neo-rockabilly - Page 4

Fractured

Fractured – No Peace for the Wicked

fractured

ID Records NOSE 17 [1987]
Raucous Records RAUCD 213 [2007]

Honest Lovin’ – Chauffeur Driven Limousine – Dark Blue Sea – Kisses Sweeter Than Wine – Girl On The Corner – Gamblin’ Man – Sold My Secret – Big John

Fractured was a British neo-rockabilly quartet from the mid-’80s formed by Paul Everdell on lead vocals and lead guitar; Mike Herman on guitar; Nick Hoadley on double bass and Paul Davies on drums. Released in 1987, “No Peace for the Wicked” is their sole musical testament, and this is too bad for this band was excellent. They played a fast slappin’/clean guitar brand of neo-rockabilly in a similar vein than Caravans or Restless in the same period. Besides, Pete Gage (Restless but also Frenzy, Rattlers) produced the album giving the band a clean and crisp sound that shows off the band’s musicianship.
Except for the cover of Kisses Sweeter than Wine, originally played Jimmie Rodgers (not the King of Country Music, the other one), each song is performed at a breathtaking pace. Out of the eight songs of this mini-album, six are from the pen of Everdell, while the remaining two are the previously mentioned “Kisses…” and Jimmie Dean’s Big John in a live version that closes the album.
Fractured was very popular among the psychobilly scene. The band played twelve times on the stage of the Klub Foot, the Psychobilly mecqua, and had two songs included on Stomping at the Klub Foot volume 5. More live songs resurfaced on the five-cd box set “Dragged from the wreckage of the Klub Foot” out on Trophy records. Paul, their lead singer/guitarist, also played bass for the Meteors (probably a last-minute replacement) and can be seen on the Attack of the Chainsaw Mutant video.
Nick Hoadley later played with Bob and the Bearcats, Arsen Roulette, the Houserockers and the Cordwood Draggers.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Blue Cats (the) / G-Men / Beltane Fire

The Blue Cats - The Blue CatsThe Blue Cats – The Blue Cats

 

Rockhouse LPL 8011 [1980]
Just Go Wild Over Rock ‘N’ Roll – I’m Gonna Die – Pretty Pretty Baby – I Dreamed You Left Me – Southbound Blues – Boogie Up Roar – Five Days Five Days – I’m Driving Home – Sweet Love On My Mind –
Caldonia – I Sure Miss You – Jumpin’ Little Mama – Juke Joint Jem – Sure-Fire Way – Goofin’ Around
Debut album featuring the Carlo Edwards (guitar), his brother Stef (drums), Clive Osborne (sax, rhythm guitar) and Dave Phillips (vocals and double bass). Excellent from start to finish. A true classic!

 


The Blue Cats - Fight BackThe Blue Cats – Fight Back

Rockhouse ROCKCD 8111 [1981]
Fight back – Hot & cold – Tired & sleepy – Love me – Jump cat jump – Up a lazy river – Who stole my blue suede shoes – Who slapped John – Wild night – Thunder & lightning – Life fast die young – Made for rockin’ – Slippin’ in – Idle on parade – Birth of the boogie – Everybody’s rockin’
By the end of 1980 the Blue Cats found themselves in need of a bassist and a singer after the departure of Dave Phillips. They quickly recruited Mitch Caws and Clint Bradley both from The Tennessee Rebels and started to work right away. From that moment they started to experiment and write new material with a more modern edge. Released in 1981 Fight Back is representative of that era.
Half of the album reminds the “old” Blue Cats with covers of the Cochran Brothers, Gene Vincent, Eddie Bond, The Phantom, Marvin Rainwater, that are probably here to satisfy the label who didn’t want to make a big departure from their successful debut album. The other half is by far the most interesting with six neo-rockabilly jewels, sometimes close to early psychobilly, written by Bradley.
One can only regret the light production on some of this tracks and wonder how it would have sounded with more studio time.
Almost three decades later, “Fight Back” remains a key album of the early 80’s and a huge influence on numerous bands.


The Blue Cats - The TunnelThe Blue Cats – The Tunnel

Nervous records Nercd069 [1992]
Man With A Mission – Galluping Man – Casting My Spell – The Tunnel – Heavens Gate – Cry On The Wind – Car 76 – Take And Give – Bad Mans Money – Wild Dogs Of Kentucky – Rivers Bend
All I Can Do Is Cry

Winning return for the Blue Cats with this 1992 album with Paul Diffin (Sugar Ray Ford) on bass. Every track here is a killer from the manic neo-rockabilly of Man With A Mission and the Tunnel to the tributes to Cliff Gallup (Gallupin’ Man) and Gene Vincent (Cry On the Wind) and what could possibly be the definitive version of All I Can Do Is Cry. 
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Blue Cats (the) – 1978 The Re-discovered Masters 1984

Count Orlock – COCK XXIII
I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine* – Jumps Giggles and Shouts* – Mystery Train** – I’ll Never Let You Go** – The Saints Rock ‘n’ Roll** – Gotta Git A-Goin’ ** – Baby’s Number One** – I’ve Got No Time For You** – Gotta Go*** – Left Out*** – Eldorado**** – The Master’s Call****
*Blue Cat Trio – **The Blue Cats – ***The G-Men – ****Beltane Fire
The title says it all. It’s a compilation of rare and mostly unissued material by the Blue Cats in all their incarnations. It features songs from their beginning with Dave Phillips as a Rockabilly trio. The songs with Clind Bradley easily shows they could have topped any weekender as a traditionnal Rockabilly band. Instead as we know it they continue to explore and pushed the boundaries to create their unique neo-rockabilly sound. It culminates with the G-Men, a band that created something new that had a lasting impact on the Psychobilly scene with Gotta Go being covered by Frenzy and Long Tall Texans.
Two songs by Beltane Fire find Bradley in his natural element singing Marty Robbins tunes.


Blue Cats (the) – Best Dawn Yet

Blue Cats - Best Dawn Yet

Blue Light Records BLR 33165 2
Billy Ruffians – The Norton Spirit – Turn My Back On You – Blue Prairie – My Dark Dark Mind – Badon Hill – Long Road Home – Captain Blood – Burnette – Following Ahab – Secret Agent Man – Lonesome Desperado

Twenty years after the release of the Tunnel, a landmark in the history of modern Rockabilly, the Blue Cats returned with a new double bass player (Steve Whitehouse of Frenzy and the Sharks) and a new album.
Since Clint Bradley joined the band, the Blue Cats always tried to push the boundaries of the genre while keeping the spirit and the essence of true Rock’n’Roll. And this platter doesn’t disappoint. Modern yet classic.
Billy Ruffian is a fantastic piece of modern Rockabilly with exciting changes in the melody, with what I call “typical Carlo Edwards riffs.” The rhythm section is powerful and demonstrates that Steve Whitehouse was the right choice to succeed to Mitch Caws and Paul Diffin. It could be hard to follow such an opener, but not for Bradley and his gang. The Norton Spirit is a powerful rocker. And even with a straight-ahead rocker like this that lets very little margin to the singer, Bradley proves he’s one of the best singers on the rockin’ scene today.
Billy Fury’s Turn My Back On You is pure Rockabilly gold straight from the ’50s with echo and hiccups.
The Sons of the Pioneers’ Blue Prairie seems tailored-made for Bradley’s voice, and it’s the occasion to hear Carlo Edwards play some steel-guitar.
My Dark Dark Mind is another slice of modern Rockabilly. This one features Paul Diffin on bass, so it’s probably an old recording.
The Blue Cats always took care to write different lyrics than your usual “love my Cadillac” thing. Billy Ruffians evoked Trafalgar and Nelson, and Badon Hill is about King Arthur.
Long Road Home is not the most original track of the album, but once again, the playing and the production are flawless. Captain Blood takes the listener back to the Beltane Fire days with Mitch Caws on bass. A good one, though the production is a bit too much for me. Burnette is a tribute to Johnny Burnette and Grady Martin. No big surprise but very well done and pleasant. Though, maybe, I find Gallupin’ Man their tribute to Gene Vincent and Cliff Gallup on the Tunnel more interesting.
After a rocking Secret Agent Man, the album ends with Lonesome Desperado; a superb Marty Robbins influenced tune on which Bradley’s voice is more eloquent than ever.

blue cats
The Blue Cats (Clint Bradley, Stef Edwards, Carlo Edwards and Paul Diffin)

Stringbeans (the)

Stringbeans

Stringbeans (the) – You Better Do It

Raunchy FREP-002 [1985]
You Better Do It – I Just Keep Loving Her – Stomp and Climb the Walls – Born to Love One Woman

The Stringbeans was a Finish trio. They play a brand of fast neo-Rockabilly that showed the influences of Restless, Blue Cats, and Dave Phillips.
You Better Do It and Stomp and Climb the Walls are originals penned by Sami Roine, lead singer and guitarist of the band. The former is kinda wild and has a bit of Psychobilly vibe in it à la early Batmobile while the latter is more in the style of Dave Phillips solo stuff.
The other two, I Just Keep Loving Her and Born To Love One Woman are covers, respectively of Little Walter and Don Johnston.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Scamps (the)

scamps

The Scamps – Don’t Be Worried

Studio SDH – SDH311 [1984]
Don’t Be Worried / Live Fast Die Young

Debut single by the Scamps before the morphed into a Keytones / Restless influenced band. On this single the line-up of this French band was Bruno Peisey (vocals), Joël Lagnier (guitar), Frederic Mascrier (slap bass) and Marc Kornet (drums.)
A-side starts with a slow introduction then evolved into a mean rockabilly with a touch of psychobilly number. B-side is a cover of the Blue Cats.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Fretz (the)

Fretz psychobilly neo-rockabillyFretz (the) ‎– Don’t Fret

JPM Records ‎– FRET 1
Don’t Fret – Better Change Your Ways – Wishful Thinking – A Place In The Sun

An excellent though rather short mini lp by the Fretz, a neo-rockabilly band from Suffolk released around the mid 80’s. The Fretz were Jason Scopes on lead vocals and lead guitar, Mark Parker on double bass and Paul Smith on drums. The first three songs show the influence of Restless, Scopes guitar playing being clearly influenced by Mark Harman.
The last tune of the ep is more modern, closer to the style of Frenzy’s second album “Clockwork Toy”. All in all a very good ep. If you dig bands like Restless, the Nitros and the Cellmates this one is for you.

Fretz

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Ravenna and the Magnetics

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The Magnetics – Rockabilly Fools

the magnetics rockabilly fools

Rollin’Rock LP-025 [1980]
Bound To The Sound – Rockabilly Fool – Waterproof Love – I Like Your Kinda Love – Hypnotized – Headaches & Heartaches – Rock Around With Ollie Vee – Bang Bang – Willin’ & Ready – Good Love – Hot Pink Cowboy Boots – Changing All Those Changes – I Need Your Love – Swamp Sally

The Magnetics – Mean Mean Man

Rollin’ Rock 45-050 / RoundeletROUND 1001

Mean Little Mama / Mean Mean Man

Mean little 7″ indeed.
A side, sung by Jeff Poskin and is a cover of Roy Orbison’s Mean Little Mama . It’s a wild piece of Rockabilly.
B side is a cover of Wanda Jackson’s Mean Mean Man sung by Ravenna. It features a superb guitar solo that rocks like no tommorow.

Ravenna and the Magnetics – Tennesse & Texas

Rollin Rock /Rondelet ABOUT 1008 [1981]
Tennessee & Texas – Find My Baby for Me – The Turning Tide – Surefire Shaker – Lonely Weekends – Waitin’ To Come Back – I Never Lie – Nite Owl – Feel So Good – Baby That’s All Right – 6918 Peach – Vibrate

Ravenna & the Magnetics - partRavenna and the Magnetics – Rockabilly Fools / Tennessee & Texas

Part-CD-691.001
Bound To The Sound – Rockabilly Fool – Waterproof Love – I Like Your Kinda Love – Hypnotized – Headaches & Heartaches – Rock Around With Ollie Vee – Bang Bang – Willin’ & Ready – Good Love – Hot Pink Cowboy Boots – Changing All Those Changes – I Need Your Love – Swamp Sally – Tennessee & Texas – Find My Baby for Me – The Turning Tide – Surefire Shaker – Lonely Weekends – Waitin’ To Come Back – I Never Lie – Nite Owl – Feel So Good – Baby That’s All Right – 6918 Peach – Vibrate

Very good idea from part to reissue on one cd this two album by Ravenna and the Magnetics. Too often overlooked and neglicted in modern rockabilly history. Ravenna and the Magnetics formed in the late 70’s and disbanded in late 1982. The first 14 tracks represent the bands’ debut album recorded at Rockin’ Ronny Weiser’s studio. At the time they went under the name of the Magnetics and were a tight rockabilly combo with Ravenna (aka Freda Johnson) on vocals, Tom Bergham on guitar, Jeff Poskin on second lead guitar and vocals, Steve Grindle on slap bass and Tom Svornich on drums. Both Ravenna and Poskin sang lead sharing the vocals duties equally and writing the stuff they sang, with occasionnal help from Bergham and Grindle. This brings a great variety to the album. Ravenna has a strong voice, in the style of Sparkle Moore and Janis Martin. One can also hear the influences of Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly (covered twice with Rock Around With Ollie Vee and Changing All Those Changes) with a contemporary twist.
After a few line-up changes, Ravenna and the Magnetics recorded Tennessee & Texas. They had lost Poskin who left to form the 88’s but added a saxophone and a piano. As a result Ravenna sang lead throughout and the sound of the band morphed from straight rockabilly to piano led rock’n’roll, most of the original being written by pianist Richard Hogan. Two songs taken from a single complete the set.
Retrospectively it’s hard to imagine that in the wake of the Rockabilly boom initiated by the Stray Cats they didn’t have more exposure. They could easily have national chart success. Maybe they were too raw at places and Rollin Rock’s distribution probably couldn’t handle a national distribution (that’s why the Blasters moved from Rollin Rock to Slash). On a sad footprint to the band’s history, Ravenna passed away in 1997, at the very young age of 42). It’s good to see that her talent is now available to a brand new generation of young Rockabilly fans who will enjoy the Magnetics’ music and perpetuate her legacy. The cd comes with a thick booklets featuring the original liner notes written by Ronny Weiser, a band bio by Tom Bergham, a detailed discography and additionial infos from Bernd Holzapfel and Paul Diffin (Sugar Ray Ford, Blue Cats) who played with the band during their European tour (many rare photos included too).
Get yourself this piece of Rockabilly history.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Ravenna & the Magnetics
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