Virgil

Juvenile Delinquents

Juvenile Delinquents – Jumpin Around

Tombstone Records – TOMB-DISC 666 [1987]
Jump Around – Glad All Over – Ghost Train – Our Generation – Oeh Ah – She’s Wild So Wild

Juvenile Delinquents

It’s not easy to find pieces of information about The Juvenile Delinquents. The trio consisted of Crazy Eef on guitar, Ome Piet on electric bass and Robert van Driel on drums. They formed in the second half of the eighties and recorded this mini-album in January 1987. Using an electric bass gave them a fuller and more in-tune sound than many. If the Juvenile Delinquents are, musically speaking, a tight little band, one can’t say the same about the vocals that are a bit young.
Anyway, the songs are good, even excellent, like Ghost Train, and they had a good idea to release a mini-album to avoid the repetitions.

Rockats (the) – Psychobilly band

Rockats, not to be confused with the famous American neo-rockabilly band, were a psychobilly trio from Amsterdam. Originally known as a high school band named the Wild Rabbits, the Rockats formed in November 1987 with Martijn Spanteren on guitar and vocals, Arjan de Witt on electric bass and Remko Visser on drums.
After the band split, Remko Visser remained active, playing with Asmodeus.

Rockats (the) – The First Take Off

Tombstone Records Tomb-Disc 671 [1988]
Take-Off – Poor Zombie – Lost City – Lonesome Cowboy – I Hope She Loves Me – Mama – Gone – Don’t Leave Me Alone – Lucy – Prisoner – Screw & Roll – Baby Baby – Rapping Spirit

In May of the following year, they recorded their first album, “The first Take Off”, for Tombstone Records. It contains some good songs, but the global sound is slightly “young” though, like the Juvenile Delinquents, the use of an electric bass gives them a fuller and more precise sound. The main problem is the vocals. The singer tends to overact, and his scratchy voice is a bit annoying in the long run.


Rockats (the) – Keep On Turning

Tombstone Records Tomb-Disc 675 [1989]
Rockats – The Shadow – Rattlesnake – Nightmare – Let’s Go Crazy – Doctor Doctor – Everybody Needs Somebody To Love – Black Sunshine – All I Have To Do – Redlight Woman – Spend The Night With You – Whiskey On The Rocks

rockats keep on turning

One year later, they released “Keep On Turning”, still on Tombstone. This one is way better. It contains a few good ideas like Rattlesnake, a spaghetti western-tinged number, and original arrangements too. Furthermore, the singing shows quite an improvement.


Rockats (the) – The Last Crusade

Tombstone Records Tomb-disc 687 [1990]
Keep On Rock’In – Wanted – 1991 – Satisfied – Seducer – Last Crusade – Break Out – Fire – One Night Stand – Your Eyes – Burn In Hell – Jane

“The Last Crusade”, their third and last album, appeared in 1990. It contains excellent songs like the Seducer, featuring superb bouncing bass.
Other songs slightly departed from their previous release with more aggressive melodies and metal influences akin to the Krewmen of the same period.

The Radioactive Kid

Wild Rooster

Wild Rooster – No Way Out to Hell

Part Records – 693.002 [2013]
King Of Dreams – Angels – On The Other Side – I’m Coming Home – Running Against Time – No Way Out Of Hell – Old Black Joe – Train To Heaven – All I Can Do Is Cry – Rockin’ Little Jill – My Inner Beast – Crying When It Rains

For their fifth album that comes in a superb cover drawn by Vince Ray, these four Swedish Rockers show a slight departure in their sound. If you still find elements of teddy Boy music that was the bulk of their previous album. They have hardened their sound. Thi snew sound, mixed the hoarse voice of their singer, gives a final result that is not that far from Social Distortion or Mike Ness solo stuff


Wild Roosters
Wild Roosters – Take It Off

Wild Rooster – Take It Off

Part Records – 693.001 [2011]
Sweet Revenge / Tennessee Zip / Demon Riders / Fancy Dan / Forever Ted / Ride On Rebels / The Only One / Take It Off / Sisters In Crime / Tore Up / Motorbike / Won’t Waste My Time / Raw Deal / Southern Rose

Despite a very distasteful cover (front and back) I really enjoyed Wild Roosters’ latest effort. These Swedish guys are on the scene for quite some time having played with Snakebite, Crossfire or Wild Bob Burgos. As you can easily guess with this pedigree, they play Teddy Boys rock’n’roll with a sound close to Cavan’s Our Own Way Of Rocking. They have good originals and also give a breath of fresh air to well chosen covers (including Burgos’Ride On Rebels). You’ll find the usual anthems about bikes (Motorbike, Demon Riders), girls and Teds with the soon to be a stage classic “Forever Ted”. They sure won’t change the face of Rock’n’roll, but you’re guaranteed to have a good time.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Coffin Nails

Coffin Nails - Who's He? - Nervous
Coffin Nails – Who’s He? – Nervous

Coffin Nails – Who’s He?

Nervous 059 [1990]
Skeleton swamp – Humungus’s horse blues – Midnight hour – Unbalanced – Been around the world – Inspector Clueso – She’s a moose – Mission impossible – Dr. Frankenstein’s castle – Carling Black Label – The loch – Peter (the street cleaner)

Released in 1990 after the disastrous Live’n’Rockin’, Who’s He? is the band’s first studio album recorded with a slap bass. Needless to say that The Coffin Nails had something to prove and this platter was a mighty fine surprise. Produced by Pete Gage, they never sounded so good. Humungus’ voice has improved a lot even though he’s a bit ambitious when he covers “Midnight Hour”. The new members, Scott Milsom on slap bass and Nasser Bouzida (ex member of the ska band The Loafers), bring a welcome dose of fresh air.
In the end Who’s He? is a very good psychobilly album with touches of hillbilly (Humungus’ Hore Blues) and ska (Been All Around The World) played by a band that doesn’t take it too seriously.


 Coffin Nails – Live and Rockin’

Coffin Nails - Live and Rockin'
Coffin Nails – Live and Rockin’

Cherry Red/Anagram cdmpsycho60 {1990}

Please Little Woman – Heartbreak Hotel – Skateboard Frenzy – Brand New Cadillac – Penetration – Let’s Wreck – Myra Hindley – Do You Love Me – Loose Loose Woman (She’s A Moose) – Uncle Willy – Blubbery Love (Saintly Snails) – Psycho Disease – My Baby Left Me

The Coffin Nails have without a doubt played during their career numerous gigs that were worth recording, so why did Link records release this particular show on record remains a mystery. And why Cherry Red/Anagram reissues it is another mystery. Recorded in late 1989 in front of a small crowd (so small you can’t barely call it a crowd), they seem totally unrehearsed: the drummer (who only played on this album) is sometimes off beat and Humungus makes mistakes one after another and almost forgets the lyrics of the songs. Even Humungus admits that this records is their worst one. It’s a pity because when you see the setlist it could have been a great album including all their classics. Prefer to this album the live compilation “Sick Sick Sick” (also featuring Skitzo and Demented Are Go) or their most recent live album “Big Night Out”.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Coffin Nails
Coffin Nails


Coffin Nails – A Fistful of Burgers

Coffin nails

Link Records LINK LP 058 [1988]
Penetration (Orgasmic Mix) – Please Little Woman – Come Back To School – Trust In Me – Heartbreak Hotel – For A Few Burgers More – If Only Mother Could See You Now – My Baby Left Me – Coffin Nails – Nothing To Lose – Blubbery Love (Saintly Snails) – Loose, Loose Woman (She’s A Moose)

In February 1988, Dave Ward left the Coffin Nails. The remaining trio kept on playing and recorded their second album for Link records with Humungus taking over the vocal duties.
But the vocalist is not the only thing that changed. The production is better, and the band seems more comfortable with the studio.
Penetration is a new version of the song that appeared on their debut album, complete with ladies’ screams to go with the theme. Not essential. Please Little Woman finds the band in full Rockabilly mode. Come Back to School is excellent, and very unusual from what one can find on the run-of-the-mill psychobilly albums. Trust in Me, penned by Gra, the bass player, is a mid-tempo, on a Diddley Beat, quite similar to what the Meteors did on an album like Stampede. Their cover of Heartbreak Hotel starts relatively close to the original before changing gear and going mental. The instrumental For A Few Burgers More is a rocking tribute to Ennio Morricone. Like Paul Fenech, Humungus knows how to melt Morricone and Hank Marvin in the same song.
If Only Mother Could See You Now is a great rocking track. Listening to this song could almost convince me that the Coffin Nails were better with an electric bass.
My Baby Left Me is a good rockabilly track. The song is an original and not a cover of the Elvis / Arthur Crudup track. Coffin Nails is a shoot of Psychobilly straight to your feet and is made for wrecking. Saintly Snails (Blueberry Love) has a bit of soul in it with Reverend Humungus preaching the gospel. Loose Woman concludes the album on a high rockin’ note.

Coffin Nails – Ein Bier Bitte

Nervous Records – NERD 031 [1987]
Skateboard Frenzy – Werewolf Bitch – Greased Lightning – Humungus – Let’s Wreck – The Lone Ranger / Plasma Pool – Myra Hindley – Natural Born Lover – Wind Up Dead – Penetration – Uncle Willy CD bonus tracks: Ain’t It True – House On The Haunted Hill – Brand New Cadillac – Outta This World

The Coffin Nails formed in mid-1985 with Tony Szajer (vocals), Steve “Humungus” Clarke (guitar), Graham Farr (electric bass) and Toby Griffin (drums).
This line-up released one excellent track (Plymouth Fury) on Zorch Factor One (Nervous 023) and appeared on Stompin At The Klub Foot 3 & 4, playing Let’s Wreck and Psycho Disease (both written by Clarke and Griffin).
Shortly after, Griffin left to join the Meteors, with whom he recorded a couple of albums, including the excellent, Don’t Touch the Bang Bang Fruit. Dave Ward, a friend of Griffin, replaced him on drums. The band kept on gigging, and in April 1987, one of these shows was recorded, and the Coffin Nails appeared on the Sick Sick Sick compilation album alongside Skitzo and Demented Are Go. This was Tony’s last release with the band, as he left the Coffin Nails around the same time. Dave Ward then took over the vocal duties, and the Coffin Nails recruited Robert “Smurf” Farquharson to play the drums.
The band generated enough interest for Roy Williams to propose them a recording deal. The band found itself in the studio with Doc Stewart producing. Ein Bier Bitte is a little nugget of aggressive Psychobilly, positioning them as rambunctious little brothers of the Meteors from the outset (Steve is a big fan of the group as evidenced by the tattoo he sports on his right arm.) The use of an electric bass reinforces this closeness in the sound. But, while Paul Fenech’s voice is vicious and high-pitched, Ward has a raspy, scratchy voice.
The album opens with a quote from the A-Team, setting the ball rolling with a surge of wild Psychobilly, sometimes flirting with bad taste when it comes to lyrics (Penetration). Like all good Psychobilly groups, we come across werewolves and serial killers (Myra Hindley). Let’s Wreck, more or less modelled on Chris Montez’s Let’s Dance, is a call to throw yourself headfirst into the first pit. The band covers two songs: Greased Lightnin and Natural Born Lover (in an entirely unrecognizable version for the latter.)
Clarke provides much of the material alone (like the instrumental Humungus) or in collaboration. His guitar playing, still rooted in Rockabilly, is perfect and consistently inventive. Some songs are a little weaker, but overall it’s an excellent start for the band. In an interview with Chip Waite for Southern & Rocking in 1995, Clarke complained about the production, saying that “(Stewart) tried making Dave sound like Demented Are Go”. This is quite unfair since the producer captured the energy of the band and the final result is one hell of a powerful album.

The radioactive Kid

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – Smoking In Heaven

Sunday Best SBESTCD44P
Tomorrow – Will I Ever – Baby Don’t You Know – Don’t Make A Fool Out Of Me – I’m Going Back – Paan Man Boogie – Messing With My Life – What Quid? – You’ll Soon Be Here – I’m So Sorry – You’ll Be Sorry – I’m Coming Home – Smoking In Heaven.

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis - Smoking In Heaven

Maybe it’s the double bass, their look or the old-fashion way they have to cut their records (mostly live with vintage microphones), but Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have been hastily tagged “Rockabilly”.

 But it’s a very reducing view, and if you listen closely, you’ll hear that Rockabilly is just one minor ingredient in their musical stew.

After a first album mostly made of covers, “Smoking In Heaven”, a joyful musical mess featuring 13 self-penned songs, proves that Kitty Daisy & Lewis are not stuck in the ’50s. Thus, next to the Rockabilly of I’m Going Back and the Arthur Crudup-esque You’ll Be Sorry, one can find tracks with a rocksteady beat (“Tomorrow” and “I’m so Sorry” that sees the Durham family augmented by a trumpet and a trombone) and a harmonica led jam that sounds a bit like Creedence Clearwater Revival extended jam at the end of Keep On Chooglin (Smoking In Heaven). You’ll also be rewarded with a good dose of swing (Will I Ever), country skiffle (I’m Coming Home that features a great guitar solo from Lewis), piano-led Boogie-Woogie (Paan Man Boogie), 60’s British blues with Hammond ala Animals (Baby Don’t You Know) and hypnotic Chicago Blues revisited by T-Rex (What Quid an obsessive 7 minute instrumental). And if you still believe they’re retro, listen to the funky groove of “Don’t Make A Fool Out Of Me” (that reminds me a bit of G-Love & the Special Sauce) and the unclassifiable “Messing With My Life”.

 And because they’re young, they approach all those styles without any complex but with a highly infectious and fresh attitude.

 Of course, they’ll lose some fans on the so-called purist rockabilly scene who don’t see farther than their pompadour, but Kitty Daisy & Lewis are precious because they’re bringing new blood, solid songs, original ideas and most of all they rock!

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis’s official website.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

High Noon – the Rockabilly Trio

High Noon – Change

Swelltune Records – SR45-007 [2020]
Change – You Done Did It

high noon

In early 2020, Shaun Young, Sean Mencher, and Kevin Smith, internationally known as High Noon, the finest purveyor of today’s Rockabilly, got back together to make their first new recordings since 2002.
You wouldn’t believe that 18 years have passed since What Are You Waiting For. The trio sounds as fresh as the first time as I heard them when they released Glory Bound on Willie Lewis‘ Rock-A-Billy Records.
When these three guys are in the same room, you can expect the best in rural bop and drummerless Rockabilly.
Each is in fine form. Mencher is particularly inspired on You Done Did It. One could complain that on Change, Youngs tends to quaver more than usual (and necessary), but that’s a minor flaw.
Both songs are originals, Young penned the side one, and the whole trio is credited for the flip.


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)

High Noon - Flatland Saturday Night
High Noon – Flatland Saturday Night

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 ‎– What Are You Waiting For?

Goofin’ Records ‎– GRCD 6116 [2002]
Let’s Go Daddy-o – Hanging (From The Old Oak Tree) – Old Habits – Prelude To The Blues – Bayou Beauty – Not For Nothin’ – Railroad Crossing – Beautiful – Yard Dog – I’ve Never Felt As Lucky – Kiss And Tell Baby – Comanche Moon – Gotta Love That – Misunderstood – It’s The Beat

high noon

Between Stranger Things in 1995 and this album, the three members of High Noon kept themselves busy. Shaun Young recorded a solo album, formed the Jive Bombers, and played with the Horton Brothers. Sean Mencher toured with Wayne Hancock and also produced bands. In the meantime, Kevin Smith lent his talents to many artists, including the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
Set to appear at the Green Bay 50’s Festival in 2002, High Noon decided to record a new album to present new material on stage.
Recorded and produced by Billy Horton, “What Are You Waiting For?” contains 15 original songs. All their various experiences nurtured the sound of the trio and expanded what they started with Stranger Things.
From the boppin’ Let’s Go Daddy-O to the Cajun tinged Bayou Beauty, with the excellent Travis/Atkins instrumental Comanche Moon and the beautiful ballad Not For Nothing, the band goes from style to another with class and refinement.
But in case you’d forget that High Noon is “the Texas Rockabilly Trio”, listen to songs like Hanging (from the old oak tree) with its powerful slap bass, Misunderstood, It’s the Beat, the Holly-esque Beautiful and Railroad Crossin with its guitar solo evoking Grady Martin.
Young’s tremolo makes wonder on slow songs like I’ve Never Felt As Lucky. Kevin Smith proves one more time that he’s the undisputed master of the slap bass. He provides the backbone of the sound with, here and there, some short and brilliant solos. On guitar, Sean Mencher enlightens the whole album with his amazing licks, quoting Paul Burlison, Grady Martin, Chet Atkins, and Merle Travis.
What are you waiting for? Buy it!


High Noon – Stranger Things

Goofin’ Records GRCD6060 [1995]
Stranger Things – Slow Down, Baby – Call Of The Honky-Tonk – High On A Hill – Fishin’ Hole Boogie – I’m Done, I’m Through – My Little Thrill – Long Empty Stretch Of Highway – Now You’re Gonna Be Loved – Rockin’ Beauty – Bluebonnet Boogie – She Forgot Her Memory – Mixed Signal Mama – I Done Caught On – Doggone That Cat

High Noon Stranger Things

In 1995, during one of its trips to Finland, the band recorded another album at Hitsville IV studio in Helsinki with long-time collaborator Janne Haavisto.
Stranger Things marked a new step for the band. Of course, the musicianship was top-notch. Sean reached new heights on guitar, and everyone willing to learn the double bass should listen to Bluebonnet Boogie, Long Empty Stretch of Highway or Now You’re Gonna Be Loved. Let’s take this occasion to mention the band’s secret weapon: Shaun’s rhythm guitar. It blends and works perfectly with the slap to build a solid melodic backbone. There are no drums in High Noon, but when I listen to the band, I always think of what the great Freddie Green once said: “You shouldn’t hear the guitar by itself. It should be part of the drums so it sounds like the drummer is playing chords”. High Noon’s rhythm guitar is precisely a snare with chords.
Lyrically wise, the songs are also far above the vast majority of what one can find in Rockabilly, with songs too often revolving around girls kissed by boys in the backseat of a car. Take I’m Done, I’m Through, a verse like “I think congratulations are due, to the one who changed my mind and left me blue, I don’t want to sound cynical – but my condition’s critical, and I don’t think I can ever be true” could have been written by Harlan Howard, while “I done caught on when he winked his eyes, I saw you wink back when he passed by, it may take me a while to figure things out, but I done caught on and now I’m cuttin’ out” echoes the great Hank Williams. As if it wasn’t enough, Kevin Smith joins the songwriting team with two excellent songs (Slow Down Baby and Fishin Hole Boogie).

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

Texas Style
High Noon – Texas Style

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.

High Noon – Rocks Me Right

Rock-A-Billy Record Company R-1002-LP [1992]
Late Train / Mona Lisa / Your New Flame ( Is Burning Me ) / Who Was That Cat ? / Crazy Fever / Don’t Have A Heart Left To Break / Rocks Me Right / Feeling No Pain / Branded Outlaw / Hannah Lee

Glory Bound

In May 1992, the band was at Jet-Tone studios to record their second album. Jet-Tone studios were actually Young’s extra bedroom. The name came from the fact that it was close to the airport.
Once again, these ten tracks are a masterclass of Rockabilly. Next to two classic covers (Glenn Barber’s Feelin’ No Pain and Carl Mann’s Mona Lisa) and a song by Darren Lee Spears from Go Cat Go (Who Was Cat), it features seven originals written by Mencher and Young.
If the core of the album is pure Rockabilly, some songs show different influences. Branded Outlaw is more hillbilly, while the riff of Rocks Me Right is a superb variation around the Charlie Christian A Smooth One lick. There’s also some blues with Hannah Lee that Sean Mencher sings. Jussi Huhtakangas, aka Lester Peabody of The Barnshakers, plays steel guitar on two tracks.


High Noon – Train of Misery

Rock-A-Billy Record Company R-107 [1990]
Train Of Misery – Midnight Shift / Rockin’ Wildcat – Glory Bound

In 1990, High Noon met Willie Lewis, of Rock-A-Billy Records Co fame. The band told him how cool it would be to have a 45 rpm record out on Rockabilly records, and Willis agreed. The result came in the form of a four-song EP (Rock-A-Billy R 107) recorded at the Texas Tube Room. It featured two new songs, Train of Misery and a cover of Buddy Holly’s Midnight Shift, and two new recordings of Glory Bound and Rockin’ Wildcat. Those versions have a rawer sound and are even better than the ones you can find on Show and Dance.