V/A – Riverside Rockabillies
Raucous Records RAUCLP 014 
The Crawdads – Girl Is Late / Al Holden – Tomorrow Night / The Ricardos – Whiplash / Deuces Wild – Teresa / The Riverside Trio – Love Me, Hold Me, Squeeze Me / Billy Adams – You’re The Girl / Mean Cat Daddies – Sign Of The Times / The Crawdads – Evil Thinkin’ Woman / Al Holden – Red Hot / The Roadrunners – Jailhouse Bound
This excellent compilation, recorded and produced by Chris Cummings of the Riverside Trio, features some of the very best British bands of the mid-80s/ early 90s.
Formed in the eighties, The Crawdads gained a new life at the turn of the 90s with a brand new album on Raucous. Their songs on this 10″ compilation are two superb Rockabilly. This excellent band deserved to be rediscovered.
Al Holden proposes one cover and one self-penned song. His version of Tomorrow Night is more inspired by Elvis than Lonnie Johnson. Red Hot is an excellent Carl Perkins inspired Rockabilly with Cummings on double-bass.
Whiplash is a stripped-down Rockabilly interpreted by the Ricardos with a Sun feel. The Deuces Wild gives a faithful rendition of Cochran‘s Teresa, helped by Lorraine and Shirley, on backing vocals.
Side A closes with the ever-excellent Riverside Trio and their brand of hillbilly bop.
Billy Adams’ You’re the Girl leans more toward Rock’n’roll while the Mean Cat Daddies, with a slight neo feel, are the more modern band on the platter. This version of Sign of the Times is different than the one that you can find on their Nervous album.
The Roadrunners depart from their usual rocking’ blues style to record an uptempo hillbilly.
V/A – More Riverside Rockabillies
Raucous Records RAUCLP 022 
The Crawdads – Whiskey And Gin / Jesse James & The Outlaws – Raging Sea / The Slingshots – The Pain Has Gone / Al Holden – Baby Let’s Play House / The Riverside Trio – Peach Pickin’Time In Georgia / The Slingshots – Blue Eyed Country Girl / The Rhythmaires – Wildcat Tamer / The Ricardos – Don’t Bug Me No More / Walt Mitchinson – Sugar In My Coffee / Jesse James & The Outlaws – Who Do You Love
The second volume of this series is as good as the first.
The slap-bass propelled Rockabilly of the Crawdads, similar to Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee opens the ball. Next is the cover of Gene Maltais’s Raging Sea by Jesse James and the Outlaws (a very appropriate name for a wild band.) They also deliver a wild cover of Who Do You Love on side B.
The excellent Slingshots play a superb bluesy ballad (the Pain has Gone) and a Carl Perkins-tinged number (Blue Eyed Country Girl.)
Al Holden, whose version of Tomorrow Night was terrific on the first volume, returns with a hillbilly bop version of Baby Let’s Play House. This guy also released one album on Vampirette that I warmly recommend.
You can expect the best in terms of Hillbilly with The Riverside Trio, and Jimmie Rodgers’ Peach Pickin’ Time in Georgia makes no exception.
The Rhythmaires are on the blues side with Tarheel Slim’s Wildcat Tamer while the Ricardos deliver a desperate Rockabilly with Don’t Bug Me No More.
The last artist to be featured on this compilation is Walt Mitchinson, whom I don’t know much about. Sugar In My Coffee shows a strong Mystery Train influence and is just plain great.
V/A Riverside Rockabillies
Raucous Records – RAUCD054
The Crawdads – Girl Is Late / Al Holden – Tommorow Night / The Ricardos – Whiplash / Deuces Wild – Teresa / The Riverside Trio – Love Me, Hold Me, Squeeze Me / Billy Adams – Sugar In My Coffee / The Ricardos – Eight Wheel Driver / Lorraine & Shirley – Baby / Riverside Trio – Freeborn Man (Alt. Take) / Russ Be-Bop’s Roadrunners – Bottle Up & Go / Billy Adams – You’re The Girl / Mean Cat Daddies – Sign Of The Times / The Crawdads – Evil Thinkin’ Woman / Al Holden – Red Hot / The Roadrunners – Jailhouse Bound / Deuces Wild – Pretty Girl / Lorraine & Shirley – It’s Too Late / The Crawdads – Lover’s Rock / Mean Cat Daddies – Ghost Of Your Love / Riverside Trio – San Francisco Bay Blues
This compilation is more than just the cd version of the two 10″ records (Riverside Rockabillies and More Riverside Rockabillies.) Though you find some songs that appeared on both albums, there’s plenty of unissued stuff from the same artists (including a different version of the Mean Cat Daddies’ Ghost Of Your Love than the one featured on their album.)
Icing on the cake, there are two songs by Lorraine and Shirley. These two sisters, who previously sang backing vocals on the Deuces Wild’ Teresa, finally have their own release. Both songs are great, in the purest hillbilly sibling tradition with superb harmonies. Baby is a fast tempo while It’s Too Late is a slow version of the Riverside Trio song.
These two songs are worth the price of this compilation alone. But the rest is fantastic too, you’d be warned.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis