, Ezra Lee and Danny Wegrzyn (Danny & the Cosmic Tremors) are three Australian cats who play in each other bands. For this album they went to Graeme Thomas’ Preston studio with Cal Robinson on bass, Paul Hainey on drums and Dave Cantrell (the Wildcats, Toni & the Tomcats) on steel.
Pat Capocci performs six songs, all self penned. Full Grown Woman is one of his wildest track, almost garage, Second Best is a traditionnal rockabilly, Burnin’ the Candle is a solid rocker. He also performs a country shuffle (Try To Forget Me), a Jerry Lee type of number (Til I Get to You) and a superb instrumental (After Hours) that has shades of T-Bone Walker and Johnny Guitar Watson.
Danny & the Cosmic Tremors perform five songs (four origiuals and one cover) including two classic rockabillies (my Baby Wants to Rock’n’Roll, So Long). Much wilder is the cover of Bill Johnson’s You Better Dig It. Little Darling, as its title indicates, is a smooth ballad and Feel Allright With You is a hot bopper that reminds me the style of Rip Carson.
Last but not least, Ezra Lee, the piano pumpin’ man, is present here with two rockers (Abby Jane and Goodbye Astrid Goodbye), a strong Rockabilly number (Werris creek Devil). I’m Gonna Kill Your Daddy sees Capocci playing a mean slide guitar that evokes Elmore James and Coalfire Man is more in the style of memphis Slim.
Without a doubt this trio counts among today’s hottest rockabilly/rock’n’roll acts

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Deke Dickerson

Deke and the Whippersnappers – Deke And The Whippersnappers

Pig Baby Records – PBR-018 [2020]
Here Kitty, Kitty – Besame Mucho – Wild Wild One – The Girls Gone Rockin’

With just two guitars and one double-bass, it’s back to basic for Deke Dickerson on this new EP.
The Whippersnappers are Bert Avalos (the Moontones) on rhythm guitar and Zander Griffith (Reckless Ones) on double-bass.
They take Jimmy Murphy’s Here Kitty Kitty at the same pace than the original, but they muscle it a bit, and the result is a superb Rockabilly with fine pickin’ and a slap bass solo in the middle.
Besame Mucho sounds halfway between El Cumbachero and Walk Don’t Run.
Wild Wild Thing, a cover of Billy Golden’s 1968 Starday single, is a solid country tune with twangy guitar, tailored-made for Dickerson’s voice.
Surprinsingly, the sole original comes from the pen of Avalos and Griffith. It’s a frantic Rockabilly, very classic in its form but the musicianship makes the difference.
Hopefully, this line-up will soon record an album very soon.

Deke Dickerson & The Sex-Phonics – Morocco Twist

Deke Dickerson Morocco twist

Sleazy Records – SR172 [2019]
Morocco Twist / Barefoot Blues

During one of his tours of Spain, Dickerson teamed up with a bunch of Spanish musicians to record this single.
Side A is an instrumental with twin guitars and Hammond organ. It’s a surf tune with an Oriental vibe and a touch of twist.
The B-side is a Rock’n’roll number in a Chuck Berry vein with vocals.


Big Sandy vs. Deke Dickerson – Jesus & Gravy

Big Sandy vs Deke Dickerson

Sleazy Records SR142 [2018]
Make A Little Time For Jesus / Get The Gravy Hot

This release is a split single between Big Sandy (side A) and Deke Dickerson (side B).
Fellow Fly Right Boys Ashley Kingman and Kevin Stewart back Big Sandy, helped by Chris Sprague on drums and Ernie Vargas on tambourine. Make A Little Time For Jesus finds him, with no surprise, in full-gospel mode. The man who penned songs like Between Darkness and Dawn, Thru Dreamin’, and many others, has been more inspired in the past.
You’ll find the same musicians backing Deke Dickerson, but Kingman switched to 6-string bass, and Stewart plays electric-bass. The song, a cover of Shotgun Red, is an excellent country rocker that suits Deke’s voice and style to a T.


deke dickerson echosonic eldorado
Deke Dickerson – Echosonic Eldorado

Deke Dickerson – Echosonic Eldorado

Major Label MLCD 006
Little Innocent – I’m Gettin’ Your Message, Baby – Sneakin’ All Around – Forbidden Love – My Baby Don’t Love Me Anymore – Bop Wax – Don’t That Prove I Love You – Big Guitar – My Eyes On You (with Duane Eddy) – Cut Loose – Echosonic Eldorado – Deke’s Boogie Blues – 40th & Plum – I’ve Lived A Lot In My Time

Whereas Deke’s latest studio album, King Of the Whole Wide World, blended together rockabilly, western swing, rock’n’roll, country soul, honky tonk and more, Deke Dickerson’s Echosonic Eldorado stays within the boundaries of rock’n’roll and rockabilly.
One can hear the influences of Johnny Burnette (Little Innocent), Gene Vincent (Bop Wax sounds like a mix between Bop Street and Crazy Legs) and a lot of Sun sound, helped on that by guest pianist Carl Sonny Leynand in full Jerry Lee Lewis mode. Another Sun connection is the presence of Scotty Moore who introduced via an answer machine the instrumental Echosonic Eldorado. The term Echosonic came from the amplifier used by Moore on the early Elvis recordings and that’s no surprise to find Moore inspired riffs in that instrumental but with the Dickerson’s touch. Another guest is none other than Duane Eddy who lays his instantly identifiable twangy guitar on “My Eyes On You“. With lyrics like “I got a shiny Cadillac car, I got Duane Eddy on guitar” I can easily imagine the smile upon Dickerson’s face during the session. Another highlight is Deke’s Boogie Blues, close to Frogman Henry’s Ain’t Got No Home. As usual with Dickerson, the vocal is, throughout the album, perfect and no need to say that the guitar is hot. Beside the already mentionned Carl Sonny Leyland and in addition to Dickerson on guitar, bass and some piano, Chrsi Sprague sings some backing and harmony vocals and Crazy Joe completes the line-up on drums.
Needless to say that you must have it.


Deke Dickerson w/ Nikki Hill - Soul Meets Country
Deke Dickerson w/ Nikki Hill – Soul Meets Country

Deke Dickerson – Soul Meets Country

Major Label Records MLCD-007 [2013]
Lovey Dovey – Feelins – Struttin’ – Lady Killa
Hot off the press here comes Deke Dickerson’s newest ep, available on both cd and vinyl format (downloads available too). If you liked his previous single cut in Memphis with the Bo-Keys, no doubt that you will LOVE this one. Not only Deke Dickerson reunited with the Bo-Keys for four sides of juicy Memphis soul but he also had the good idea to team with rock’n’roll and rhythm’n’ blues diva Nikki Hill. Side A features two Hill-Dickerson duets, Otis Redding and Carla Thomas’ Lovey Dovey and Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn’s Feelins. Country meets Soul or what? Side B contains Struttin‘ sung by Nikki Hill alone and a new country funk version (with Wah-wah) of Deke’s Lady Killin’ Papa named here Lady Killa. Superb.
www.dekedickerson.com/shopping/merch3.php


dekedickersonandthebokeysDeke Dickerson and the Bo-Keys – Country Meets Soul

Love man / hello Darlin’
Major Label ML45-1

Country soul anyone? Deke recorded this new single with the mighty Bo-Keys and featuring the no less talented Joel Paterson on pedal steel guitar. The result is a killer double A sides (Otis Redding’s Love Man and Conway Twitty’s Hello Darlin’) sounding like a mix between a 60’s country band with a bit of Charlie Rich in it and backed by the Mar-Keys or Booker T. Beautiful 180gr sleeve too.


Deke Dickerson - Live at Duff's
Deke Dickerson – Live at Duff’s

Deke Dickerson – Live At Duff

Intro and Mexicali Rose – Snatch It and Grab It – Early American – Run Red Run – I’m a Lover Not a Fighter – Ain’t No Grave Deep Enough – Good Time Gal – Misshapen Hillbilly Gal – I’ll Go Down Swingin’ – Honky Tonk Nighttime Man- Make Way for a Better Man – End of the Road – Lover Come Back to Me – Hello Darlin’- I Never Cared for You – Muleskinner Blues – El Cumbanchero

Live albums are pretty rare on the “reviva” rockin’ scene. I don’t know why , maybe the reason is that it gets tough to release albums nowadays and artists want to concentrate on studio stuff, or because some of them, touring a lot, want to propose something different on wax.
Anyway, Deke’s latest output is a live album. And not only this stands as one of the best live album I’ve heard, it could possibly be Deke’s best album. Nothing less.

It was recorded when Dickerson was on tour with the excellent Chicago combo The Modern Sounds (they now have a couple of cd of their own and one backing Eddie Clendening – all excellent check them out!). The Modern Sounds are guitar wizard Joel Paterson who also plays steel and harp, slap bassist Beau Sample and drummer extraordinaire Alex Hall who doubles on piano too.
Dickerson and band play a storming set of rockabilly/rock’n’roll (Jerry Lee’s End of the Road features Hall on piano and Dickerson giving his best Jimmy Van Eaton impersonation). He also takes good advantage of Paterson’s skills on steel guitar to delve further into country and western sounds whether it’s classic honky tonk (Porter Wagoner’s I’ll Go Down Swingin’, Conway Twitty’s Hello Darlin), western swing (Misshapen Hillbilly Gal) or Willie Nelson (Nelson is a genre of its own).
There’s also two instrumentals, Deke’s El Cumbachero and Joe Maphis and Larry Collins’ Early American (with a second guitarist like Paterson it must be hard to resist I guess)
But this album has more to offer. Dickerson once joked – it was on West Coast Ramble I guess – that he was “the whitest man in show-business. Whenever I try to sound like Louis Jordan I end up sounding like Bill Haley”. Of couse it’s wrong but the Modern Sounds allow him to explore style he rarely ventured in. It was a total blast to hear him play Lazy Lester’s I’m A Lover Not A Fighter (with Paterson on harmonica) but most of all he felt confident enough to sing a classic jazz tune like « Lover Come Back to Me », seriously and not as a joke. And he’s right cause he never sounded that well as a singer.
It’s a joint release from Deke’s Major Label and Paterson’s Ventrella and like all Ventrella albums it’s superbly designed and comes in a beautiful digipack.


Deke Dickerson - King of the Whole Wide World
Deke Dickerson – King of the Whole Wide World

Deke Dickerson – King of the Whole Wide World

Major Label Records MLCD-003
King of the Whole Wide World (introduction) – Deep River – I Can’t Wait To See You (Go) – Misshapen Hillbilly Gal – Put Me Down – Boone County Blues – Make Way for a Better Man – Itchin’ for My Baby – Do You Think of Me – Fool’s Gold – Trumpet – Early for the Bell – Bomb Shelter (for My Heart) – Double-Clutchin’- King of the Whole Wide World (reprise)
When you think about it, there are only a couple of things that never deceive you . Deke Dickerson’s ability to craft some of the best roots inspired albums is one of these things. But that doesn’t mean he’s predictable, far from that.
Gathering an impressive cast of musicians (as he says himself it could have been called “with a little help from my friends”) like Crazy Joe, Jimmy Sutton, Pete Curry and his partner in crime Chris Sugarballs Sprague, Deke (who plays guitar, bass, drums, baritone sax in addition to his fine singing) adds to a discography that is already faultless one of the richest album of his career and probably my favorite (if you’re interested). He offers a musical journey into american music proving that the label “rockabilly” is by far too restrictive for such an amount of talent.
The title track features just Deke and his guitar in a Jimmie Rodger’s mood with 78’s crackle for good effect. It then kicks off with “Deep River” (an old bluegrass number turned into a straight ahead rock’n’roll) and Dickerson’s “I can’t wait to see you go” featuring the great Carl Sonny Leyland on piano in a Jerry Lee’s mood. Carl also plays on Lewis’ “Put Me Down”, “Bomb Shelter (For My Heart)” another fine country-rocker, “Trumpet” a Malcom Yelvington cover and “Early For The Bell” a song that’ll make every King Cole Trio or Slim Gaillard afficionados happy. Talking about swing, The Lucky Stars (with Crazy Joe) back up Deke on the hilarious western swing number “Misshapen Hillbilly Gal” which is a reason good enough to buy this album.
Mitch Polzak (from the Royal Deuces) guests on banjo for the bluegrass inspired “Boone County Blues”, with top class harmony vocals. Man, as I write this, I realize that I’ll soon run out of superlative anyway, let’s continue. “Make Way For A Better Man” is a Wille Nelson song, but Dickerson adds a heavy dose of soul in it and turns it into a Charlie Rich tune. The basic track of the Honky Tonk “Do You Think Of Me” was recorded in Austin with Dave Biller, Billy Horton and Lisa Pankratz. The always talented Crazy Joe plays a mean 6-string bass solo on this one and to complete this masterpiece Mary Huff from Southern Culture On The Skids adds “ethereal high vocals” (like she did on “Rumors Of Surf”). The album ends with “Double Clutchin'”, an instrumental co-written with Crazy Joe (think Les Paul meets Joe Maphis) and a reprise of “King Of the Whole Wide World”.
Now you’ve understood that this is an absolute “must have” and your next click will lead you to Deke’s website to order it.


Deke Dickerson - Deke Down Under !
Deke Dickerson – Deke Down Under !

Deke Dickerson – Deke Down Under !

My Baby Don’t Love Me Anymore – Cut Loose – Eefin’ Rock – Hey Worm
Deke is back with this EP with both the cd and the vinyl version. It has been recorded in Australia in 2004, while Deke was on tour there, at the legendary Preston Studios. Preston provided great rockabilly and blues on their label (remember the “Aussiebilly” comp on Nervous or more recently Benny & The Fly-By Niters). Back to the record now. The sound and the variety of songs (even if there are only 4) are not that far from “The Melody”. The opening is a Johnny Paycheck tune but is given a rock’n’roll treatment with a good piano drive played by Deke himself. You can easily imagine Jerry Lee playing it like this. “Cut Loose” is a good rockin’ song, with frantic piano and savage guitar and probably one of the wildest tune Dickerson recorded under his name. With a name like “Eefin’ Rock” you know what to expect from this song. Imagine some Link Wray instrumental with handclaps and right in the middle “eefin”. Little Jimmy Dickens’s Hey Worm closes the set. His version is more western swing and less rural than the original. Great guitar solos supported by a swingin’ rhythm section. This one should be in every collection, but hurry folks it’s a limited print of 1000. You’ll find it on Deke’s website (www.dekedickerson.com).


Deke Dickerson - The Melody
Deke Dickerson – The Melody

Deke Dickerson – The Melody

Major Label MLCD-002
Broken Heart – Good Time Gal – Right or Wrong – Looks Like I’m in Trouble Again – As Long as I Live – Safely In Love – Love Is Like a Song – Someone Used to Love Me – Mister Cheater – Waitin’ on My Baby – Give Me All Your Love – Tell Me How – Double Naught Spy – Lookin’ for Money – I Never Cared for You
Here’s the new record from this very prolific and multi talented guy. Deke has now a bunch of records behind his belt but this is really the first to give me that feeling : a real album (you see, in the 60’s meaning of the term) more than a collection of singles. It doesn’t mean all the songs sound the same. Deke is too talented to stick on one style. So you’ll find some rockabilly (The moonlighters’s Broken heart, Buddy Holly’s Tell me How), country music with Good Time Gal and Willie Nelson’s I never cared for you (I’ve always thought that Willie Nelson was like the Rolling Stones : far better when they were covered by other artists), a great instrumental that could be the original score for a B-movie. You also find a lot of Roy orbison inspiration behind songs like Mister Cheater and Safely in Love. And this shows what a good singer Deke is. We all know he’s a great guitar player, but now he seems to do what he wants with his voice. Musicians don’t have to be forgotten too : Chris Sprague on drums (The Sprague Brothers) and Jimmy Sutton (Four Charms) on bass (acoustic and electric) with appearances by Carl Leyland (who else?) and Dave Berzansky (Hacienda brothers). In the liner notes you can read «This album is a concept album». Sure, but Deke always makes concept album, and the concept is always the same: quality.


Deke Dickerson - Live on the Radio
Deke Dickerson – Live on the Radio

Deke Dickerson – Live on the Radio

Well, this one is a very limited edition as it seems that only 50 copies were made and you only found it on Deke’s website. Too bad that it hasn’t a bigger distrisbution cause it’s really a must have. First the band : the Ecco-fonics here are Chris «Sugarballs» Sprague (from The Sprague Brothers) on drums and some vocals and Wally Hersom (do I need to introduce him?) on bass. Then the songs. Apart those that are almost classics in Deke’s repertoire (Red Headed Woman, I might not come home at all, Mexicalli Rose) you find Dave and Deke Combo songs (Tally Ho, Chrome Dome) and what makes this record valuable : covers not on records (All I can do is cry, flight on the bumble bee twist, Stray Cats Strut played like Louis Armstrong) and songs that will be on Deke next album. And believe me, if the other songs are like the ones you find here, it’s gonna be a killer ! They play all those great tunes in a semi-unplugged sound (it’s live on the radio) and the whole show comes with ads between the songs and you have a great interview to end.Try Deke’s website at www.dekedickerson.com, maybe he still have a spare copy, cause if you haven’t heard Sugarball’s campaign song, you haven’t heard nothing.


Deke Dickerson - Live on the Radio
Deke Dickerson – Live on the Radio

Deke Dickerson – In 3 Dimensions

Major Label MLCD 001
I Might Not Come Home At All ~ Top Of The Line ~ Ain’t Got A Reason ~ I Get So Lonely ~ Sittin’ And Thinkin’ ~ Wear Out The Soles Of My Shoes ~ Take The Long Way Home ~ It Would Be A Doggone Lie ~ Let’s Go Wild Tonight ~ Bitter Tears ~ You’ve Been Honky Tonkin’ ~ Too Hot Too Handle ~ Knoxville Boogie ~ Gambler’s Guitar ~ Pinball Boogie ~ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ~ I’m Gonna Live Some Before I Die.

This is Deke’s fourth album and the first on which he’s not backed by the Ecco-Fonics, whoever they can be. As the title says, Deke cut himself in three, playing three different styles with three different bands: Rock’n’roll, Rockabilly and Western Swing.
The Rock’n’roll part is the occasion to hear the swing of veteran Earl Palmer (Little Richard, Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochran, Willie Nelson and so many others) on drums. He really adds something else to the tune. Bust most of all, what hits you is Deke’s voice. Album after album his voice has matured and he proves he’s a subtle and classy singer with Charlie Rich’s Sittin and Thinkin. The rockabilly segment follows with 5 songs. It’s the more predictable part but contains the excellent Wear Out the Sole Of My Shoes and Bitter Tears closes the set on a high note. For the last part, “Hillbilly Deke”, Dickerson gathered the super hillbilly band with no less than Dave Biller (guitar), Jeremy Wakefield (steel), Bobby Trimble (drums) and Billy Horton (double bass). It’s a festival of swing, guitar and steel (Pinball Boogie), always sung with taste (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and Bob Wills’ Fat Boy Rag as hidden track.
Deke Dickeson in 3 Dimensions means three times more of pleasure.