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El Toro

Junior Marvel

Messin' around with Junior Marvel
Messin’ around with Junior Marvel

Junior Marvel – Messin’ Around With…

El Toro Records – ETCD 4090
Mess Around – Love My Baby – I’m Coming Home – Please Don’t Leave Me – All The Time -You Got A Heart Like A Rock – That’s The Stuff You Gotta Watch – This Is The Night – Marijuana Boogie – Cruisin’ – Right Now – Tiger Man – Blue Moon
Now going under the sole name of Junior Marvel the artist also known on his ID card as Frank Marques delivers a fine blend of Elvis influenced Rockabilly and Rock’n’Roll.
“Mess Around” sounds like an unissued take of the King circa 1956. Love My Baby owes more to Hayden Thompson than Junior parker and has a nod to “Mystery Train” with Junior yelling “All Aboard !”. The arrangement on Fats Domino’s Please Don’t Leave Me is quite close to the Johnny Burnette Trio’s alternate take with the growls but they add their own touch with one verse sung in Spanish and original guitar work. “All The Time” is probably one of my fave (if you’re interested to know), a true rockabilly tune which equals the best of Rip Carson and guitarist Roger Corneille adding some tasty Chuck Berry licks. “The Stuff You Gotta Watch” slows the pace a bit with a fine jazzy arrangement. Entirely sung in Spanish, Marijuana Boogie makes you regret he doesn’t do more in that style. As he doesn’t write much original stuff it could had more personality on some songs (This Is The Night). Cruisin’ sounds like a tribute to both Gene Vincent and Danny Gatton (remember his version with Robert Gordon on The Humbler?). Written by Marvel/Marquez the wild “Right Now” sounds like it could have been written 50 years ago. Classic stuff with good slap bass solo. The album ends with two songs associated to Elvis. “Tigerman” is played in a “Blue Moon Boys” formation which is unusual and good and “Blue Moon” ends the whole thing in beauty with just Frank and his guitar and the second verse sung in Spanish.
Maybe I’d have enjoyed more original material but there’s no reason to be a killjoy this is a more than enjoyable album.


Junior Marvel and his Hi-Flyers – Lies, Lies, Lies

MAC 138
Lies, Lies, Lies / Go Man Go
Previously known as the singer of the Bellhops, Frank Marquez carried on as Junior Marvel and His Flyer. The Hi-Flyers were Nils Becker on lead guitar, Maiko Firefeet on drums, Mr Mactenfield on double bass and JJ Slyk on rhythm guitar. There’s no date on the cover, but I think that it came out around 1996.
Side A is on the rural / Sun records side of the Rockabilly with excellent guitar work behind Junior Marvel’s superb and period-perfect voice, tremolos, and hiccups. The flip, penned by Slyk, is more vigorous, and one can hear the influence of Gene Vincent.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Loneshots (the)

Loneshots (the) – self-titled ep

Loneshots

Sweet 50’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Promociones ‎– SFEP 001 [1995]
Don’t Take It Away – Stop, Look ‘n’ Listen – You’re Not The Best – Rockshot
After the split of Los Tornados, Anabel Moreno founded The Loneshots with some of the best rockabilly musicians on the Madrid scene, namely Diego Araoz on guitar, Carlos Lopez on double bass and Javier Sarmentero on drums. The Loneshots were the first Spanish band to play the Hemsby weekender. In 1995 they released this four-track Ep, their sole musical testimony on wax.
Three songs are originals, and the cover, Stop, Look ‘n’Listen, comes from the repertoire of Patsy Cline. Annabel is a terrific singer, and the band has an excellent traditional Rockabilly sound with jazzy and swingin’ tones that is mainly present on “Rockshot,” the instrumental that closes the ep.
After the band broke up, Miss Moreno went on to form Anabel and the Rock-a-bells while Diego Araoz and Javier Sarmentero played in the Milestones that released one album on El Toro.

Fred ”Virgil” Turgis

Rossella Scarlet

Rossella Scarlet & the Cold Cold Hearts – The Day Will Come

Rossella Scarlet

El Toro Records ET-15.128 [2019]
You Were So Blind – A Painting On the Wall – The Day Will Come – Wondering

Rossella Scarlet comes from Italy and is now living in London. She just released her debut ep on El Toro backed by the Cold Cold Hearts (I suspect the young lady to be a Hank Williams fan.) This terrific musical aggregation consists of Graham Murphy (Jump Cat Jump, Frantix) on guitar, Phil Morgan (Lynette Morgan & The Blackwater Valley Boys, Doel Brothers) on steel guitar, and Emma Goss (Sara Vista, Something Shocking) on double bass.
If you like classic country music straight from the late 40s/ early ’50s look no further, this ep is for you. Three songs are from the pen of Miss Scarlett, and Frankie Riedel wrote the fourth one (Wondering). So not only we have a pretty good singer with a vibrant voice but also a solid songwriter.
“You Were so Blind” is a superb hillbilly that has nothing to envy to Wayne Hancock. “A Painting on the Wall” is a soulful ballad with a haunting steel guitar. Though good, it could easily be one minute shorter to be more efficient.
B-side kicks off with “The Day Will Come,” another tune strongly-led by the double bass. Supported by a delicate guitar picking, “Wondering,” a duet with Phil Morgan, closes the set in beauty.



Mad Tubes (the)

Mad Tubes (the) – Rockin’ Roots

mad tubes

El Toro [2010]
Up the Line – Little Mixed Up – Dust My Broom – Big Legs Woman – You Know You Hurt Me – T-Bone Shuffle – Wig Hat – Don’t Bug Me Baby – Black Brown and White – Don’t Be Gone Long – Love My Baby – Hot Tamales – Treat Me Right – Your Bite So Tight – Hot Road Blues

The Mad Tubes are an Italian trio that plays Chicago Blues with a rockabilly attitude similar to the Paladins or the Nervous Fellas. Next to their own numbers, the songs come from the catalogs of Robert Johnson, T-Bone Walker, and Little Walter. Both the guitar player and the bassist sing which adds diversity to their sound. It’s an enjoyable release played by three excellent musicians with solid originals. The guitar sound is OK too though I’d probably enjoyed a grittier and fuller production especially on the voices that sound a bit thin.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Mitch Woods

Mitch Woods Jukebox drive

Mitch Woods – Jukebox Drive

El Toro Records
Jukebox Drive – Drunk – Boppin’ The Boogie – Blue Light Boogie – Saturday Night Boogie Woogie Man – Blues Hangover – Boogie Woogie Bar-B-Q – Tipitina – Boom Boom – Parchman Farm – Swell Lookin’ Babe – Mitch’s Boogie

Piano player Mitch Woods has made quite a name on the blues/jump scene, releasing numerous albums. He also worked with legends such as John Lee Hooker and Earl King to name but two.

His touring led him to Europe where he stopped in Barcelona, Spain. There, he met one of the finest gang of blues and jump musicians : The Lazy Jumpers. Together they recorded these fine piece of jumpin’ blues, boogie woogie and juicy rhythm and blues.

Half of the 12 songs are Woods’originals, but if the credits weren’t written, you’d swear these are covers as they perfectly fit in the rest of the material. The general inspiration rangess from Louis Jordan to Jimmy Liggins, but you also find a straight blues number with Hooker’s Boom Boom (not very original idea of cover, but well played so… enjoy), a bit of rock’n’roll (the Little Richard inspired “Swell Lookin’ Babe“) and on the jazz side a solid six minute version Mose Allison’s Parchman Farm.

Another nice addition to El Toro Rhythm & Blues serie and one more evidence of the Lazy Jumpers’ talent.
Buy it here.


Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Wise Guyz (the)

Wise Guyz

Wise Guyz (the) – Don’t Touch My Greasy hair [2011]

El Toro
Don’t Touch My Greasy hair – It’s Not Right – I’m A fool – Heat – Hey hey Little Chick – I’ve Kissed You baby – Jukebox Jumpin’ – Rock Me Baby – I wanna Be – Moonlight In The Dark – Kissin’ Is On My Mind – Really Rocket – Girls babies Chicks & Hunnies – Hold Me baby – Let’s Fly To The Stars – Love Me Or Leave me – Goodbye My Baby

This is the fourth album for the Wise Guyz. This quartet comes from Ukrain. The first listen makes clear that Johnny Burnette is an obvious influence for these guys. They try to vary things by bringing a sax on “Heat”and “Hold Me Bay” but it’s not very well exploited and fail to convince like their doo wop attempts (I’ve kissed You). The constant distortion on the voice is, at the end, very disturbing and I was curious after two songs to hear how the singer really sounded. Could he sing without that artifice? It’s only on the 15th song, a gentle ballad, that his “real” voice” could at last be heard. It proves that the band should really play more in this way.

Their originals are good, but far from being unforgettable, and once again I maintain that 17 songs are way too much for a rock’n’roll album , and after 8 songs they all sound more or less the same. Too many musicians forget that Rockabilly is mainly a music made for 45’s.

For fans of desperate rock’n’roll things.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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