Moondogs (the)

Moondogs (the)

Moondogs (the) – Knocked Out Beat

Keiulia Records [1992]
Bottom Of The Glass – Cheatin’ Kind – I’m Dead – Jungle Rock – Lovin’ With The Shades Pulled Down – Black and Blue – Rock Island Line


The Moondogs, named after Alan Freed’s nickname, were Steve Szczeblowski (guitar and vocals), Jimmy Sutton (bass and vocals), Perry Lafine (drums) and Joe Brawka (piano and vocals). In 1992 the quartet released Knocked Out Beat, their sole album.
It opens with Bottom Of The glass, a solid rocker in the Blasters tradition.
The next song, Cheatin Kind, begins slowly with You Are My Sunshine, then bursts into a wild piano-led Rock’n’roll in the best Jerry Lee Lewis style. I’m dead is a good rockabilly with a slight Psychobilly edge on which the drums and the double bass blend exceptionally well. Nothing much to say about their cover of Jungle Rock except that it’s good and powerful. Lovin’ With The Shades Pulled Down is a heavy Rockin’ Blues akin to the Paladins. More surprising is Black and Blue. This song is different from the rest. It sounds like a Morrissey tune on a country beat.
Their version of Rock Island Line begins like a menacing blues with a spooky harmonica and then erupts in a jet-propelled Rockabilly.
After the Moondogs, Jimmy Sutton formed the Mighty Blue Kings, then The Four Charms.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Oakville Tune Wranglers

Oakville Tune Wranglers – Headin Home

Shark Records – SH1002 [1987]
Headin’ Home / One More Time

Oakville Tune Wranglers

The Oakville Tune Wranglers were a British trio active between the end of 1985 and 1990. The band consisted of George Oakines (double bass), Pete Manville (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar) and Rod Mills (guitar). They appeared on various compilations and released this single containing two excellent self-penned tracks.
The trio played a mix of hillbilly bop, proto rockabilly and cowboy tunes. In addition to the great musicianship, a special care has been given to the vocal harmonies and the melodies.If you dig the stuff recorded by Northwood records, or later by Chris Cummings’ Riverside Studio, this single is for you.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Hot Rod 56

Hot Rod 56 – Special Time

Self released [2021]
I Don’t Care – Everyday – Big – If You Tell Me – Leave This Town – I Don’t Know Why – Keep Your Big Mouth Shout – Oh Why – Special Time – Please Stay Away – I Don’t Cry No More – Shout ‘Til Broad Daylight

hot rod 56

To quote one recent Nobel prize who also happens to be a singer, “people are crazy and times are strange.” That’s also what the fine members of this French Rockabilly trio must think because they titled their brand new album Special Time.
I don’t know if that’s the travel they made to the USA a couple of years ago, when they went to Deke Dickerson to record their previous EP, but I find the band’s sound slightly different on this one. When they used to play a brand of modern Rockabilly influenced by the likes of Brian Setzer and Robert Gordon, they now sound more traditional on this new album.
As for their previous effort, Gilles (guitar) and Mickey (double bass) split the vocals, and Alex is still on drums with his precise, powerful yet swinging touch. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
Mickey opens the set with I Don’t Care, a Cochran influenced tune with a solid drive. Every Day follows next. It’s a mean Boogie-blues featuring Phil on harmonica, perhaps not the most original song of the album, but it’s terribly efficient nonetheless. Back to Rockabilly with Big, and its Johnny Kidd meets Johnny Burnette feel. If You Tell Me takes us back to Cochran. But if I Don’t Care was in the C’mon Everybody/Summertime Blues mould, this one is more in the vein of his ballads and benefits from the presence of horns. Leave This Town brings a welcome touch of hot Rhythm’n’Blues, with a screamin’ sax and sizzling guitar solo. The next song is a superb Country-rock on which Gil makes good use of the Bigsby. It makes you want to hit the road and cruise on a desert highway.
Keep Your Big Mouth Shut is a traditional Rockabilly with fine picking throughout. Oh Why is another country-rock tune with a Boom-Chicka-Boom à la Johnny Cash, and the harmonica brings a western touch to it.
The titled track has a heady guitar riff, not dissimilar to Bo Diddley. The surprise came from Please Stay Away From Me, a soulful ballad enlightened by the saxophone. I Don’t Cry No More is more in a Chicago Blues vein and not that far from what the Paladins recorded on albums like Years Since Yesterday. The album ends with Shout ‘til A Broad Daylight, a more traditional Rockabilly tune with a Hillbilly flair.

Hot Rod 56 – Let’s Play Again

Self released
Don’t Cry – Let’s Play Again – Next Time I’ll be True – I Like To Watch Girls – Flying Saucer Rock’n’roll – Come Back – F….. Radio – Love Always Die – Double Talkin’ Baby – All Night Long – Rockbilly Boogie – Lovin’ Time – Teddy Boys Never Walk Alone

Hot Rod 56 is a French Rockabilly trio and “Let’s play Again” is their third album. The first one was good, the second was excellent (and both are out of print, that’s a sign) but this one is even better. It’s loaded with 12 killer tunes (and only 3 covers). The vocals parts are split 50/50 between Gilles (guitar) and Mickey (slap bass), two excellent musicians but if you ask me, their secret weapon is Alex their drummer who manages to hammer like no tomorrow and swings in the same time, a bit like Scott Churilla, one of the Reverend Horton Heat’s drummer or Bernie Dresel in the Brian Setzer’s 68 Come Back Special. Talking about Setzer, the Gretsch wizard is an obvious influence but it’s not such a surprise. Like many of their generation (including me, how time flies!), they made their apprenticeship of rockabilly with the Stray Cats or Robert Gordon. Hot & Speed was the name of their previous effort. Those words also apply to this one but you can add powerful to the list too, courtesy of the great sound that captures on disc the energy of their live set.The set kicks off with Don’t Cry a superb modern rockabilly that borders on psychobilly with a slight Roy Orbison’s Domino feel in the melody. The next two numbers are in the neo-swing vein on which they are joined by a smoking horn section. Back to rockabilly with I Like To Watch Girl, but closer to the roots and the Sun sound. Talking about Sun, Flying Saucer Rock’n’Roll is the first of the three covers (the other two being Gene Vincent’s Double Talking Baby and Johnny Burnette’s Rockbilly Boogie), the Stray Cats never played it like that, they surely should have. The horn section returns for Come Back, a swinging tune that reminded me of 80’s bands like the Stargazers or Sugar Ray Ford. After a short interlude (F* Radio) it’s time to play the B-side or its digital equivalent and what a better song than Love Always Die. This country-rocker on which Gilles’ deep voice makes wonders is sure to please fans of Johnny Cash and the Planet Rockers. All Night Long is a bluesy song with a juicy sax that really made me think of the Blasters with Lee Allen (yes they are THAT good). Another rockin’ blues follows, with harp, and this darn good album closes with Teddy Boys Never Walk Alone that would make Crazy Cavan proud.If there was a justice on earth, Gilles, Mickey and Alex would tour the world and the Baseballs would be their roadies.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Shakin’ Snakes (the)

Shakin’ Snakes (the) – Showdown

Mystic Records – M745135 [1984]
Showdown / Billy Club

Shakin’ Snakes (the) - Showdown

The Shakin’ Snakes were Scott Sheperd on Drums, John Jorgensen on vocals and bass, and Jeff Ross on vocals and guitars.
Ross is known for his stint with Rank & File and Candye Kayne, and he also appears on Levi Dexter’s Pomp. This single was the debut of Jorgensen on record, but his credits now include, on guitar, Levi Dexter, The Hellecasters, The Desert Rose Band, Marty Stuart, and many more.
In 1983, the band appeared on the (Art Fein Presents) The Best Of LA Rockabilly with the track Surrender. Then they recorded this single.
Side one is credited to Ross, and side two to Jorgensen. I guess each sings the song he wrote.
Showdown is rockin’, yet with a very strong pop edge and a modern production, more along the lines of the Rockats’ Make That Move. The flip is a no-nonsense rocker.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

T-Bear & The Dukes of Rhythm / & the Bones

T-Bear & The Dukes of Rhythm – Let The Sweet Talk Flow…

El Toro Records R&B 205
Boogie And Soul – Lipstick Woman – Please Love Me – Don’t Touch Me Baby – That’s What the Blues is all About – Do You Think I’m Wrong – Let The Sweet Talk Flow – T-Bear Blues – She Moves Me – Barefootin’- Baby Please Don’t Lie to Me – You’re Gonna Need Me

T-Bear & The Dukes of Rhythm - Let The Sweet Talk Flow

This 8-piece combo (3 saxes, piano, bass, drums, guitar and an excellent blues shouter) comes from Sweden and knows how to play rhythm’n’blues for sure. And the five originals written by T-Bear prove they can deliver solid originals too. They have roots in the 40’s and the 50’s but they are not a retro band. The global sound has a modern edge and would please fans of The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Little Charlie and the Nightcats as well as fans of T-Bone Walker. They don’t hesitate to make incursions into the 60’s and add a bit of soul in their groovy music for the pleasure of your ears and your feet. You’ll also find swamp pop (Dont Touch me Baby) a very danceable funky number (That’s What the Blues Is All About), and a Chicago blues with soul (You’re Gonna Need Me) closes this fine album. Highly recommended.

T-Bear & The Dukes of Rhythm – Broadway Twist

Hippie Creek Lady – Broadway Twist – Girl You’re Electric – She’s My Woman – Stumble Back To Go – It Takes Time – Buzz You All Night Long – Hard To Believe – Come Back Baby – Don’t Leave Your Heart Behing – Meanest Girl – Boogie Contest

The best post-war blues album I’ve heard in ages. T-Bear & The Duke Of Rhythm’s newest album is the perfect follow-up to “Let the Sweet Talk Flow” with the sole exception that it’s even better. With the same line-up (plus the addition of Arne Fjeld Rasmussen on harmonica – and what harmonica!) they deliver twelve self penned songs with a strong 60’s blues filled with soul feel. No filler, all killers. I particularly enjoy the presence of the Hammond B-3 on almost all of the songs of this album. It’s very hard to resist to dance and party to the sound of “Hippie Creek Lady”, “Boogie Contest”, “Girl You’re Electric” that’ll please the fans of Rick Estrin and Little Charlie Baty and the best of all “Broadway Twist” – an instant classic – that leaves you exhausted. You’ll then relax with the slower “Stumble Back To Go”, “Hard To Believe” and the fantastic soulfull ballad “Don’t Leave Your Heart Behind”. T Bear is equally at ease with fast paced numbers than with slower tunes on which his deep voice makes wonders. If you dig the King (Albert, Freddie, BB) and modern artists like Nick Curran and Jimme Vaughan you won’t wait any longer to get a copy of this cd.

T-Bear & The Bones – Ice Machine [2013]

Intro: To Be Continued… – Why Don’t You Stop – Same Ol’ Tricks – Ain’t Gone ‘n’ Give Up On Love – Ice Machine – Let Me Love You – Things Ain’t Like They Seem – Choke Dog – Hard To Believe – Come Back Baby – Church Blues

Things have changed a bit for T-Bear since his latest release. This new album sees the band without the horn section but still with a Hammond B3 organ (hence the new name). For the rest the band stays true to its main inspiration namely the Kings (Albert and Freddie), Albert Collins and Luther Allison. The B3 organ is a nice addition and reminds a bit of Jimmie Vaughan’s Tilt a Whirl band. There’s a majority of originals, that alternate rhythms, moods and styles (I dig the funky Ice Machine) and a couple of well choosen covers from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Willie Dixon.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Whiskey Daredevils (the)

Whiskey Daredevils

Whiskey Daredevils (the) – Old Favorites

Straight Edge – Wasted -. Skulls – I Don’t Care – The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave – God Save the Queen – Beef Bologna – Six Pack (To Go) – Ha Ha Ha – Immigrant Song / Pay to Cum – Love Me Like a Reptile – Step On It – It’s a Long Way Back – Let’s Lynch the Landlord

Whiskey Daredevils

When a music act records an album of cover songs, their effort usually suffers by comparison. It doesn’t matter how successful the group may be or how technically polished their sound is. Inevitably, the new tunes end up lacking that certain something, a spark that makes their predecessor far superior. At least, that’s what I thought, until the Whiskey Daredevils came along.Old Favorites is an appropriate name for the Whiskey Daredevils’ third release. Although an album of punk standards and classic rock cover tunes, the Daredevils have successfully reshaped each number into their own unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll. The disc’s first track, a remake of the Circle Jerks’ “Wasted”, is a perfect exhibition of the Whiskey Daredevils’ cowpunkabilly hybrid sound. Imagine Marty Robbins using the Ramones for his backing band and you get the idea. A redo of the Misfits’ “Skulls” showcases lead singer Greg Miller’s plaintive vocal in front of a somewhat relaxed tempo (for these guys, anyway), while “Beef Balogna”, a raunchy rocker, drips in enough filth to make one feel the need to take a shower after listening to it.“God Save the Queen”, a mellow, Spanish guitar-backed version of the Sex Pistols classic, is one of the album’s hidden gems—and a song that I overlooked in my initial listen-to. Simplistic yet intricate in its delivery, this rendition took me back to a time when I frequently attended flamenco performances at a Spanish restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. I could imagine Anna, a tall, dark-complected beauty, clapping and dancing with the Daredevils playing in the background.On opposite ends of the musical spectrum, the Whiskey Daredevils give Hank Thompson & Black Flag’s “Six Pack to Go” the lounge act treatment—and, in the process, make lounge music enjoyable—while also displaying their versatility with “Ha Ha Ha”. I love this version of the Flipper number. It’s loud, it’s bawdy and it’s just plain fun. “I Don’t Care” combines the punk rock credo—hence the title—with blues-heavy guitar, making this rendition of the Black Flag classic one of my favorite songs on the album, while “Immigrant Song/Pay To Cum” claims the honor of best song on the disc. The loud punk mash-up of Led Zeppelin’s immortal “Immigrant Song” and Bad Brains’ punk standard features great guitar work from Bobby Lanphier and Dave Bowling. When you pop a copy of Old Favorites into your CD player, make sure that “Immigrant Song/Pay To Cum” is the first track you listen to.
From the Butthole Surfers to Slapshot to Motorhead, from the obscure to the infamous, each artist whose work is represented on Old Favorites is given the proper tribute by the Whiskey Daredevils. Whether it’s rockabilly, pure country, punk or classic rock ‘n’ roll, the Whiskey Daredevils can do it all…and Old Favorites is the proof.

Denise Daliege-Pierce