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Mouse Zinn

in Albums/Contemporary artists/MN/Reviews/UVWXYZ

Mouse ZinnMouse Zinn – The Embassy Recordings


Foot Tapping Records – FT172  [2017]

Time Is Going By – That’s The Way – In Thoughts Of You – Searchin’ – Bar Hoppin’ Baby – Shush Don’t Tell ‘Em – Jealous Guy – Folkstone Skies – I’ve Waited So Long – Mooshataino – One Thing I Ain’t Got – Don’t Need No Star In Heaven

Is it still necessary to introduce Mouse? Well for the youngest: Mouse Zinn is the man behind Red Hot’n’Blue, the space Cadets and Switchblade. As you can see his name alone is enough to stir interest of any decent Rockabilly fan. And if I tell you that he recorded this album with none others than Darrel Higham on guitar, David Doel on double bass and Gordon Doel on drums (both from the extraordinary Doel Brothers) I can feel the excitment in your ears and in your feet. Having said that, I could almost stop my review here… but I’m a professional and I’m going to tell you a little bit more.
While Vigilante man, his previous solo album, covered many different styles, this one focuses on what Mouse Zinn does best: Rock’n’roll and Rockabilly. Three songs are penned by the singer, including the excellent “Shush Don’t Tell Em” that has a slight Gene Vincent feel and a new version of “Something I Ain’t Got” previously recorded by Red Hot’n’Blue on Ain’t Gonna Stop.
Higham contributed the desperate rocker That’s the Way and Gordon and Dave Doel added three more originals.
The remaining five songs are covers from the catalogs of Whitey Gallagher, Joe Fury, Jimmy Driftwood, Eddie Cochran (a rockin’ version of I’ve waited So Long) and… John Lennon (which is not that surprising after all, considering that Mouse and Switchblade already covered the Fab Four.)
After all these years, Mouse proves that he still has it and I would be more than pleased to hear another batch of tune from him with the same backing band.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Mouse Zinn

 

Mouse Zinn

in Interviews

Here’s an old interview conducted a couple of years ago when Mouse released his Vigilante Man album.

 

Well, it’s been a long while since you last been into a studio recording. How does it feel to be back?
Mouse Zinn — Ha, the last time I recorded ANYTHING was back in 1999/2000 for the Space Cadets lp “cadets A-Go-Go”, after that, for no reason I embarked on a 10/11 year ‘silence’. For some reason I had no urge to do a anything creative, and quite honestly needed a break. in the 90s not 1 year passed by without me doing something, Red Hot n Blue ( 4 albums) Space Cadets (3 albums) Kid Rocker (2 albums) and countless other little projects with other bands, producing songs, writing songs, the Chessie Bits, live shows,record hops and so on….it was a mad decade. In the noughties all I did was record hops and shows with the Space Cadets. Then it dawned on me that 10 years had passed and i hadnt recorded a single song,thats a long long time in a musicians life y’know! it feels really good to be doing something again and recording has always been my favorite part of the whole business.

What decided you to make this record?
Mouse Zinn — I decided to go and do a solo project because I just had this desire to do something. I was watching all my old mates put out songs and cds etc..etc…, watching all these new bands recording and putting out stuff and I kind of felt ‘left-out’ i guess. why hadnt i did a recording for such a long time? I really dont know, all I can say is this… in that time I’ve had a lot of great ideas of what I ‘really’ wanted to do, and it didnt involve another band, this was going to be something I wanted to do, My ideas, MY control, MY style and MY desicions on what will and will not be on a new recording. So it had to be a solo project with me at the helm as MOUSE ZINN, with musicians helping me with what I wanted to do.

You’ve always been in a band configuration (Red Hot’n’Blue, Space Cadets, Switchblade). This time it sounds like a real solo album. Does it change something in your approach?
Mouse Zinn — Im now 27 years onwards from my 1st Red Hot n Blue recordings back in 1983. And in that time I’e always been part of a group as such, so now I see myself as an artist who would more prefer to have a solo part to my reportoir, and also do the shows with the Space Cadets. lets see how it pans out, but the future could be very strange on the rockin scene, and who knows, I may even be asked to do my Red Hot n Blue songs 20 years from now when I’m in my mid-60s, you just never know. so at the moment im focusing on this new solo thing and getting my 1st solo album out for xmas/new year.

Can you tell us about the songs we’ll find on the plater? What kind of music, styles, songs etc…
Mouse Zinn — First of all, “vigilante Man” is an album of covers, I didnt want to write songs for this album, its a collection of some of my favorite songs that I’ve put my own stamp on and have wanted to record for a long long time. im almost finished recording it now and its sounding great and, at last, all of them ideas of the last 10 years are coming to fruit, its sounding really really good. its basically a country album with rock-a-billy elements and rockin rhythms inthe 50s style that i like. theres songs of war, death, sorrow, gunfights, vigilante men, its all dark and has a message to say, its a really thought out album which has taken most of this summer to record and plan. its all been recorded at my good friend Ricky Lee Brawns recording service in Luton, Valvemobile Studios (rickys home) all recroded on old microphones, mixing descks and machines. Ive also had 3 different band line ups to give the album a different feel thoughout. weve got fiddles, banjos, accordians, mandolins, drums, bass, electric guitar all sorts of differnt things going on. and…ITS ALL BEEN RECORDED LIVE!!! no drop-inns, no overdubs, nothing. what you will hear on vigilante man is acomplete 15 songs recorded in a room, just the way they used to do it, once the songs over, THATS IT!!,.. its done and nothings added nor taken away, it is a true LIVE album, my first EVER!! if we didnt get the right take , we’d do it again, and agian and so on till we got the right take. Im really happy with the album so far…really happy!!

Who played with you on this sessions?
Mouse Zinn — Playing on the new album is a lot of different musicians that I’ve admired from a distance for a long while and always wanted to record with them in some way, so the solo album gave me this chance to get them together just for the recordings. The first 4 recordings were done with the Union Canal String Band, a local Luton Bluegrass outfit who I heard busking at the Hot Rod Hayride in 2009, since then i wanted to do some bluegrass/country numbers and the guys very niceley agreed to come record at Rickys Valvemobile studio in Luton. so, the first four songs comprise of Jamie Mockbridge-banjo/accordian, Jimbo Alpin-Rhythm Guitar/Harmonica, Dan Robinson-Bass and Jon Rickards-Mandolin /Fiddle.
The 2nd line up I wanted a more rockin approach on so I asked 3 old pal from around the scene to come to Luton to do 6 songs, on this line-up was Paul Gaskin-Lead guitar, Ian ‘Dollar bill’ Bowerman-Drums and Kevin Klump-bass.
In the next 10 days I’ve got 5 more songs to do to finish the album, and my final muicians are going to be some of my fave guys at the moment, some fresh blood and an old man you can say! it will be, Ricky Lee Brawn-drums, Darren Lince from Jack Rabbit Slim on Lead Guitar, Dazza from Slim Slip and the Sliders on Bass, and a final addition will be Daniel Jeanrenauld on lead guitar who will play lead guitar on a track he wrote called “Its Gonna Rain”. The whole album is produced by Ricky Lee Brawn at Valvemobile studio in Luton, England.

Where does the name “Vigilante Man” come from by the way?
Mouse Zinn — Vigilante Man is the title of the album and its an old Woody Guthrie tune I’ve always loved and it just seemed right to call the album Vigilante Man as its a solo album and it fits!

Do you have a label or will you revive Zinn to release it?
Mouse Zinn — At the moment I’m trying to ‘pimp’ the album around to labels to see who’s interested in putting it out, so far I’ve asked Rollin Records U.K, Rhythm Bomb records Germany and El Toro Records in Spain, at the moment nobody has given me a concrete yes as the albums not finished yet so they havent heard the final ‘cut’ and wont do till Oct/Nov this year. Anyhow, if nobody wants it I will do it myself, ive had experience with releasing records and know the market well, so I wont hesitate in putting it out if nobody wants it. I had it before in the early 90s, i tried everybody to ‘pimp’ out the lp “Hey There Man” by Red Hot n Blue, NOBODY wanted it, I had Faith in it and put it out myself and sold 1000s of copies, and I’ll do the same with this if I have too. One way or another, “Vigilante Man” WILL BE OUT by December 2010/January 2011 the latest! Probably on my own ZINN label.

Do you have something to add about it?
Mouse Zinn — Im looking forward to the release of Vigilante Man, looking forward to 2011 and another year of rockin, looking forward to all the all-dayers and weekenders im all-raedy booked at as a DJ (which is very busy)..looking forward to doing shows with the Domestic Bumblebees for a year, looking forward to recording a brand new Space Cadet album next autumn, and then in 2012, looking forward to re-froming the Space Cadets for our first shows in two and a half years. we will have a busy 2012 for sure!!! So, still so much to do and much fun to have, you have to enjoy what you do more than anything. NEVER think its work, its always been fun for me, thats why i keep doing it year in and year out! KEEP IT REAL, KEEP IT FUN!!!

Kid Rocker and the Phantoms

in Albums/Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews
kid rocker
Kid Rocker and the Phantoms – She’s the Girl

Kid Rocker and the Phantoms – She’s the Girl

Crazy Gator CGR45001 [1995]
She’s the Girl – I’m On the Prowl

At only 14, Kid Rocker (real name Dean Micetich) was a teenage sensation when he appeared on the rockin’ scene in the mid 90’s. On this single, he’s singing and playing lead guitar backed by Mouse Zinn (Red Hot’n’Blue, Space Cadets, Switchblade) who also wrote the two songs, Les Curtis (Bob and the bearcats) on drums and Mo Kabir (Sugar Ray’s Flying Fortress) on double bass.
The result is an excellent single with a frantic rocker on side one with good backing vocals and a slower and more threatening tune on b-side, typical of the sound one can find in many bands of that period.


Kid Rocker and the Phantoms - Ready to Go
Kid Rocker and the Phantoms – Ready to Go

Kid Rocker and the Phantoms – Ready to Go!

Crazy Gator CGRLP001 [1995]
Ready to Go! – Crazy Joe – Crazy Little baby – You Know That I Love YouWatch Out! – She the Girl 2 – If You Tell Me Now – Everybody Rock – Once Bitten, Twice Shy

This 10″ album was released shortly after the single with the same line-up and still with Mouse writing all the material (except for one song penned by Kid Rocker). Being a huge fan of Red Hot’n’Blue, I won’t complain.
This mini-album is made of more or less the same style that you find on his single but with nine songs it’s no surprise to find a little more diversity with some hillbilly and a good dose of rockin’ blues and Watch Out! that evokes Johnny Kidd’s Casting My Spell.
There’s also a couple of guests to expand the sound of the band, with Philip Carramazza on sax (You Know That I Love You and a new take of She’s the girl) and Phil “Hot Lips” Rawson on harmonica (Everybody Rock ) as well as Elaine Rawson on percussions.
The good thing is that despite having Mouse writing all the material and the fact that both both Rawson and Carramazza played with Red Hot’n’Blue, Kid Rocker has enough personality in his vocal and his guitar play to develop a sound of his own. One can feel that Mouse helped him to find his style, rather than model him to suit their own style.

Kid Rocker
Kid Rocker

Switchblade

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S
Switchblade - the lost album
Switchblade – the lost album

Switchblade – the lost album

Trophy TR005
Baby What You Want Me To Do – Blue Jeans And A Boys Shirt – Blues Blues Blues – Yes I’m Gonna Love You – Chicken Run – No More Crying The Blues – Go Go Go! – Homesick Boy – One Cup Of Coffee – One Part Stops Where The Other Begins – Pink Cadillac – Rock n’ Roll Jump n’ Shout – Come On Baby Take A Little Chance With Me – Three Alley Cats – Waiting For A Train – Warm Love – What Goes On – Wild Wild Lover – You Got To Lose

Mouse (Red Hot’n’Blue) formed Switchblade in late 1989 with Graeme Grant (Demented Are Go, Krewmen) on bass, Eric LaCube on drums and Guy Bolton (Born Bad) on lead guitar. The band only lasted one year, then Mouse reformed Red Hot’n’Blue. In April 1990 they found time to record a full album in a professional studio that remained unreleased until now.
If you look for slick and polished rockabilly this is definitely not for you. The sound is raw and uneven. There’s differences in term of sounds between songs, some sounding more like demos while others seem more “finished”. Their sound is a mix of rockabilly (Grant is one hell of a powerful slap bassist) with a good dose of rockin’ blues with a lot of energy and an emergency feel present all along the album (the fact that it was recorded and mixed in two days probably contributes to that feel).
Mouse penned three songs and the rest is split between rockabilly classics like Orbison’s Go Go Go, Glen Glenn’s One Cup of Coffee and Blue Jeans and a Boys Shirt, Roy hall’s Three Alley Cats, Benny Joy’s Wild Wild Lover and blues like Jimmy Reed’s Baby What You Want Me To Do, Earl Hooker’s You Got To Lose, George Thorogood’s Homesick Boy and some surprise like the Beatles What Goes On.
Despite the lack of homogeneity, it’s, with 19 songs, a good value for money, and if you like Mouse you’ll jump on this one (and the completist will find demos on the Unreleased recordings on Fury records as well as one song, Ride Ride Ride, on the compilation album 20 Blasters from Blighty).

Red Hot’n’Blue

in Albums/Contemporary artists/R/Reviews
Red Hot'n'Blue - Wait'n'See
Red Hot’n’Blue – Wait’n’See

Red Hot’n’Blue – Wait’n’See

Northwood Records / Be Be’s (reissue) [1985, reissue 1998]
Sure like the look in your eyes – Yes, I’m gonna love you – Clicketty clack – Aw c’mon baby – Long way home – Bad girl – Postman’s blues – Move baby move – Wait ‘n’ see – She got back on that train – Take a walk up the apple tree – It’s my lucky day – So lonely on my own – Hey gringo – Sure like the look in your eyes (live) – She got back on that train (live)
Finally after their apparition on the Big Noise From Northwood compilation, Red Hot’n’Blue released a full album. And what album!
With the addition of Kevin Ellis on sax, the band (Mouse on vocals, Ashley Kingman on guitar, and the twins Andy and Dave Bourne on bass and drums), helped by producer Boz Boorer (Polecats) shows a rare cohesion and maturity for a debut album.
With a majority of self penned tunes (only two covers) they go from boogie blues (Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes) to rockabilly (Clicketty Clack, Move Baby Move) without forgetting jump blues (It’s My Lucky Day, Bad Girl), jazzy ballad (So Lonely On My Own produced by Peter Davenport of Stargazer’s fame), latin instrumental with a Django Reinhardt feel (Hey Gringo) and rockin’ blues in the best Chess Records tradition (Postman Blues with blues harp and the Diddley tinged Take A Walk Up The Apple Tree). All this (and much more) make of Wait’n’See one of the best and most influential album of the 80’s.
The cd version offers two live cuts of Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes and She Got Back On That Train. One can find a very jazzy version of Caldonia from the same session son the now hard to find compilation album “The Northwood Story vol 1”.


Red Hot'n'Blue - Hey There Man - Zinn001
Red Hot’n’Blue – Hey There Man – Zinn001

Red Hot’n’Blue – Hey There Man!

Zinn 001 [1991]
Hey There Man – Jumpin’ Around – You Know I Love You So – If You Think I Don’t Need You – Baby You’ve Been To School – Give Me Back My Wig – Hi Fi Baby – Rock With Me – Big Sandy – Little Girl From Memphis – Can’t Keep Me Waiting – Come Over My House

Shortly after their reformation in the early 90’s Red Hot’n’Blue recorded this 12 track album and released it on their own Zinn label.
They reformed in the original quartet minus sax and decided to drop out all the jump/jive stuff from their set and focus more on the rockabilly/rockin’ blues side of their music. The whole album has a strong Chess/Chuck berry flair in it (at the same time Ashley Kingman was playing with the Blue Rhythm Boys) in the same vein of “Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes”. Some guest appears on harmonica, sax , steel guitar (Lee Jeffriess) and piano (Paul Ansell). Half of the songs are originals and the rest come from Hound Dog Taylor, Bobby Roberts, Teddy McRae, Elvis,). Excellent from start to finish.


Red Hot'n'Blue - Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes
Red Hot’n’Blue – Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes

Red Hot’n’Blue – Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes

Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes b/w Clickaty Clack [1992]
Zinn 002
This 45 is hotter than the girl on the cover. In December 1992, Red Hot’n’Blue were back in studio to recut two songs from their debut album. This new versions are awesome and the song became a hit at every records hops around the world.
Limited edition of 1000.

 


Red Hot'n'Blue - Ain't Gonna Stop
Red Hot’n’Blue – Ain’t Gonna Stop

Red Hot’n’Blue – Ain’t Gonna Stop

Time Bomb TB11 [1993]
Going Away – Funny Kinda Feeling – My Brand Of Blues – Uptown Cat – Blues Stop Knocking – I Wanna Go Back Home – You’re The One – Find Out Whats Happening – One Thing I Ain’t Got – Every Saturday Night – Caroline – Ain’t Gonna Stop – You’re The One #2 – My Babe – Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes

The initial reformation was supposed to last only 6 months, but due to the amazing response from the audiences all over the world Red Hot’n’Blue dedided to carry on.
They recorded Aint Gonna Stop for Time Bomb a Japan label, a land where the band was highly popular. It finds Red Hot’n’Blue returning to a wider variety of styles including rockabilly (Ain’t Gonna Stop, Funny Kinda Feeling, Uptown Cat), rock’n’roll love song (You’re the One), rockin’ blues (a recut of Sure Like the Look in your Eyes that became a dancefloor filler), Chicago blues (Willie Dixon’s My Babe and the Elmore James inspired Caroline) and country-ish numbers like Going Away.
Compared to their previous releases the production is cleaner but also a bit thiner at places, but it remains a very good album with strong songwriting.
Just after the recording, Ashley Kingman left the band to move to the USA and join Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys, hence the title, Ain’t Gonna Stop, given by the three remaining members.


Red Hot'n'Blue - Bo Diddley Medley
Red Hot’n’Blue – Bo Diddley Medley

Red Hot’n’Blue – Bo Diddley Medley

Bo Diddley Medley b/w I’m Moving Away [1994]
Fury 005

Two tracks taken from “Havin’ A Ball”. Limited edition.

 

 


 

Red Hot'n'Blue - Havin' a Ball
Red Hot’n’Blue – Havin’ a Ball

Red Hot’n’Blue – Havin’ A Ball

Fury FCD3033 [1994]
Havin’ a ball – I’ll be long gone – Here in London town – Just for a day – Get back on that train (94) – Let me know – I’m moving away – Only one – Bo Diddley medley – I’ve never seen (such a thing like you before) – Next time I’m gonna do it right – Beggin’ time – Nothing to lose – Laughing and joking – Love me – Little girl from Memphis

Fourth album recorded with Pascal Guimbard (Sprites, Wild Ones) who replaced Ashley. The sound is less bluesy (though you find an excellent Bo Diddley medley) and more Rock’n’roll with a strong inspriration from late 50’s / early 60’s Elvis Presley and Gene Vincent. You’ll also find a bit of country (Beggin’ Time, Just For A Day, Let Me Know) and a dash of Neo-rockabilly.


Red Hot'n'Blue - Still Jumpin' Around
Red Hot’n’Blue – Still Jumpin’ Around

Red Hot’n’Blue – Still Jumpin’ Around

Jappin’ & Rockin’ JRCD34 [1998]
Things Are Gonna Be Different – Who – There’s No Need To Tell Me – Kiss Me Baby – Sinful Woman – Hold On To What You’ve Got – What Did You Say? – Gimme Some Lovin’ – Me And You Are Through – Phone Call – I’m In A Daze – I Had A Real Good Time – Still Jumpin’ Around – Big Sandy (’98)

Fifth and latest album to date from this rock’n’roll quartet. Mark Harman (Restless) has replaced Pascal Guimbard on lead guitar which gives the band a more neo-rockabilly sound with some songs logically sounding like the Space Cadets.
It’s a good album, not as essential as their earliest recordings, especially the ones featuring Kingman, but it features good originals.


Red Hot'n'Blue - Northwood EP
Red Hot’n’Blue – Northwood EP

Red Hot’n’Blue – Northwood EP

Crazy Love [2000]
Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes – I Wanna Tell You That I Love You Baby – Sad In My Heart – It’s My Lucky Day – Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes

The songs of this EP result from a late session recorded in 1986. The twins, Andy and Dave Bourne had left the band. The new line-up was Paul Diffin (doublebass), Ashley (guitar), Stuart Simpson from the Slingshots (drums), Mouse and Kevin Ellis (sax) , a session piano player plus Boz Boorer who played guitar on Sad in my heart.
It’s My Lucky Day dates from the Big Noise From Northwood sessions produced by Peter Davenport (Stargazers).
The songs are good but definitely lack the rockin’ edge that made band so great.


 

Red Hot'n'Blue - Ain't Gonna Stop/Hey There Man
Red Hot’n’Blue – Ain’t Gonna Stop/Hey There Man

Red Hot’n’Blue – Ain’t Gonna Stop/Hey There Man

Rarity records [2003]
Going Away – Funny Kinda Feeling – My Brand Of Blues – Uptown Cat – Blues Stop Knocking – I Wanna Go Back Home – You’re The One – Find Out Whats Happening – One Thing I Ain’t Got – Every Saturday Night – Caroline – Ain’t Gonna Stop – You’re The One #2 – My Babe – Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes
Hey There Man – Jumping Around – You Know I Love You So – If You Think I Don’t Need You – Baby You’ve Been To School – Give Me Back My Wig – Hi-Fi Baby – C’Mon And Rock With Me – Big Sandy – Little Girl From Memphis – Can’t Keep Me Waiting – Move Baby Move – Clicketty Clack – Baby You’ve Been To School #2 – Yes I’m Gonna Love You – Come Over My House

Two cd set gathering the second and third album of the band, including four bonus tracks recorded in 1991 during the Hey There Man sessions.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Enregistrer

The Space Cadets

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S
the Space Cadets - rockin with
the Space Cadets – rockin with

The Space Cadets – Rockin’ with

Rhythm Rock-It – EPRR2
Rockin’ With The Space Cadets – Awakadeeawakadoo – Astrobilly Rockin’ – In Space – Rockin’ On Thin Ice – Jack Hammer – Lost On Earth – Space Girl – Lady M – I’m A Space Cadet – You Don’t Move Me – Give Me Space – We’re Gonna Rock Rock Rock – Did He Jump, Or Was He Pushed – Cadet Walk – Rocket Ship – Get Closer – Let’s Get Crazy – Take It Home – Lift Off

The Space Cadets have now gained something of a cult status. Consisting of Ricky Lee Brawn (Stargazers, Big Six) on drums, Anders Janes (Stargazers, Chevalier Brothers, Big Six, Ray Gelato) on bass, Mark Harman (Restless) on guitar and Mouse (Red Hot’n’Blue) on vocals, they were the super modern rockabilly band! Though they still gig sporadically (with Paul Harman on bass) they last studio album (at the time this compilation was released) was Cadets A Go-Go in 2000 and their three releases (one 10″ and two albums) are now long out of print since Vinyl Japan has ceased its activities.

This compilation made by Anders himself on his own label (who also re-released the Stargazers’ debut album) gathers 19 of their best recordings and one unissued track (Space Girl) which is as good as the rest. I won’t discuss the choice of the songs, each having his own favorite but I was surprised not to to find a signature song like “We Are The Space Cadets”, featuring vocals introduction by the four different members of the band. Anyway that’s a detail. The sound has been re-mastered and it comes in a nice digipack featuring never seen before photographies. Highly recommended (even if you have the albums)
Buy it here

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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