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Bobby Trimble

Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys

in Reviews
Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys - Fine, Fine, Superfine
Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys – Fine, Fine, Superfine

Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys – Fine, Fine, Superfine / Everytime

Ruby records {2016}
It’s the first release of a brand new label, Ruby records, launched by Ruby Ann and Tom Ingram and it comes in a beautifully designed sleeve. And what a better choice to lauch a label than Big Sandy? Even though it’s only a single and we desperately need a brand new album, it’s always good to have a new release by today’s finest purveyor of Rock’n’roll, the man with the velvet voice himself, Mister Big Sandy. Not to forget the Fly-Rite Boys who are Ashley Kingman on guitar (23 years or so of service), Kevin Stewart and newcomer Ricky McCann on drums.
It was a very good surprise to see that Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Boys had recorded this two sides at Wallyphonic studios with Wally Hersom at the console, like they did for their debut album.
The A side is “Fine, Fine, Superfine” a good rocking’ song with a solid beat. This is not Robert Williams’ most original song but it completely fulfills its goal: make you dance, shake your head and tape your feet. The flip is far more original and is pure Big Sandy. It’s got the same highly melodic hook than song like “How did you love someone like me”, it’s smooth but rocking in the same time. This is a kind of tune that shows why Robert Williams has no equivalent in term of songwriting today. And with a first rate band like the Fly-Rite Boys, it’s a killer.


Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys – What A Dream it’s Been

big-sandy-what-a-dream-its-been
Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys -What A Dream It’s Been

Cow Island CIM022 [2013]
Baby Baby Me – This Ain’t a Good Time – Missouri Gal – Don’t Desert Me – Nothing To Lose – Glad When I’m Gone – Parts Unknown – You Mean Too Much To Me – I Know I’ve Loved You Before – Three Years Blind – If I Knew Now What I Knew Then – What a Dream It’s Been.

When an artist and a fine songwriter like Big Sandy breaks a silence of nearly seven years to release an album of “acoustic and newly arranged versions of old songs” one can reasonably have some fears. But fear not my friends; although it borrows a song from each of his records, -with the exception of the Jake’s Barbershop ep- “What a Dream It’s Been” is not just a quick re-recording of old favourites like it’s too often the case with that kind of project. The reason lies, in part, in the choice of the songs. Big Sandy has dug deep in his discography to select lesser known songs than the one available on the two best-of released by Hightone and Rockbeat for example. And musically it’s an adventurous thing which is more a prolongation of the recent albums than the summary of a career. Thus it sees the band expanding the range of its styles to bring early ska and rocksteady (Baby Baby Me, I know I loved you Before) to the mix as well as bluegrass (This Ain’t A Good Time, Will You Be Glad) with Ashley playing mandolin and Jeff West providing harmonies, Country Soul (Parts Unknown), Mexican tinged stuff ala Marty Robbins (Nothing To Loose) and a jazz duet with guest vocalist Grey Delisle (What A Dream It’s Been). Big Sandy’s voice has never sounded so good and deep, particularly when he’s only backed by a double bass (“Don’t Desert Me”) or a guitar (You Mean Too Much to Me) and the acoustic format reveals the beauty of his song writing. It also puts a new light on Kingman’s skills. His talent shines throughout the album and is in large part responsible of the success of that record.
In the end, what was supposed to be just a celebration of a 25 year career turns out to be a pivotal album in the band history as were “Jumpin’ from 6 to 6” in 1994 or “Night Tide” in 2000.


Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys – Turntable Matinee

Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys - Turntable Matinee
Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys – Turntable Matinee

Yep Roc – Yep 2121 [2006]
Power Of The 45 – Love That Man – The Great State Of Misery – Haunted Heels – Ruby Jane – Spanish Dagger – Mad – The Ones You Say You Love – You Don’t Know Me At All – Yes (I Feel Sorry For You) – Lonesome Dollar – Slippin’ Away – I Know I’ve Loved You Before – Power Of The 45 Pt. 2.

I became a Big Sandy fan from the moment the needle of my platter played Hot Water the opening song of Fly Rite With, their first album back in 1990.
In 2000, the dark mood of Nightide marked a turning point in Big Sandy’s recording journey and his songwriting. Having used the rockabilly and the western swing terminology and grammar for years, he freed his writing and went to a new level with no restrictions, creating more than re-creating.
After It’s Time in 2002, Turntable Matinee is a deeper step in that direction. Still built around western swing type of songs like Yes (I Feel Sorry For You) with Lee Jeffriess back behind the double neck steel guitar, it takes that genre further and brings on some of these songs a late 60’s feel (The Great State Of Misery). Straight rockin’ songs make a welcome return in Big Sandy’s set with Ruby Jane and the two parts of Power Of The 45 at the beginning and the end of the record, an ode to the band’s influences (Glen Glenn, Link Wray, Chuck Berry, Janis Martin, Etta James…). Between those two solid anchors you’ll find some latin / bossa nova (Spanish Dagger), a bluegrass inspired tune (Lonesome Dollar) and probably the biggest surprise: a Stax / Memphis soul masterpiece called Slippin’ Away with Cad Kadison on sax. And just when I was thinking Hey this is the first Fly-Rite Boys’ album without an instrumental tune came the hidden track, an instro version of Spanish Dagger. Finally it’s more than logical that after being produced by Dave Alvin for their first two albums as Fly-Rite Boys they now fit perfectly with the Blasters’ definition of American Music.
Since the Fly-Rite Trio days the line-up has seen some changed but that didn’t weaken the band and brought new blood and forced it to be more creative every time. The best example is bassist Jeff West who is now a key member of the band : he wrote three songs (and one of the most beautiful song ever sung by Big Sandy You Don’t Know Me At All) and sings two. The musicianship is, as usual, faultless from Ashley Kingman’s inventive guitar licks and his questions/answers with Lee Jeffriess (especially on Yes(I Feel Sorry For You) to Bobby Trimble subtle drumming (listen to I Know I’ve Loved You Before and pay attention to his brushwork). This album is going to be hard to top but I’ve already said that about It’s Time so I don’t worry that much.


 Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys – It’s Time

Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys - It's Time
Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys – It’s Time

Yep Roc, [2003]

”It’s time” follows the beautiful but dark and sad “NighTide”. The line remains unchanged except for Jimmie Roy (Ray Condo’s Ricochets) who replaces Lee Jeffriess on steel.
Entirely recorded live in the studio to capture the freshness of their first recordings, it’s also a much more varied album. You can find classic Rock’n’roll ala Elvis (Chalk It up To the Blues), followed by the Cajun inspired “Bayou Blue” with Chris Gaffney on accordion and there’s even a surfin’ instrumental written by Ashley Kingman (Strollin’ With Mary-Jane). Of course their usual brand of hillbilly bop/rockabilly is still present with songs like I Hate Loving You on which Jeff West voice blends perfectly with Big Sandy’s. He also takes lead on the jazzy Money Tree which makes you regret he doesn’t sing more. But Big Sandy remains the “real” singer of the band and the excellent “Night Is For the Dreamers” with its doo-wop atmosphere concludes the album in beauty.


Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys – Night Tide

Hightone Records HCD 8123 [2000]
Night Tide – Between Darkness And Dawn – Tequila Calling – When Sleep Won’t Come (Blues For Spade) – If You Only Knew – Give Your Loving To Me – In The Steel Of The Night – A Man Like Me – Hey Lowdown! – My Time Will Come Someday – I Think Of You – Nothing To Lose – South Bay Stomp – Let Her Know

Released in 2000, Night Tide marked a turn in Big Sandy’s musical evolution.
Wally Hersom, former bass player of the band and the last remaining member of the Fly-Rite trio days, had left the group to be replaced by Jeff West (the Sun Demons.) West not only brought his bass, but he also came with his singing abilities, giving Big Sandy a second voice to play with, like a new instrument, hence the presence of harmony vocals on many of the songs.
It was also a change of mood. While previous albums featured dancing tunes and lighthearted lyrics (My Sinful days are over, The Loser’s Blues), Night Tide featured Robert Williams’ more introspective and dark songs. Songs like “When Sleep Won’t Come” written from the pint of view of Spade Cooley in jail, or “Nothing to Lose,” one of Williams’ saddest tune, are perfect examples of that direction. With these songs and others like the title track and Between Darkness And Dawn, Williams seems to throw off the limits of roots music and write songs without restraining himself.
And behind the Latin beat of” Tequila Calling,” one can hear the story of a man fighting with his demons. Even Lee Jeffriess, instrumental, which is usually danceable, is a slow and reflective number.
By comparison, ditties like “I Think of You” or “Give Your Loving” (penned by West) seem out of place and almost break the charm.
But the Fly-Rite Boys also stay true to their roots with rockin’ numbers like their cover of Cliff Bruner’s My Time Will Come Someday featuring Ashley Kingman in full Grady Martin mode as well as Hey Lowdown ( a stage favorite) and Let Her Know.


Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys – Down at Jake’s Barbershop

Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys - Down at Jake's Barbershop
Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys – Down at Jake’s Barbershop

No-Hit records ‎– EP5
Down at Jake’s Barbershop – You’re No Fun – Fallin’ for You – Snake Dance Boogie

In 1992, steel player Lee Jeffriess joined Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Trio (Big Sandy, TK Smith, Wally Hersom and Bobby Trimble) that became Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys. Shortly after that, Smith left the band. The toured Europe with Malcolm Chapman (Carlos and the Bandidos) on guitar before Ashley Kingman (Red Hot’n’Blue) officially joined the band in early 1993.
In July of that year the new line-up recorded these four tracks at Wally’s studio for No-Hit Records.
These four songs are the missing link between the “On the Go” and “Jumpin’ From 6 to 6“. They show the transformation of a tight rockabilly combo into a western swing machine that will culminate with “Swingin’ West” and “Feelin’ Kinda Lucky.” Here the mood of the day is more hillbilly bop with two originals on side A and two covers, Link Davis’ Fallin for You that features Carl Sonny Leyland on piano and Roy Hogsed’s Snake Dance Boogie.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

https://www.bigsandy.net/

Country Cabin Boys (the)

in Reviews

Country Cabin Boys (the)

country cabin boys

Wounded Knee Polka/ Lucky’s Lullaby
Ecco-Fonic – EF 1002 [1994]

Formed by members of the Fly-Rite Boys, The Country Cabin Boys were more a recording project than an actual band. They were Ashley Kingman on guitar, Lee Jeffriess on steel guitar, Bobby Trimble on drums, and ex-Ecco-Fonic Johnny Noble on double bass. Wally Hersom avoided bass duties to concentrate on the recording.
The band performed instrumental hillbilly jazz in the same vein Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant did.
A-side is a polka featuring a guest appearance by former Fly-Rite Trio member, the great TK Smith.
The flip-side, Lucky’s Lullaby, would later appear in an updated version called “Rhapsody In Violet” on the Fly-Rite Boys solo album “Big Sandy presents…”

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Shaun Young

in Contemporary artists/Reviews

Shaun Young – Movin’

Shaun Young Movin'

Rhythm Bomb Records RBR-5893 [2018]

Movin’ – Things Will Never Be The Same – I Plead The 5th – More Than Any Tongue Can Tell – Baby Stop Your Jivin’ Me – Drink Til I Can’t Feel The Pain – My Heartache’s Been Confirmed – Got It Made – Someday – Set Me Up – When You Do That – Knockout

At last, a brand new album from Shaun Young. Sure, he released some pretty good 7″ in the recent years but they were just appetizers for this main course.

But here it is. A full 12 songs albums featuring 11 originals and one cover (Someday by way of Bobby Vee and the Crickets.). But wait! There’s more! Young is not alone and he didn’t record this album with one but with two bands.

The Texas Blue Dots are Alberto Telo (Colton Turner) on drums, Paolo Bortoloiol on bass, Massimo Gerosa on piano (is there an Italian connection in Austin?) and none other than Young himself on guitar.

The songs on which they play have a strong blues influence (Someday or Got It Made with a nod to Gene Vincent’s Baby Blue in the intro) with a bit of jivin’ jazz (Baby Stop Your Jivin Me) and plain Rock’n’roll (When You Do That.) The later featuring a cracking guitar solo.

The Three Ringers are the other band to back the singer on this album. They are Bobby Trimble (of Fly Rite Trio/Boys fame) on drums, Tjarko (Ronnie Dawson, the Tinstars, Planet Rockers) on guitar and Todd Wulfmeyer (81/2 Souvenirs, Marti Brom) on double bass. The three of them also play in the Modern Don Juan. So, like with the Texas Blue Dots, expect solid musicianship.

The songs on which they play cover the whole spectrum of rockin’ music. Movin has the same tension and menace than the best of Johnny Kidd. Things Will Never Be the Same is pure Rockabilly straight from the fifties. I guess that Willie Lewis would have been proud to release this one on a beautiful 78rpm. I plead the 5th is more on the Honky Tonk side of things and so are Drink Til I Can Feel the Pain and Set Me Up.

On the Buddy Holly influenced “More than Any Tounge Can Tell” Young sings “I know that I’m not Shakespeare”, well if that title wasn’t already given to Hank Williams I would easily call him the Hillbilly Shakespeare. Since the High Noon days, Young has always proven to be a fine lyricist and this album makes no exception. Another fine exemple is the rockin’ My Heartaches Been Confirmed.

Knockout closes the album like every good rockin’ album should do: letting you beg for more.

Both bands give the best and i’d like to mention Mr Wulfmeyer harmonies that are a big part of the mix (I can’t tell you how many time I listened to More than any…) and Young’s production is nothing but perfect.

Go to Rhythm Bomb or your favorite online dealer to grab a copy of this masterpiece right now!

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Shaun Young - Wiggle Walk
Shaun Young – Wiggle Walk

Shaun Young – Wiggle Walk

Goofin’ Records [2005]
Get It Got It Good – One-Two-Three Carburetors – The Fire Of Love – My Advice – Wiggle Walk – Havin’ More Fun Than The Law Should Allow – I’ve Found What I Was Looking For – When You’re In Love – She’s Got What I Want – Move Around – Nobody But You Babe – Don’t Ask Me Why – The List – Mean Mean Mean – Rocket In My Pocket

Wiggle Walk was recorded at the now legendary Fort Horton studios in Austin, with the Horton Brothers (Billy on the bass, Bobby on the guitar and lap steel), Dave Biller (guitar) and Buck Johnson (drums). Together or separately they played on some of the best records made this last 10 years and this one makes no exceptions to the rule. It’s a KILLLER ! 
I love High Noon (and it’s an understatement, believe me) but the best thing I can say about this record is that it’s not an High Noon album with other musicians and drums. Well you still have that Buddy Holly feel (Notably on Billy Fury’s My Advice and Bobby Vee and the Cricket’s When you’re in love), but also some Elvis with the brilliant I’ve found what I’ve looking for you could easily find on an Elvis RCA album (The Lowells playing the part of the Jordanaires) and Mean Mean Mean more reminiscent of the Sun days (with a feel similar to I forgot to remember to forget).
Among the covers figures Little Walter’s Nobody but you Baby. Man, this boy can sing the blues too (did you ever doubt ?) and with the help of guest Nick Curran on drums and guitar you’ve got one of the many highlights of the album. Just after this scorchy blues follows the great Don’t ask me why with backup vocal provided (I guess) by the Horton Brothers. And then another change of style with The List, a great rockin’ and boppin’ song. This 37 minute album (at last something I can reproach) ends with  Rocket in My Pocket where the talent of guest piano player T Bonta shines throughout.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Shaun Young – Red Hot Daddy

Shaun Young - Red Hot Daddy
Shaun Young – Red Hot Daddy

Goofin GRCG 6062 [1997]
Red Hot Daddy ~ She Still Loves Me ~ If I Can’t Be Your Lover ~ What’s The Deal Jack? ~ High Voltage ~ Phantom Rock ‘n’ Roll ~ Hey Flat Get It ~ I’m Slippin’ In ~ The End Is Near ~ How Can I Turn Her Away ~ Beg Steal & Borrow ~ Foolish Pride ~ Right Here, Right Now and Forever ~ Rickety Shack

Between two High Noon albums, and after his debut 10”, Shaun Young, lead singer of High Noon, took some time to record his first full length featuring 12 originals and two covers (High Voltage and I’m Slippin’ In).
It was recorded in two sessions with two different bands. One took place in Helsinki in Finland with the Barnshakers for backing band, during which they cut Red Hot Daddy, High Voltage and Ricketty Shack. On this three tracks the sound is more Rock’n’roll than Rockabilly with the addition of a saxophone and a piano on Jano’s High Voltage.
The remaining songs were recorded in Shaun’s studio in Austin with Kevin Smith (string bass), Chris Miller (steel), Dereck Peterson (lead guitar), Tjarko Jeen (lead guitar) and Lisa Pankratz sharing the drums duties with Young. The core of this recording is made of Texas rockabilly quite similar to High Noon in style and quality but there are some subtle differences. For exemple She Still Loves Me evokes Gene Vincent’s Catman, If I Can’t Be Your Lover (I Don’t Want to be your Friend) is a superb honky tonk in the style of Hank Williams. Another honky tonk, but with an early Buddy Holly feel in it is How Can I Turn Her Away. Young also makes good use Miller’s steel guitar to achieve spooky effects on Phantom of Rock’nRoll. But the best song, by far, is Beg Steal and Borrow featuring Dave Bedrich on trumpet (from the Big Town Swingtet) who gives to the song a full Texas swing sound.
Superb album from start to finish.

Shaun Young – Our Last Night / Heartache Heartbreak

Shaun Young - Our Last Night
Shaun Young – Our Last Night

Goofin Records GOOFY 543 [1993]

Debut solo single from High Noon frontman. Excellent Texas rockabilly with that Buddy Holly feel.

Dave and Deke Combo

in Albums/CD/Contemporary artists/Reviews

Dave and Deke Combo - There’s nothing like an old hillbilly
Dave and Deke Combo – There’s nothing like an old hillbilly

The Dave and Deke Combo – There’s nothing like an old hillbilly

Bucket Lid Records BL503
No More Cryin’ the Blues – Hey Mae Laurie Ann – Red Headed Woman – Moonshine – This Is It – Let’s Rock Tonight – Hey Baby – Alamo – Love Me – Let’s Take a Little Ride Sweet Rockin’ Mama – Lookin’ for Money – I’m Gonna Tell – Laughin’ and Jokin’ – Carryin’ On – Real Cool Rocket – The Stranger Walks – Chew Tobacco Rag – Twin Guitar Twist – Muskrat – In the Meadow
Although the split of the Dave & Deke Combo gave us two great solo artists (and as a bonus it also gave us a fantastic drummer), sometimes we were missing the Combo, its harmonies and its humor. So when reunion gigs were announced everyone knew it would be a major event of 2005. The first gigs in Vegas and Oneida were a huge success. And to celebrate this reunion the band decided to release a rarities cd.

Tracks 1 to 6 give us the occasion to hear the combo with Bobby Trimble on drums. These tunes com from their first 8 tracks demo. One can find the other 2 songs on the cd version of Hollywood Barn Dance. You’ll also find live cuts, unreleased songs from the Moonshine Melodies and Toerag studios sessions as well as rare to find vinyl only release. I won’t go more into details as the liner notes explain it all. It’s interesting to see that a lot of these songs are still in the Deke Dickerson’s repertoire today like «Red Headed Woman», «Love Me» (not The Phantom’s one) or «Lookin for Money». And icing on the cake you’ve got a brand new recording by the band. Elvis’ In the Ghetto is given the Homer & Jethro treatment and renamed “In the meadow”. It’s probably one of the best song the combo ever produced.
Fred «Virgil» Turgis


The Dave And Deke Combo – Hollywood Barn Dance
The Dave And Deke Combo – Hollywood Barn Dance

The Dave And Deke Combo – Hollywood Barn Dance

Heyday Records [1996]
Let’s Flat Get On It  – Snatchin’ And Grabbin’ – Right Behind Me – Let Go Of Louie – El Cumbanchero – Cut Out That Boogie – Did Anybody Mention My Name? – No Good Woman – Hitch In My Get-A-Long – Two Timin’ Mama  – Slippin’ And Slidin’ (And Scootin’ Around) – Henpecked Peckerwood – Goin’ Steady With The Blues  – Deke’s Hot Guitar – Half Shot Boogie – Baby’s Hot Rod – Wild Woman – Chrome Dome

 

 

 


The Dave & Deke Combo – Moonshine Melodies
The Dave & Deke Combo – Moonshine Melodies

The Dave & Deke Combo – Moonshine Melodies

No Hit Records – HITCD09 [1993]
Tally Ho  – I’m Just Too Lazy – Maybe Baby  – You Ain’t As Dumb As You Look  – Flipped!   – Didn’t It Rock   – Salty Boogie  – Two Guitars, No Waitin’  – Go Ahead On – Strange Woman’s Love  – Warm Lips (Big Trouble)  – Show-Me Boogie

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