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Teukka & the Rhythm Aces

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Teukka & the Rhythm Aces – Soitan Että Tuun

teukka and the rhythm aces

Goofin Records – GRS-608
Soitan, Että Tuun – We’re Gonna Move – Pocketful Of Rainbows

The first song, “Soitan, että tuun” is a Charlie Rich cover with a melody very close to “Mona Lisa” (sorry I wasn’t able to find out the English title for that one) with finnish lyrics. It could be surprising at first but it works rather well. The band does a nice job on this upbeat rocker with nice piano breaks and a short guitar chorus from Eino Rastas (from Hal Peters’band). Teukka’s fine voice suits Elvis material too as “We’re Gonna Move” shows with some hiccups (but not too much). This mini cd ends with a ballad, another demonstration of the good balance between the band and the singer.
.Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Darrel Higham

in Reviews

Darrel Higham & the Barnshakers – Pretty Little Devil

darrel higham

Goofin Records GOOFY 570 [1997]
Sweethearts Or Strangers – Don’t Be Gone Long – Pretty Little Devil – Flattin’ & Thumbin’

Darrel Higham recorded this ep in 1997 with the ever-excellent Barnshakers from Finland. That was not the first collabration between the British guitar picker and the Finnish Rockabilly band. Both recorded a full album together in 1993. Sometimes when two talented artists or bands join forces, the result doesn’t keep up with the expectations (I have a few example that I’ll keep for myself.) That was not the case here, this four-track ep is excellent.
Side one kicks off with a cover of the old classic “Sweethearts or Strangers”. Higham’s vocals and guitar give it a strong Eddie Cochran feel, and Lester Peabody’s steel guitar nicely enhances it. Next is a cover of Bod Doss’ “Don’t Be Long Gone.” Like the original, it’s jet-propelled by a solid slap bass intro.
Vesa Haaja, the singer of the Barnshakers, joins forces to sing harmonies for the Everly sounding Pretty Little Devil, recorded initially by Bob Denton and Eddie Cochran.
The last track is a guitar duet between Higham and Peabody/Jussi Huhtakangas. Well, the title says it all. It’s a gentle battle between these two great pickers. One can only regret that Deke Dickerson wasn’t there at the time of the recording.
There are still a few copies left on Goofin Records.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Marti Brom (reviews)

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Marti Brom Midnight BusMarti Brom & Her Rancho Notorious – Midnight Bus

Enviken ENREC177 [2019]
Come Destroy Me – Lasso Mr Moon – Belly Of The Beast – Loveaholic – Push Me Till I’m Gone – Last Ten Years With You – Lies Of A Promise – Ambush – Little Ole Wine Drinker Me – Stiletto In Black – If ‘If’ Was A Fifth – Drivin’ Me Crazy – Slippin’ And Slidin’ – Mamas Little Babies Was A Rockin’ – Midnight Bus – Damn Those Little Deamons (vinyl only)

Marti Brom is by far one of the finest singers on the roots music scene, and I said singer, not “female singer.” She seems to be able to do whatever she wants with her voice, and it even seems easy.
That said, I was slightly disappointed with “Not for Nothing,” her 2010 release. Marti’s performance was, as usual, top-notch but I found the production uneven.
Nothing like this here. Recorded in Sweden with a gang of talented Swedish guys (and a couple of guests like Rosie Flores and Chris Ruest), Midnight Bus is perfect from start to finish.
Nine out of the sixteen tracks are from Marti’s pen; the others are covers. But cleverly, next to classics like Slippin’ and Slidin’, Little Ole Wine Drinker Me or the title track, Marti had an excellent idea to include songs from today’s artist. Thus you can finds songs from Crazy Joe (Last Ten Years With You), Kathy and the Kilowatts (Loveaholic) or the late great Nick Curran (Drivin’ Me Crazy.)
From Damn Those Little Demons, a bluegrass tune only available on the vinyl version, on one end to Ambush, a sixties soul number with organ, on the other, “Midnight Bus” covers a broad range of styles. But thanks to the production, it manages to remain coherent and sounds like a whole.
There is a good dose of solid rockers like “Come Destroy Me,” “Last Ten Years With You” or “Mama’s Little Baby Was A Rockin’” which features a solid rockin’ piano.
Album after album, Brom proved she was more than at ease to sing country songs. This one makes no exception. “Lie of a promise” is a traditional honky-tonk with fiddle and steel. As I said before, she makes it sound so easy, and I thought how great it would be to have her cut a single with the Country Side of Harmonica Sam. Labels if you read this. “Push Me Till I’m Gone” is more in the Cash vein and “Lasso Mr. Moon” is a superb country shuffle with a cracking guitar solo.
Talking about guitar, Chris Ruest provides a mean guitar on Curran’s It’ Drivin’ Me Crazy while Mattias Bruhn hypnotically tickles the ivory. “If If Was A Fifth” brings a welcome touch of Jump and West coast blues.
Tunes like “Midnight Bus,” “Stilleto in Black,” and “Belly of the Beast” are the perfect vehicles to hear the intensity and emotivity of her voice. The latter is a mean and menacing rocker that sounds like a cross between Johnny Horton’s “Lover’s Rock” and “Funnel of Love.”
With that album, Brom really reached a new level with her songwriting. Combined that with her always-spectacular voice and a stellar backing band and the result is one of Brom’s very best platter.

Available at Enviken , Raucous, Tessy or other fine dealers.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Marti Brom - Not for nothin'
Marti Brom – Not for nothin’

Marti Brom – Not For Nothin’

Ripsaw / Goofin GRACD 6705 [2010]
Finders Keepers / Get A Little Goner / Mascara Tears / Not For Nothin’ / Forbidden Fruit / Something Blue / Never No More / Sweet Baby of Mine / Blues Keep Calling / Sweet Thang / Write Me In Care of the Blues / Feelin’ Right Tonight / I Get the Blues When It Rains / A Fool Such As I / Spook House

“Not For Nothing” is not only the return of Marti Brom but it’s also the return to life of a legendary label: Ripsaw. For this album, the rockin’ brunette gathered a cast of musicians of the Washington DC scene.
The opening track – Finders keepers – is a cover of Wynona Carr on which she’s appropriately backed Del Pushert (who toured with Elvis) on sax. The singer does a great job, and it’s good to hear her on this genre of tune. Get A Little Goner, the following number finds her in familiar territories. It’s a twangy honky-tonk number featuring Bill Kirchen. It’s by far the best track of the album with Arty and Linda Hill’s Mascara Tears a straight honky-tonk on which her Patsy Clyne’s voice does wonders. In the same vein, you’ll find Something Blue from the pen of Teri Joyce. The Austin songwriter wrote some of the best songs ever sang by Brom and this song makes no exception. The title track, penned by Sean Mencher, features an organ. The arrangement is perfect until a weak, distorted guitar solo ruins the song.
Pat Brown’s Forbidden Fruit is way better and the solo more inspired.
Bobby Sharp’s Sweet Baby Of Mine could have been excellent. It’s a groovy number in a similar vein than Hit the Road Jack with saxes but once again the guitar could be a little bit more subtle. Globally, one can say that the weak point of this album lies in the rockin’ numbers on which the guitarist can’t help but over playing, and to make things worse, with a bad sound. Strangely, for a singer that delivered some outstanding rockabilly numbers this album works better on the country or blues-inspired numbers. But as they say, every rule has its exception and “I Get the Blues When It Rains” is the perfect demonstration of that. They try to give it a western swing touch but end sounding more than Asleep At The Wheel rather than Bob Wills. In the end “Not For Nothin’” is only half convincing, but I wouldn’t say that Brom is to blame, but the problem comes from the band. You can only regret her previous albums on which she was backed by members of High Noon or the excellent Barnshakers.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Marti Brom plays Heartache Numbers
Marti Brom sings Heartache Numbers

Marti Brom – Sings heartache numbers

Goofin’ Records
One Way Ticket To The Blues – Alone At A Table For Two – Three Hearts Later – Four Walls – Five Fingers To Spare – Whiskey Six Years Ago – Seven Lonely Days – Eight Weeks In A Barroom – Apartment No 9 – Ten Minutes Till Heartaches – A-11 – The Twelfth Of Never – Thirteen Steps Away

I heard about this “Heartache Numbers” project a couple of years ago, and was very interested in the concept. Each track is a song containing the number of it’s track listing on the CD. (for example: Track #7- «7 Lonely Days», Track #9- «Apartment #9», etc.) HOW CLEVER!!! And it ends with the unlisted track- «Heartache By the Numbers». Okay- so Marti’ gets kudos for the concept of the record alone. Even though I usually have gripes with records that are all covers, this is an exception because of the clever concept and the fact that it is Marti’ Brom and she can pull it off. I was thrilled to find it was no longer just a «concept», and that the recordings were finally finished and released in time for the Oneida 50’s Fest. I had to get a copy. I have always been a Marti’ Brom fan, no matter what she does. Every record is different for her, but she has such an impressive range, she can master a multitude of musical styles. Still my favorite Marti’ recordings are her country ballads. Imagine- a whole record of country ballads by Marti’! The emotion of these songs perfectly showcases her ability as a singer. I don’t know much about 60’s Country, but I was turned on to the genre when I lived in Austin, TX, where it is a staple. I miss the honky-tonks where I could have a tear in my beer, but this CD brings it all back to me. My only warning to listeners is that, if you are drinking while you are playing the CD, you will probably be crying by the end. Remember that the title is «Heartache Numbers».There is only one Patsy Cline cover on the record, but the obvious comparison to her vocal stylings is still evident. Like Patsy, Marti can yank at those heartstrings with her dynamic range and emotional vocal manipulation. (Marti- don’t get offended about another Patsy comparison. It is definitely a compliment from me.) Vocally, this record is flawless. It is, in my opinion, Marti’s best vocal performance on a recording-and all of her recordings are superb. And, as always, she has selected the best backing musicians for the genre. (Bobby Flores- fiddle, Justin Trevino and Kevin Smith- bass, Debra Hurd- piano, Levi Mullen- guitar, Dickie Overby- steel, Buck Johnson and Lisa Pankratz- drums) If you like 60’s country, it doesn’t get any better than this! When I am drinking alone, I am going directly to this CD for company.To top it off, the «Maven of Style» models a «Cari Lee» original creation on the cover- a saloon-girl style satin/fringe dress! (I thought Cari Lee was a singer- how did she have time to become a kick-ass seamstress as well? I want my own «Cari Lee» dress!). Plus, the liner notes are by the one and only Wanda Jackson! You know it must be good if the «legends» are raving about it.

In conclusion, Marti’ is still my idol. Buy all of her records!

Little Rachel

Ballroomers (the)

in Reviews
Ballroomers

Ballroomers (the) – Sway

Goofin records – Goofy 504 [1985]
Sway – Don’t Push Me Away – Louisiana Boogie – 99 Sweathearts

The Ballroomers appeared on the Finish scene in the mid-’80s and came from Martinlaakso, Vantaa. The members of the band were three schoolmates: Jussi Huhtakangas aka Lester Peabody (Hal Peters, Barnshakers) on lead vocals and guitar, Timo Uimonen (Hal Peters) on double bass, and Pete Hakonen (founder of Goofin’ Records) on drums. A fourth member, Markku Immonen joined in on piano.
Two songs are covers (Sway and Louisiana Boogie) while the other two are from the pen of Jussi Huhtakangas. He sure is not the greatest singer on earth but the single is nonetheless pleasant with sparkling guitar and boogie-woogie piano.

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.

Sean Mencher

in Albums/Contemporary artists/MN/Reviews
Sean Mencher

Sean Mencher – Sean mencher Plays Guitar

Swelltune Records – SRCD-002
Mystery Train – Saturday Night Shuffle – Sing Me Back Home – Someone To Watch Over Me – The Mensch – Mister Sandman – Comanche Moon – Your New Flame (Is Burning Me) – Stagecoach Comin’ – How High the Moon – Betina – Buckaroo – Hey Good Lookin’ – Sir Swish – Walkin’ the Strings – America the Beautiful

Sean Mencher is well known for being the lead guitarist of High Noon, the Rockabilly trio. With his style, a mix of Merle Travis and Scotty Moore with some jazz thrown in for good measure, and with his sure taste he gained a well deserved reputation on the scene. He also played with Wayne Hancock and Dig Wayne (Buzz and the Flyers) and with his deep knowledge of Rockabilly and other related genres, he also produced bands like Croonin’ Kurt, the Gin Palace Jesters, the Starline Rhythm Boys and the Twilite Ranchers. And of course he recorded a couple of records under his own name (see below).
His new album, recorded for Swelltune records, is an instrumental one, featuring just Sean and his guitar. No effects, no tricks, no heavy production… just one man, his guitar, a microphone, his fingers and most of all, his soul.
I don’t play guitar so don’t expect me to tell you things like “Oh that E9b5 chord is amazing”. I can’t and if I could I wouldn’t. It would miss the point. Of course I bet that guitar players will freak out when they hear Sean’s skills, but the beauty of the thing is that regular guys like me will also enjoy it because this music speaks directly to your heart.
The songs come from guitar greats like Merle Travis (of course), Chet Atkins, Les Paul as well as Junior Parker, Hank Williams, Buck Owens and some jazz standard like Someone to Watch Over Me. I particularly enjoyed this one on which his guitar softly sings, almost like a lullaby.
Also included are four Mencher’s original like Comanche Moon (previously released on a solo single and also with High Noon), Your new Flame, Betina and Sir Wish.
A truly great and sensitive album.


Sean Mencher
Sean Mencher

Sean Mencher – self titled

Goofin Records GRCD6136
Rock Rock Jump And Jive – Settin’ The Woods On Fire – Right Or Wrong – Crying The Blues Over You – Bayou Beauty – All The Time – Tummat Silmät (Dark Eyes) – Don’t Big Shot Me – Hot Rod Man – Vamos A La Playa – Down The Line – Little Baby Doll – Honky Tonk Gal – Hit Git And Split
After two singles – one on Deke Dickerson’s Eccofonic and one on Goofin, it’s good to finally see a long player from High Noon’s ace guitar player : Sean Mencher. It’s a solid rockin’ album mainly made of classic covers which is a bit odd when you know Sean’s ability to write songs. This album sounds like Mencher wanted to play every genre he likes and sometimes mixing them together. You’ve got plenty of rockabilly of course (Rock’n’Roll Jump And Jive, Hot Rod Man, Go Cat Go’s Little Baby Doll) with Zach Ovingtons’ fiddle giving an original and nice country flavour. Some other songs are plain country like Hank Williams’ Settin The Wood On Fire or jazz / western swing Right Or Wrong, one of the highlight of this album, with a great swingin’ fiddle and as usual Sean guitar play is superb. You’ll also find a beautiful blues, Bill Neely’s “Crying The Blues Over You”, with just Sean’s fingerpicking and a harmonica. Mencher’s self penned “Bayou Beauty”, previously played by Ronnie Dawson and High Noon, is done this time with a full Cajun instrumentation with accordion, triangle and Matthew Doucet a native of South Louisiana on fiddle. A trumpet player is present on Link Davis’ Dong Big Shot Me, a not so different from the original version that suits Mencher’s vocal very well and also on the Mexican flavoured “Vamos A La Playa” provided by ex-Asylum Street Spankers Josh Arnson. The musicians show their skills on their interpretation of the classic instrumental Dark Eyes which sounds like a mix between jazz and rockabilly. This very good and versatile album shows all of Sean Mencher’s influences and is a pleasure from start to finish.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Sean MencherSean Mencher

Ecco-Fonic EF1007 [1996]
Jumpin’ Track – Your New Flame (Is Burnin’ Me)

Once again Mencher nails it with two brilliant instrumentals recorded in Maine.
Side one features a band (Cartwright Thompson on rhythm guitar, Lesie Freda on string bass and Mark Cousins on drums) and is a rocka-boogie that comes complete with train sounds while the flip side sees Sean going solo for a Travis thumb-picking rendition of High Noon’s Your New Flame.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


sean mencherSean Mencher and his Rockin’ Guitar

Goofin Records GOOFY554 [1995]
When You Smile/Comanche Moon

Side one is a superb rock’n’roll song, highly melodic. Side Two allows Mencher to show all his skills on guitar with a amazing instrumental with Travis and Atkins influences.
Must have single.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Read our interview with Sean Mencher here.
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