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El Toro - page 5

Bob Luman

in Reissues
Bob Luman Red Hot
Bob Luman – Red Hot

Bob Luman – Red Hot 1956-1957

ETCDVD 10011
All Night Long (Imperial 8311) – Red Cadillac And A Black Mustache (Imperial 8311 – undubbed) – Amarillo Blues (Imperial unissued) – Wild-Eyed Woman (Imperial unissued) – Blue Days, Black Nights (Imperial unissued) – Red Cadillac And A Black Mustache (Imperial 5705 – overdubbed) – Red Hot (Imperial 8313) – Whenever You’re Ready (Let’s Fall In Love) (Imperial 8313) – Your Love (Imperial 8315 – overdubbed) – Make Up Your Mind, Baby (unissued first take) – Your Love (unissued first take) – Make Up Your Mind, Baby (Imperial 8315 – cool version) – Your Love (undubbed take) – Make Up Your Mind, Baby (Imperial 8315 – wild version) – Stranger Than Fiction (Texas demo – Rollin’ Rock 45-028) – You’re The Cause Of It All (Texas demo – Rollin’ Rock 45-028) – That’s Allright (Texas demo – Rollin’ Rock EP 034) – Hello Baby (Texas demo – Rollin’ Rock EP 034) – In The Deep Dark Jungle (Texas demo – Rollin’ Rock EP 034) – Let ‘Er Go (Texas demo – Rollin’ Rock EP 034) – Let It Happen (unissued Texas demo) – No Use In Lying (California demo)- That’s Alright (California demo) – Hello Baby (California demo) – The Shadows – The Creep (Bob Luman’s band – California demo) – The Shadows – Shadow Rock (Bob Luman’s band – California demo) – The Shadows – Jumping With The Shadows (Bob Luman’s band – California demo) – This Is The Night (Carnival Rock soundtrack)- All Night Long (Carnival Rock soundtrack) – The Creep (Carnival Rock soundtrack) – David Houston with The Shadows – One And Only (Carnival Rock soundtrack) – David Houston with The Shadows – The Teenage Frankie And Johnnie (Carnival Rock soundtrack)
Slowly but surely and with an impeccable taste, El Toro makes its place in the world of reissues and is now a label you have to count with. After Buddy Holly, Pat Cupp and Johnny Burnette, the new legend to receive the El Toro treatment is Bob Luman. Well what can I say about Luman? If you’re on this website and read this lines I can, without making a big mistake, assume that you are a rockabilly fan. An wether you know Luman or not, this cd is a must have for you. You have the complete recordings made by Luman in 1956-57 with some of the finest rock’n’roll musicians like earl Palmer, James Burton and James Kirkland. From early demos, with one of the best rock’n’roll song of all times “Deep Dark Jungle“, to his Imperial classics (Red Hot, Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache, All Night Long), with alternate takes, dubbed and undubbed version and unissued stuff, this is the most comprehensive set about Luman available on the market if you except expensive boxsets but this one has the advantage to concentrate on his rock’n’roll/rockabilly years. And if you still hesitate (which seems impossible but…) El Toro has included the DVD of Carnival Rock, a rock’n’roll movie, starring Luman, The Platters, The Blockbusters and David Houston.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Ronnie Hayward

in Albums/Contemporary artists/GH/Reviews
Ronnie Hayward - Tail Shaking
Ronnie Hayward – Tail Shaking

Ronnie Hayward – Tail Shaking

El Toro Records – ETCD 2033
Whiskey Flavored Kisses – We’ll Get High -You Can’t Tell me Why – Ronnie’s Blues – Pink Wedding Gown – One Way Ticket – No More For You – Mean Streak Mama – Lonesome Feeling – Quit My Cryin’ – I Don’t Lie It – Honey I’m – Connie lou – Adrianna – Beggin’ Time – 90 Miles An Hour
This cd from Ronnie Hayward is actually a very welcome reissue of material that was previously only available on vinyl ( “Somewhere Out There” on Tail Records, hence the title) with four unreleased tracks from a later session. For this four tracks a drummer joined the trio. You’ll find no slick production here, Ronnie’s music, a fine blend of rural blues, rockabilly and hillbilly bop, is raw and unadulterated. “Whiskey Flavored Kisses”, one of the four unreleased tune, appears here in a very different version than the one on “Too Many Chiefs”, without the slide guitar and with the emphasis put on the rhythm section : heavy strumming acoustic guitar and simple and effective drums and just one stroke of electric guitar in the middle. Simply brilliant. “We’ll Get High” sounds a bit like “Domino” with obsessive guitar and heavy slap bass. Changing mood, “You Cant Tell Me Why” has a kind of a rumba beat into it. Don’t be fooled by the name, “Ronnie’s Blues 5” is not a blues but more a uptempo hillbilly tune with Ronnie’s howlin’ vocal. “No more for you” is a country weeper with harmony on the refrain while “Mean Streak Mama” reflects Hayward’s blues side. Sure this guy in not always in tune, but the lack of exactness is highly compensated by the intensity of his interpretation, even through the stereo one can feel his presence. Isn’t that the most important with this type of music? Fans of Johnny Burnette’s Rock’n’Roll trio will enjoy “Quit My Cryin’” with its “Rock-Billy Boogie” beat. “Honey I’m” is rather different than the other one, more modern if that word has some kind of signification for a Ronnie Hayward’s album, with drums rolls that put a constant tension in the song. “Beggin’ Time” is quite close to the original version and Hank Sow’s “90 Miles An Hour”, which is originally quite soft, could be compared to the best of Wayne Hancock. This comparison is not only valid for this song, both share something really simple, something that makes great artist, something called personality.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Rockin’ Bonnie & the Rot Gut Shots / Rockin’ Bonnie Western Bound Combo

in Albums/Contemporary artists/R/Reviews
Rockin' Bonnie - Cocktail Jubilee
Rockin’ Bonnie – Cocktail Jubilee

Rockin’ Bonnie & the Rot Gut Shots – Cocktail Jubilee

El Toro ETCD3024 {2009}
Bell Bottom Boogie – Gotta Honky Tonk – What Am I Worth – Kitty Kat Corner – All Of This – Burnin’ – I’m Hurtin’ Again – I Love Booze – I Wanna Make Love – I Heard About You – I Start Messin’ Around- Juke Box Blues – Papa Boogie – Bring Along Your Lovin’ – Time’s A Waistin’
The debut album of this young Italian lady was one of the good surprise of 2009.
 Backed by a bunch of well know faces who happen to be brilliant musicians too (including Nuno from the Boppin’ Boozers on slap bass, Max from the Starlighters who wrote six originals- on guitar and steel guitar, Manuel from Hot Tubes on drums and Jerry on piano from too many bands to mention here).
The band takes great advantage of Jerry’s pounding piano and opens the set with the fantastic Bell Bottom Boogie. The core of the set is made of hillbilly and hillbilly boogie, some very rural (I Heard About You), others with fine bluesy licks (I Wanna Make Love), but you also find country waltz with harmonies (All Of This close to the early Ranch Girls stuff), wild rock’n’roll with Jerry in full Jerry Lee mode (Burnin’), rockabilly (I’m Hurtin’ Again, Kitty Kat Corner), jazz (I Love Booze) a bit of western swing (Papa Boogie).
As said before the musicianship is top notch, but that’s Sabrina (Rockin’ Bonnie)’s voice that steals the show. She rocks like Lorrie Collins, has the country flair of Patsy Cline and shares with June Carter the same fun and abandon.
Highly recommended.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Rockin’Bonnie Western Bound Combo
Rockin’Bonnie Western Bound Combo

Rockin’ Bonnie Western Bound Combo  – Loud and Proud

El Toro [2016]
Loud and Proud – There AIn’t Better Time – Once More – Don’t Worry

This excellent ep opens with the band’s own Loud and Proud. It’s a solid western swing tune with duet vocals between Bonnie and lead guitarist Max Zampini in the great Bob Wills tradition with steel, fiddle, lead guitar. Next Is a cover of Tibby Edwards sung by Zampini and features – like the other two songs of B-side – a piano.
Once More is another original that already sounds like a classic hillbilly. Last but not least is a superb slice of hillbilly boogie with Red Sovine’s Don’t Worry

Mr Whiz – I Wanna Go

in Albums/Contemporary artists/MN/Reviews

mrwhiz2_small El Toro
I Wanna Go – High Class Weddin’ – Leave That Junk Alone – Dark Swamp – City Lights – Million Dollar Gang – Otro Corazón – When I Left El Paso – When Love Calls On You – I Wanna Be A Millionaire – All My Life Is Gone
This good surprise comes from Spain as the slight accent of Klaus Villarrel (singer and double bass player) reveals. This trio (guitar, light drums mostly played with brushes and double bass) plays an excellent brand of roots music they call hillbilly swing and it suits them well. They mix influences from Hank Williams (All My Life Is Gone) to Johnny Burnette (Million Dollar Gang is a wild rocker in the vein of Train Kept A Rollin’) and Charlie Feathers. In between you find City Light, a bluegrass influenced number with two parts harmonies and “When I Left El Paso” that reminds of the great Marty Robbins with lyrics (by the way the lyrics are included) like “But at night bad luck came to my life / When a fight started my knife had to shine / the blood in my hand and his body on the flor / the sheriff’s son is dead and my soul went down” . You’ll also find some Johnny Cash with the cover of “Leave that junk alone” and his trademark boom-chica-boom rhythm is featured on “When Love Calls On You“. The name of the band comes from guitar virtuoso Jerry Reed, and guitar player José Casarejos does justice to this name especially on the swingin’ hot number “I Wanna Be A Millionaire“. Another highlight is “Dark Swamp”, a haunting number not that far from neo-rockabilly, with lyrics close to “Endless Sleep“or even “Johnny Remember Me“. With only eleven songs (9 self penned tunes), Mr Whiz offers a tight album with no filler and are another proof of the good heath of the Spanish scene.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Western Aces – Introducing…

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/UVWXYZ

westernaces_small El Toro 3021
Ice Cold Water -Same Old Cell – Drinkin’ Man’s Boogie – Seeing Double – Tell Me Why (we Can’t Be In Love) – Leave That Junk Alone -Hep Cat Baby -Four Walls And A Table – Oh Boy – Mean Mean Mama – Old ’32 – I Was There When It Happened.
This is the debut album for this British band, but Phil (Tennessee Rhythm Riders) and Mark (The Ricardo’s) are now well known characters on the scene, and brothers Gordon and Dave Doel were in the Young Savages. With a sound as authentic as you can get, a set of solid originals you’d swear they come from an old 78’s, and well choosen covers (Glenn Barber, Merle Kilgore, Johnny Cash), they offer a solid and highly enjoyable mix of hillbilly, rockabilly, boogie and western swing. Supported by a tight rhythm section, the guitar and the steel shine throughout. Another strong point is that, not only three of them can write songs, but the same three (Dave Doel, Gordon Doel, Phil Morgan) sing which gives to this album a welcome diversity. This is their first, let’s hope it won’t be the last cause this guys have a lot to offer to anyone who has good taste in music!
Fred “Virgil” Turgis
PS – See also the Doel Brothers

Yuichi and The Hilltone Boys

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/UVWXYZ

yuichiEl Toro Records
I’m Sorry Sweet Heart – So Long I’m Gone – Flyin’ Saucer – Countin’ The Years – Your Heart Oughta Be Broken – High Priced Chick – Hilltone Shuffle – Thunder – She Isn’t Around Anymore – Bluest Boy In town – Ooby Dooby – Sayonara – Hurt
These boys are a classic rockabilly trio (two guitars and one bass) from Japan . But when the music plays, if it wasn’t for the name or the cover you wouldn’t believe it. They have mastered the Sun sound so well, you’d swear they are one of those upcoming artists waiting to be discovered by Sam Phillips.
This album is mostly made of self penned songs with the exception of Roy Orbison’s Ooby Dooby and So Long I’m Gone.
They play a very entertaining kind of melodic hillbilly bop blended with rockabilly and some Johnny Cash too (Countin’ The Year). “Hilltone Shuffle” is an instrumental that gives Kenjo Ohta the occasion to shine on guitar (he also plays steel). A fiddle enhances the trio for “She isn’t around anymore” that shows the influences of the lovesick blues boys Hank Williams on this country weeper. For their cover of Ooby Dooby they made an odd choice in turning it into a Gene Vincent’s number. Imagine the lyrics of Roy’s song on Be-Bop-A–Lula.
Some songs are sung in Japanese which surprises at first but works rather well.
The low point is the last song “Hurt“. It’s too bad the album ends on that not so great Elvis kind of tune, with grandiloquent vocal. It wastes a bit the good impression the whole album exhales.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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