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Lil Mo and the Unholy 4

in Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews
Lil Mo and the Unholy 4
Lil Mo and the Unholy 4

Lil Mo and the Unholy 4 – The Big Payoff!

Rhythm Bomb RBR5911 {2015}
Jake Leg – Big Doow – Cry Lil Girl – Sally Forth – My Search – Dig Boy – I Hear You Knockin’ – Easy Does It – Numbers Not Names – Livin’ Some Before I Die – Slippin’ In – Tornado

If you already know the excellent Doo Wop band Lil Mo and the Dynaflos, Lil Mo and the Unholy 4 is their lead singer’s rockin’ side.
Or to put it in a different manner, the Dynaflos are his Jekyll’s side, Lil Mo while the Unholy 4 let his Mister Hyde speak (and if you’ve heard their cover of Save It released in 2013 you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about!).
But I forget to tell you about the essential: Morris “Lil Mo” Everett has to be one the best singer to appear on the rockin’ scene in the last, say, ten years (at least!). His voice is not only good, expressive and powerful, not only can he sings in tune (don’t laugh this is not that frequent) but his tone has to be one of the most original today, the kind you immediatly recognize. It’s so good to hear someone who doesn’t try to imitate the singers of the fifties and comes with his own personnality.
The band is equally good: Mike Sobieski palys guitar (and what guitar,: clean, sharp, rockin’), on bass you have Randy Stanton who played with Marcel Riesco in Truly Lover Trio like the band’s drummer Ricky Mc Cann formerly of the Playboys and who is now part of Big Sandy’s Fly Rite Boys.

Lil’ Mo and the band penned three songs (Jake Legs, Sally Forth and Numbers Not Names) and the remaining songs are covers ranging from well known material to Rockabilly fans (Slippin’ In, Tornado) to lesser known stuff, all played with the band’s trademark sound that make them sound like originals (like the Rimshots did in their time, I know this is not the only example but it sure is one of the best!).
In the end you have one hell of a hot platter made of hot Rockabilly, wild rock’n’roll, swamp blues (they cover Lazy Lester’s I Hear You Knockin’) and a bit of country swing with an awesome cover of Faron Young’s Livin’ Some Before I Die, filled with energy and a feel of emergency and tension that is essential to this music.

No information could be found on the cover about the studio and/or the producer/recording engineer so I don’t know who I have to thank for making such a good sound. And if I say it’is clean and crisp don’t misunderstand me, I don’t mean TOO clean, I mean clean like Big Sandy’s On The Go or anything recorded in a good studio in the fifties (too many believe that to sound “authentic”, a Rockabilly album has to sound muddy and dirty, but Lil Mo and the Unholy 4 don’t fall on that trap!)

I’m going to grab as soon as I can a copy of their previous album, Rapture and will eagerly wait for the next one.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Roy Rapid and the Rhythm Rock Trio

in Albums/Contemporary artists/R/Reviews
Roy Rapid and the Rhythm Rock Trio - One Last Chance
Roy Rapid and the Rhythm Rock Trio – One Last Chance

Roy Rapid and the Rhythm Rock Trio – One Last Chance

[2012]
Barefoot Blue Jean Baby – Blue Ribbon Stroll – Firewater Tom (AKA The Hurt) – Meanie Little Queenie – Goodbye – It’s Been a Long Time – Jealous Lover – Mean Mean Ways – Rattle Me – Miss Rachelle – Tell One – Oh Mamma – Please Don’t Go – Suzie Lee – Wild Side of Life – One Last Chance

Holy cow! That’s what I call Rockabilly. Roy Rapid and the Rhythm Rock Trio are a hot young Rockabilly quartet from San Diego, California formed in 2010. They are, on this record, Christopher Soltero, (Vocals & Rhythm Guitar), Benjamin McCarthy, (Lead Guitar), Joshua Johnston, (Upright Bass) and Fernando Hermosillo, (Drums). It’s a rare pleasure to hear this music played with so much spontaneity. They really live it instead of trying to recreate it like so many others and it shows. They sound like a cross between the early Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Trio and Rip Carson, but to tell the truth, it wouldn’t be fair to compare them to other bands as they have their own sound. And icing on the cake, 15 songs out of 16 are originals penned by the band, the sole cover being Hank Thompson’s Wild Side Of Life. They are wild when needed, but not too much, they can play ballad and they also know their hillbilly roots.
Highly recommended!

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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