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Fort Horton

Mellows (the)

in Reviews

Mellows (the) – In L. A.


Sleazy Records ‎– SR – 199 [2020]
In L.A. – You & Me – Who’s Blue – The Drifter

The Mellows return with an ep featuring four original, and needless to say excellent, tracks.
In L.A., recorded by the band, is a superb Ricky Nelson type of song with a twangy vibe.
Thomas Yearsley of the Paladins recorded You & Me. It probably comes from the sessions done a couple of years ago before the band relocated to Austin. It’s a pure ’50s ballad with doo-wop backing vocals.
Side-B features two songs recorded by Billy Horton at Fort Horton. Who’s Blue has an undeniable Buddy Holly feel that suits them very well while the Drifter has an early ’60s country twang with a change of pace.

Mellows (the) – s/t


Self released [2019]
City Lights – A Thousand Kisses – Goodnight Sweetheart See You Tomorrow – Molly Babe -Always – Walkin’ Zombie – Here And Now – It’s Over Now – I Want To Be The One – Shooting Star – B-A-B-Y – All Life’s Mysteries

After two albums under the name of Colton Turner, and with the return of Jack Christy, their former drummer, the band (Colton, his brother Zane on guitar and Yari Bolanos on bass), decided to return to a band name. The future will tell if it’s a smart move commercially speaking. But what matters is the music, and in that aspect, you won’t be disappointed.
Still recorded by the expert hands and ears of Billy Horton it features 12 original songs that have a strong late fifties/early sixties feel, reinforced by Bolanos switching to electric bass.
City Light opens the album in a Buddy Holly mood. Next is A Thousand kisses, a frantic rocker that leans more toward the early 60s and the first recordings of Bobby Fuller. Goodnight Sweetheart See You Tomorrow keeps the Buddy Holly connection, evoking, with its harmonies, the Crickets’ Love You More Than I Can Say. Molly Babe is another ballad that you thought the recipe got lost somewhere between the fifties and now. Always is another superb tune. Very few artists today can deliver such a love song in such a simple and evident manner.
Walkin’ Zombie is a Rockabilly number, which sounds like a Roy Orbison song that would have remained in the vault of Sun Records all these years. Here and Now is a flat out rocker. This one and the next two tunes feature Alberto Telo on drums instead of Christy. With It’s Over Now, Colton Turner demonstrates once again what a subtle singer he is, with a falsetto that would make Tony Williams proud.
Bobby Horton joins the band on vibraphone for I Want to be the One, a pop song (fifties pop, that is!)
Shooting Star is a soft Rockabilly in the style of Ricky Nelson and bears some resemblance to Fats Domino’s I’m Walking. The last two tracks are maybe the best. B-A-B-Y is a beautiful tune that sees the instruments coming into the song one after another. Magic! And the Diddley/Not fade Away beat of All Life’s Mysteries concludes the album in beauty.
Despite their very young age, these guys really know how to craft beautiful songs and the arrangements to enlighten them. The musicianship is top-notch and a special mention to Zane Turner whose guitar solos are always subtle.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Colton Turner

in Interviews/Stories
Last year, I stumbled upon a brand new artist who sang Rockabilly and hillbilly bop just the way I like it (understand: with a strong will to write melodies and a good dose of Buddy Holly in it).
Once I received his debut album, it stayed in my player for weeks. That was exactly what I was expecting from a band: superb voice, excellent musicianship and a batch of original songs that didn’t sound like you’ve already heard them 100 times before.
When I was thinking about removing the album from my player, Colton Turner (that’s the name of the artist by the way in case you’d wonder) and his band (Zane Turner, Yari Bolanos and Alberto Tello) released a second album that was even better.
Suddenly, I heard in my head a little voice that said “Virgil, if you doen’t write an article about this band, what the use of this website?”
So here it is (and don’t forget to buy their albums).
Colton Turner
Colton Turner

Colton Turner and his brother Zane ­ who plays guitar in the band ­ grew up in Carlsbad, California. In High School the two brothers got into the Beatles and other sixties Rock’n’roll artists. With the Beatles covering artists like Carl Perkins, it didn’t take long before they discovered the first generation of Rock’n’roll musicians. “It was pretty over once we got hold of a Buddy Holly cd.” says the singer.
They quickly decided to form a band. The first line-up of the Senders, as they were called, was Colton and his brother Zane and a drummer called Jack. They were soon joined in 2015 by Yari Bolanos (“Jerry as we call him”) on bass. The bass player remembers how he heard about the band “(Jack) told me about a band he was in that played 1950’s Rock’n’roll exclusively and I asked if I could maybe rehearse with them so that next day I came over to their garage to try out and it took off from here.”Colton adds “We practised a couple of times and it just seemed like a real natural fit. (…) We had a lot of fun playing around and just hanging out.
Yari has found memories about this formative years “The Senders was a pretty fun band, we were all electric, besides drums. Colton and Zane had matching electric guitars and I played a P bass at the time. We would practice in this tiny garage everyday for hours on end, which I think really helped us really fine tune our sound. Our gigs were mostly bars and restaurants, and occasionaly a bigger gig like the county fair. We had a few recording sessions at Paladins’ bass player Thomas Yearsley’s studio in Oceanside, Ca. To be honest we didn’t really know who he was at the time but he treated us like he’s known us for years and we are very thankful for his hospitality and his patience while recording us!

Moving to Austin, Texas

The Senders stopped when Zane and Colton Turner decided to relocate to Austin, Texas. But the Colton brothers eventually persuaded Yari to join them “The two brothers had called me out of nowhere after about a year since they had moved to tell me that they bought me a greyhound ticket bus to Austin. They were planning on recording again and wanted me to play bass on the recordings, I didnt really have anything going on so I decided to just go for it and visit for a couple of weeks.” Little did he know that he would stay a little lot longer.
This time also saw Yari switch from electric bass to double bass full time. One of the reason being none other than the great Kevin Smith of High Noon fame (now with Willie Nelson) “After I heard him play in High Noon it really motivated me to get serious about trying to improve my Upright Bass playing. I’ve been fortunate enough to see him live and chat with him for a bit.

The trio was soon completed by the missing piece of their rockin’ puzzle: Alberto Tello, an Italian drummer who lived in Austin. In his country, Alberto played ten years with Tribal Bops as well as Marco di Maggio then moved to Austin in 1996 where he played with Shaun Young and the Horton Brothers when they were still called the Fender Benders. He returned to Italy but was back for good in 2001where he played with Nick Curran (though he never recorded with him he can be seen on a semi-bootleg dvd that I highly recommend, if you can put your hand on a copy), Shaun Young and the Texas Blue Dots, Barbara Lynn. He then crossed path with Colton, Zane and Jake. According to Colton Turner they met when “The three of us saw a man with a Vespa (actually a Lambretta – ed.) take a nasty fall around a turn. We went to see if he was O.K. and began talking, he was alright and it just so happened he played drums.” Alberto’s version is more prosaic “I meet the Turner gang during SXSW, I saw them play on trio without drum, on one show case. They sounded really good. So we start to talk, and they ask me if I was interested to play a gig with them” Anyway the trio was now a quartet.

Recording at Fort Horton

It didn’t take long for them to be ready to record and they soon got in touch with Billy Horton of the famous Fort Horton studio where were recorded albums by High Noon, Dave Stuckey, Nick Curran, the Bellfuries, Cave Catt Sammy, Nikki Hill and of course the Horton brothers. “We came in contact with Billy Horton after seeing him play live a few times around town.” says Colton “We were unaware that Fort Horton studios existed prior to our move to Austin but we are certainly glad it does.” Alberto pursues “I pushed for recording at Billy studio, but just a little bit, because I know Colton would be perfect for the quality of Forth Horton recording.” And he was right. Fort Horton sure was the right place and Billy Horton managed to capture the band’s energy on tape using vintage material (two 1954/1955 Ampex 350 reel to reel, 1/4″ mono.) with the band recording live (“ if you don’t want any mistake in the recording, don’t make them” says Billy Horton)

All involved really enjoyed the session. For Colton “The recording of our first record was an all day affair but we managed to record the entire thing in one session. Fort Horton is a fantastic studio and we always enjoy our time while we are there.” Yari agrees “It was awesome! Billy really knows what he’s doing and has a very good sense of capturing the best of each band he records.

Their self released debut album came like a breath of fresh air on the rockin’ scene. As I wrote earlier in my review, it made me feel like the late 80’s/early 90’s again, when bands like High Noon, Big Sandy, Go Cat Go were appearing.

The Rockabilly Rave

It wasn’t long before the promoters heard of the band and soon Colton, Zane, Yari and Alberto were playing the 2018 edition of the Rockabilly Rave. “ The Rockabilly Rave was our first time over seas and it was fantastic! Aside from hearing all the great music we really enjoyed seeing new places and most importantly meeting great people and making new friends!” remembers the singer. For Yari it was “absolutley incredble! I have never experienced such appreciation for newer rockabilly music ever. The people were very friendly and all of the bands that played were amazing. I enjoyed every moment of that trip and hope to play again in 2019! (since this interview took place the band annouced that they were booked for 2019 – ed.) I never would have imagined playing all the way in London!

The newest album

Before playing the Rockabilly Rave, Colton Turner and his band had recorded a second album, still at Fort Horton. The same ingredients that made the success of their first are still here with the addition of a lap steel played by Bobby Horton of a couple of tracks thus expanding the sound of the album. Once again all songs are originals “ My song writing varies a lot and I enjoy writing in different styles. I listen to all genres of music from country and rock ‘n’ roll to doo wop and swing so all the different moods of the album come naturally.” He cites Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley but also Frank Sinatra and country artist like Jim Reeves.

Colton Turner
Yari Bolanos, Colton Turner, Zane Turner and Alberto Tello

Asked about how the band works on the songs, Alberto explains “Most of the time Colton has already develop the song in his mind, he has 90% of the song already lay down, we add rhythm and embellishment.” Yari completes “Colton usually has it all planned out in his head already. He will play the songs then we slowly start joining in. Its a very straight forward process since he pretty much knows what direction he wants to go. From there we play the song until it feels like its right.

The result in an excellent album mixing soft rockabilly/rock’n’roll reminiscent of Ricky Nelson or Buddy Knox with hillbilly boogie, some Diddley beat, straight rockabilly and mean rock’n’roll. It’s available on El Toro‘s website or directly from the band.

Now I’m sure that Colton Turner will confirm in the future all the good things that his first two albums and his recent stage appearences announced and that this is only the first chapter of a long story.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Thanks to Colton Turner, Yari Bolanos and Alberto Tello for their help and their time.

The Four Charms

in Contemporary artists/EF/Reviews
The Four Charms -  Triskaidekaphobia
The Four Charms – Triskaidekaphobia

The Four Charms – Triskaidekaphobia!

Hi-Style HSD82696
Don’t Make Me Beg – Triskaidekaphobia – I Gotta Get Another Girl – 6 String Boogie – Lonesome Tears In My Eyes – Up Jumped The Devil – She Likes To Boogie Real Low – Quiet Whiskey – Drops Of Rain -Cubano Jump – Scotchin’ With The Soda – On The Sunny Side Of The Street Thats’ A Plenty

At long last, The Four Charms offer a follow up to their astounding debut album «Flatland Boogie». Ok, I must admit that the first time I saw the name of this album I thought “What’s this?”. Then, I took my dictionary and learned that Triskaidekaphobia means something like the fear of number 13. That’s why if you look at the track listing there’s no track 13, just a soundless blank.

What about the music? This album covers a wider range of style than the the first one. You’ll find here, top notch boogie blues instrumental like «6 string boogie», rockabilly jive (a great cover of Burnette’s Lonesome Tears in my Eyes with sax), “Scotchin’ with the Soda” with a very King Cole Trio/Slim Gaillard feel and “That’s a Plenty” that starts like a real jazz tune and suddenly goes into a Merle Travis style showing the musicianship of Joel Paterson, and as usual the overall influence of Illinois Jacquet, The Treniers and Nat “King” Cole Trio, especially in their cover of “The Sunny Side Of The Street”. I almost forgot to mention the amazing skill of Jimmy Sutton and his slap bass, not only when he plays solo but he’s really the driving force behind this band.

The production and recording works (done at Fort Horton studio) are worth to be mentionned too because it makes that four members combo sound like a ten piece orchestra. Take a cure of Triskaidekaphobia it’s good for your health.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

four charms

Miss Lauren Marie

in Interviews


Here’s an interview I conducted a while ago (2006 or 2007) for my previous website ( after miss lauren Marie released her debut album. Since it took place she released two more albums and moved to Europe, but I thought there was plenty of infos that shouldn’t be lost, so here it is again.
by Fred “Virgil” Turgis

 You now live in Austin, but I think you come from Cape Cod ? Is this where you grew up?
Lauren Marie I was born on Cape Cod and lived there untill I went to college. My family still lives on the Cape. I went to Art School in Beverly MA (thirty minutes north of Boston) for two years then I transfered to UMASS Boston and lived in Cambridge and Somerville for three years. Then I moved here.

Was this a good place to see live bands and find good music?
Lauren Marie The Cape doesn’t have too much in the way of Rockabilly and Rock & Roll the way we know it. Certainly no Western Swing or any sort of Roots music. It’s a weird isolated place.

What kind of stuff were you listening to in your childhood?
Lauren Marie Growing up I listened to what my Dad listened to. He’s kind of like me in the way he’ll like anything as long as it’s good. But all sorts of stuff from Blues to
Rock & Roll and later some Country. Then I got into the Punk Rock music when I got a little older. About the same time, I started listening to Elvis and Johnny Burnette when I was in middle school and all through high school. But I still listened to punk music.
Boston had a whole lot more for Rockabilly music. When I was younger, I’d go to the punk rock shows in Boston and when I went to college it seemed as if a lot of the punk crowd had turned toward rockabilly and psychobilly.

What are your earlier memories concerning music?
Lauren Marie Well my first concert at Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod was the Beach Boys. It was a really good show.

I can read in your bio that you listen to Johnny Burnette “since you’re 14”. As this is not the kind of music you can easily hear on the radio, how did you find about him?
Lauren Marie A lot of punk rock music I bought was on vinyl. I accidentally came across the Elvis Presley record first and I really liked it. So the next week I went back to that section in the record store and found a Johnny Burnette Trio record. Accidental destiny I guess. ha ha

Having experienced that situation, I suppose your schoolmates didn’t listen to that music…
Lauren Marie Not really but I hung out with the punk rock kids. A few of which liked Elvis and and bands like the Cramps and the Stray Cats.

Does any of your relatives had any influence on you to sing rockabilly and country?
Lauren Marie Nope. That was an accident too. But since I’ve started singing, my Grandma has told me she wishes she could have been a singer. And my Dad always sings the way that I used to, around the house, to himself, whatever. My older brother sang in school growing up. I never did but I sang while I did the dishes and laundry, and to myself around the house. I believe you started singing with The Two Timin’ Three, how did you meet them?
When I met Eric Laufer of the Two Timin’ Three a little over two years ago. I was at a bar and I knew who he was because I had seen him play. I started dating a friend of his. Later that summer I was at a party and he heard me sing. I was kidding around because I had had too much to drink. A week or so later he came over for dinner with Shane Kiel. Long story short, once they got me liquored up enough to sing… They said I should come sing with thier band sometime. They called me to practice and I started sitting in on thier gigs more and more. I stopped being nervous after a while. Then I got the bug and came to love singing.

Why did you move to Austin?
Lauren Marie I moved with the Two Timin’ Three. I needed a change and I wanted to be with them.

Let’s talk about your debut album. It has that late 50’s sound that gives a very distinctive sound from most of the current rockabilly albums. Is this something you worked with Billy Horton?
Lauren Marie Billy is awesome. But don’t tell him I said that! Kidding! That guy really knows what he’s doing. I gave him my input and just kinda let him do what he does. I knew I was in good hands.

How was it to work at Fort Horton, with all those talented musicians : Dave Biller, Buck Johnson, T Bonta…?
Lauren Marie Friggin Amazing! I still get a smile on my face thinking about how great they all are. I feel very lucky to work with such incredible musicians.

How did you choose the covers you play?
Lauren Marie Some times people give me suggestions, and make my cds of stuff to listen to. I come across a lot of them just listening to different things. I always have an ear out. If I find myself singing a song, I’ll usually bring it to Bobby Horton or Eric to help me work it up.

Bobby Horton and Eric Laufer (Two Timin’ Three) wrote some originals. What about you? Do you plan on writing your own songs? Did you make some attemps?
Lauren Marie I try but I’m not very good at it yet. I realize it takes practice so I’m not discouraged. I’m learning to play guitar so that helps a whole lot. Hopefully on my next album, I’ll be able to do more than sing. ha ha

As a fan of Janis Martin, have you ever met her or played with her?
Lauren Marie I met her in Green Bay last year but I was so star struck I could hardly breath or talk. I cried I was so happy. Eric dragged me by the arm and said, “Janis Martin! This girl loves you!” It was really funny. I have my picture with her.

Do you want to add something?
Lauren Marie I’m happy that people have really seemed to like what I’m trying to do and and I’m so thankful for it.
Did I say thanks? Well, THANKS 😉

Thanks to you…

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