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Various Artists – The Young and Wild Ones

Various Artists – The Young and Wild Ones

Keil Records C.12-22-013 [2022]
Rango – We Are Rockers / Jerry – Undead / Marv – Stranger In The House / Jones – The Package / Paddy – A Life of Vanity / Jerry – Hot Rod Man / Jones – Treasure / Rango – Metro / Paddy – 666c Machine / Marv – Too Old To Live, Too Young Too Die
(+ CD with ten bonus tracks)

Various Artists - The Young and Wild Ones

You always feel like a kid at Christmas when you receive a new release from Keil records. You open your package, and you’re rewarded with tons of little extras. This compilation makes no exception to the rule: you’ll find a patch, stickers, pictures, two booklets (one with information and one with lyrics and illustrations), a poster, and a cd with extras, all in a beautiful gatefold sleeve wrapping a magnificent green vinyl.
But don’t let these pretty things distract you from the main thing: the music. As I said, it’s a compilation album. I’m old enough to have bought classic Neo-Rockabilly and Psychobilly compilations when they came out in the 80s. It was an excellent way to discover new artists.
There don’t seem to be many these days, so it’s a good reason to rejoice, especially when the artists are of that level.
The Young and Wild Ones gathers five young and very creative German artists with two songs each. The styles range from clean Neo-Rockabilly to wild Psychobilly, with many good things in between.
Jones (aka Jonas Heider)is the more traditional of the five. He delivers two excellent, highly melodic tracks co-written with Moritz Kruit (also on drums). Both songs are jumping and rocking with nice picking (in which one can hear some Setzer influences) and good use of the piano.
At 26, Paddy is the veteran of the five. His credits include, among others, the Rusty Robots, Sandy & the Wild Wombatz and the Minestompers. His two songs feature Mark Twang (Dave Phillips, Sandy and the Wild Wombatz) on guitar and Raphael Landauer on drums. Those tunes are on the thin line between Neo-Rockabilly and Psychobilly. They wouldn’t be out of place on a Batmobile album from the early 90s.
Jerry mixes Teddy Boy Rock’n’roll with Psychobilly to create a brand new genre, highly personal yet addictive.
Rango is the youngest. He was only 16 when he recorded his tracks. As if it wasn’t enough, he played all the instruments too. His music is a very original brand of Psychobilly with a propulsive slap bass in which elements of New-wave and post-punk subtly creep in. He’s something like the music link between the most recent albums of the Quakes and the Rusty Robots (whom he joined on double bass). Without a doubt, Rango is a force to be reckoned with.
Marv (who also plays drums on Jerry’s tunes) is the most extreme sounding of the five. His two songs clearly show the influence of the early Quakes and bands like Skitzo and all this kind of heavy Psychobilly stuff.
As you can see, this compilation’s quality resides not only in the artist’s talent but also in the fact that you have five different musicians with strong personalities. Each made me want to listen to a whole album from them.
The CD features ten bonus songs with alternate tracks, different versions and mixes, and unissued songs. It’s almost as if you’d had volume two on the CD.
Talking about that, I hope that the fine folks at Keil records with think about a volume two in the near future, and who knows, this time maybe with wild and young Psychobilly and Rockabilly girls.

Find it here.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang

Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang - Wild Youth
Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang – Wild Youth

Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang – Wild Youth

Rockhouse [1982]
Wild Youth – She Will Come Back – 56 Boys –  Tainted Love – Love Me – My Turn – On The Move – One And Only – Flea Brain – Should I Ever Love Again – Summertime – Baby Blue – Just Can’t Believe – Wow

Having left the Blue Cats in 1980, Dave Phillips took some time off before forming his own band. Still with Gene Vincent in mind he named his new band the Hot Rod Gang after the 1958 movie featuring the screaming kid. The first line-up consisted of John Day and Ray Thompson on guitars, Rob Tyler on drums and of course Dave Phillips on double bass and lead vocals. But it’s the second line-up with Mark Harman from Restless on guitar replacing both Day and Thompson that entered the history of modern rockabilly. Harman was the perfect choice, his fast Gallup influenced licks being the perfect complement to Phillips. The trio recorded Wild Youth in late 1981 and contrary to what the cover reads it’s Tyler on drums and not Andrew Wrightson who was the band’s driver (even on the cd reissue features the mistake).
One can suppose that the label (Rockhouse for both) acted with Phillips the same way he did with the Blue Cats’ second album (with Clint Bradley) hence the presence of many familiar cover in a more traditional style (Flea Brain, Summertime, Baby Blue and the Phantom’s Love Me sung by Harman). But there’s enough modern stuff to make of Wild Youth a benchmark in Neo-Rockabilly history, the best known being their cover of Tainted Love. It’s an instant classic that will have a lasting influence on many young bands.
Essential to any decent collection.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Dave Phillips – Rockhouse Mini L.P. Collection

Rockhouse Records – MLP 8420 [1985]

Brand New Beat – The Fun Of It – In My Dreams – So Now You’ve Lost her – You Don’t Want to Know – The Trip

Dave Phillips

I said it before and I’ll say it again, mini lp are often the best support for Rockabilly. It’s short, every number counts and there’s no place for fillers.
Dave Phillips’ mini lp for Rockhouse is the perfect exemple of that statement.It’s almost perfect and dare I say, even better than his debut solo album.
Once again one can hear the influence of Gene Vincent, with the covers of Brand New beat (imagine Vincent revisited by Restless of vanish Without A Trace period) and In My Dreams which is probably the weakest song of the album (but to his discharge it’s hard to compete with Vincent on that type of song.)
The four remaining tracks are originals. You Don’t Want to Know features Mark Harman of Restless (and former hot Rod Gang member) on guitar and is a rockin’ ballad with once again the shadow of Gene Vincent over it.
So You’ve Lost Her is a medium rocker while the Fun of it is a fast neo-rockabilly with breaks later covered by French band the Happy Drivers on their debut album and the Trip is Worth th eprice of the album alone. This fast modern rockabilly number (with a dash of psychobilly) is a modern masterpiece.

Dave Phillips – The Best Of

Rockhouse records ROCKCD8603
Tainted love -’56 Boys – Wild youth – She will come back – Love me – On the move – It was free – The trip – Every walk of life – I saw her standing there – Sunshine girl – So now you lost her – The fun of it – Brand new beat – I’m gonna die – I’m driving home – Boogie up roar – Pink thunderbird – Cat man

If you don’t have any of the solo albums of Dave Phillips or the Blue Cats (which is, in my opinion, a shame), you should definitely acquire this best-of album.
It covers the “Rockhouse years” of the fame double-bassist, with songs from the first Blue Cats album, the studio recordings (including the hit Tainted Love) and two live songs lifted from the Live at the Rockhouse compilation album.
It also shows that Phillips always had the best musicians to back him, Rob Tyler on drums and aces like Mark Harman, Paul Gaskin and Mick Malone on guitar.

Dave Phillips – Understatements

Kix 4 U Records ‎– 4U 3334
Rescue – Desert Town – Every Walk Of Life – Next Stop – Night Life – Paradise For The Children – The Trip – Room At The Top – Sunshine Girl – I Saw Her Standing There – Dancing Shoes – The Fun Of It!

Following the success of Tainted Love, Bert Rockhuizen of Rockhouse/Kix4U pushed Dave Phillips to add even more modern elements on Understatements.
Hence, despite having good melodies, most of the album is made of pop/new wave-influenced music with a modern production that has little if nothing in common with Rockabilly.
Nevertheless, a bunch of great self-penned Neo-Rockabilly numbers (The Trip, The Fun of it, and the Beatles influenced Next Stop) and two good rocking covers of the Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There and Buzz & the Flyers’Every Walk of Life, save half of the platter.

Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang – Look Out!

Bank Of Troy Recordings ‎– AR-92-1-33, My Way Records ‎– WAY LP 1223 [1992]
New Job – Git It – Goin’ Up The Country – It Was Free – She’s A Woman – No Comeback – Joy Ride – Ain’t That Good News – Handsome Johnny – Linda Lou – A Soft Growl – It’s Murder On The Streets

After going too deep into the musical experimentation with “Understatements” his previous album, Dave Phillips wisely chose to return to what he does best: ROCK! And what a better band than the original Hot Rod Gang (the faithful Rob Tyler on drums and Mark Harman as well as Paul Gaskin on guitars) to help him?
The result is a superb twelve track album. Some tracks a pure neo-rockabilly (almost Psychobilly for “It’s Murders On the Streets”); others are more traditional sounding. As usual with Phillips, there’s special care to write melodic songs (or cover songs with strong melodies), and he’s attached to add a variety of instruments (piano, harmonica, flute) to explore styles and moods. There’s even a slow, which is always a good point!
The only low point being the drawing on the cover.

Available here.

Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang – Good Thing

Fury Records F3035 [1995]
Good Thing – I’ve Just Seen A Face – Rollin’ Danny – Teenage Partner – Here Comes The Night – Linda Lu (Live Recording)

Recorded in 1995, Good Thing features Rob Tyler on drums and Darrel Higham on guitar. This mini-album features six covers. Next to the now mandatory Beatles cover, there are songs from Fine Young Cannibals, Gene Vincent, Hank Noble, and Ray Sharpe.
Good Thing, the song, captures the same vibe as Tainted Love. Phillips is as usual extremely at ease when it comes to singing Gene Vincent his idol, and both Here Comes the Night and Linda Lu rock (the latter being recorded live.) Surprisingly, they do not convince with their cover of the Beatles, which is usually one of their strong points.
The whole atmosphere is very laid back, and it benefits to the final result.

Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang – I Lost My Beer

KEiL-Records – V.07-21-009 [2021]
I Lost My Beer! / I’m Gonna Toss My Cookies

Dave Phillips

After a break of a quarter of a century, Dave Phillips returns with a brand new single (but a little bird told me there’s more in the pipeline). Some bands grow older, and often not for the best, but Dave Phillips has matured. I try as much as possible to avoid the overused comparison with the wine, but if you allow me just one exception, let it be for this single.

Backed by the excellent Mark Twang on lead guitar and Pete Deville on drums and superbly recorded, Dave Phillips proposes two original songs, thematically centred around beer (before and after). This man knows about essential things in life. This kind of lyrics evokes the likes of Slim Gaillard or Louis Jordan. Actually, the music is also a variation around their music, a brand of swingin’ Rock’n’roll or a brand of Jump/Rhythm’n’Blues without horns. The trio is very impressive by its cohesion and how they complement each other. Philips and Deville infectious groove allows Twang to jump and gallop (and sometimes he “gallups” too) over the fretboard. The final result is delightful, though having only two songs create a lot of frustration. It’s a strictly limited release (only 444 copies), so grab a copy when you can.

Dave Phillips & the Hot Rod Gang – The Big Wheel Of Life

The Big Wheel Of Life – Raining In My Heart – Bad Boy – Shut The Truck Up – Rain – I’m Gonna Catch Me A Rat – My Oh My – I Lost My Beer – Cat Man – No Moon At All – I’m Gonna Toos My Cookies – All You Need Is Me – Man Of Constant Sorrow

Dave Phillips & the Hot Rod Gang - The Big Wheel Of Life

The fact that a man like Dave Phillips, who plays this music for more than 40 years, still manages to surprise me gives me incommensurable joy. And boy, did he surprise me with his latest album (pleasantly, that goes without saying).
His latest collection of songs recorded with Mark Twang and Chris Bergström on guitars, Pete Deville and Patrik Staffansson on drums and a pianist (whose name escapes me right now, sorry) would show many newcomers how to play that music.
The album opens with Dave’s The Big Wheel Of Life: first track, first classic. The early 60s country feel fits the lyrics perfectly, and Dave’s voice which has gained in depth and maturity and, dare I say, now shows some vulnerability is perfect for this style. No wonder the song gave its title to the album. Phillips penned three other tracks for the album: Shut The Truck Up, a mid-tempo Rockabilly with piano and backing vocals, I Lost My Beer, and I’m Gonna Toss My Cookies. Both were released as a single on Keil Records. I Lost My Beer sounds as if Louis Jordan or Slim Gaillard had played Rockabilly, and by listening to Toss My Cookies, it seems that Phillips finally found his beer and had one too many, and the result gives a hilarious song.
There are also a few covers. It wouldn’t be a Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang album without a Gene Vincent song. Rejoice, my friends; this one contains two: I’m Gonna Catch Me Rat and Catman. There are just some subtle changes if you compare their version of Catch Me A Rat to the original: the piano part, some jazz chords here and there, and a little difference in the groove, but that’s enough to transform it into something really new. Regarding Catman, the result is equally impressive. The rhythm section and the guitar rock as hell, while the piano forays into jazz territories and brings a whole different colour to the song. Buddy Holly’s Raining In My Heart is superbly served by Phillips’ melancholic voice, whereas Larry Williams’ Bad Boy changes the mood. The song is turned into a desperate bluesy tune with a Diddley beat and two superb twangy/burlisonian guitar solos to boot.
There are also tunes that you wouldn’t usually find on a Rockabilly album. But that’s where Phillips is clever and is more attached to the quality of the song and the melody rather than sticking to a specific genre. My, Oh My comes from one of Leonard Cohen’s latest albums and, once again, fits Phillips’ voice perfectly. King Cole’s No Moon At All falls halfway between jazz (the piano) and Gene Vincent (the guitar). The same goes for Morrissey’s All You Need Is Me, one of the album’s highlights. Rain was initially done by Jose Feliciano. Phillips keeps the beautiful melody but muscles the song, and Twang adds an outstanding solo. Superb!
Contrary to some (don’t insist I won’t give names), ageing doesn’t seem to be a problem for Phillips. With a newfound voice, solid originals and still that open-minded approach, his latest album could possibly be his best. But please, Mr Phillips, don’t make us wait too long for the next one.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Read our in depth interview with Dave Phillips here.

Billy and the Sideburnzz

Billy and the Sideburnzz – Rockabilly Man

Keil Records [2022]
Rockabilly Man – Big Blue Eyes / Give Me A Call – Tease Me (A LIttle) – Bonus track (cd only): Rock Me Mama

Billy and the Sideburnzz

Here’s another excellent release from Keil records. Billy & the Sideburnzz are a Rockabilly band from North Germany. This is their debut output, and it comes in a super fine and limited package, including a 4 -track vinyl EP and a mini-cd with a bonus song.
The set opens with Rockabilly Man, a mighty fine piece of hard-hitting modern Rockabilly that echoes the Polecats’ Rockabilly Guy. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you stomp the ground while firmly holding your beer. The second song, Big Blue Eyes, leans more on the traditional side of the Rockabilly idiom with a slight country flair. It features a light brushed snare and nice picking too. But for me, the best track of the selection is Tease Me. It’s a slow number that takes time to build tension that perfectly suits the song’s theme. It’s always on the edge, with two superb and exploding guitar solos. Give Me A Call is a mid-paced tune with a powerful (and I mean POWERFUL) slap bass. The song also features one hot Burlisonian guitar part but with a modern approach.
The fifth track, Rock Me Mama, is only available on the cd. It’s an excellent Mystery Train/My Baby Left Me type of tune.
Great job, guys. I hope to hear more from Billy and the Sideburnzz in the future.

Available here.

Chech the band’s website.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis