neo-rockabilly - Page 4

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

Javes (the)

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Javes (the) – TV Quarrel

Javes tv quarrel

Razzle Dazzle Records – RAZ 811101 [1985]

TV Quarrel – 77 Sunset Strip – Stranger than Paradise – Jivin’ with my baby

The Javes were a German trio formed by Torsten Langner on guitar and vocals, Jürgen Berger on double bass and Oliver Hartmann on drums. They released this ep with four original songs in late 1985 / early 1986.

The title track is pure neo-rockabilly in the style of Restless’ first album. Very good guitar, solid double bass and drums and screams. Both 77 Sunset Strip and Stranger than Paradise border on early Psychobilly. If you want to pursue the comparison with Restless, let’s say those two tracks would be more at their place on Do You Feel rather than Why Don’t You Just Rock. Despite what I can say, don’t believe this guys were copycats, it’s just to give you an idea of the sound.

The last track is Jivin’ With My Baby which has a superb jazz feel to it with brushed snare drum and appropriate jazz chords.

Maybe the production is a bit thin at place and a fuller sound would have been better (especially when you know that they recorded some démos for Northwood later that year with Boz Boorer.) But that’s just one minor flaw (so minor you can’t even call it a flaw.)

Both Jurgen and Torsten later joined 45rpm.

Javes

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Saint Dom and the Sinful

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Saint Dom and the Sinful

Saint Dom and the Sinful – Holywell Dene

Get Up & Get Out – Motorbike Rider – Mr Saint – Ghost Town – Holywell Dene – Cause i Do – Cat Feet – Jenny Won’t Play No More – Phantom Lady – Slaphouse – One Foot In the Grave – Mohawk

Better late than never as they say. It’s never been so true. First I should have written this review a long time ago. Then because Saint Dom took 30 years to release this album.

The band originally formed in 1983, featuring Simon Badminton who later formed Spook and the Ghouls, and disbanded in 1987 their only recording legacy being some demos.

In 2011 they reformed with Peter Turner (Sureshots, Johnny and the Roccos) on double bass and Mark Coppin (Sureshots, Sugarpuff Demons) on drums. In early 2016 they finally started to work on an album and two years later Holywell Dene was born.

And let me tell you, that was worth the wait! This is one of the very best neo-rockabilly album I’ve ever heard. Not “the best of 2017” or “one the best of the decade”, no I repeat: one of the best I’ve ever heard! It can stand proudly near anything released by Restless, the Sharks or the Blue Cats.

All twelve songs are penned by Dom Malia (aka Saint Dom) who’s not happy to be a mighty fine songwriter and one hell of a singer is also an ace guitar player (listen to Cat Feet their instrumental.)

The album kicks off with Get up and Get Out. Man! If I had to explain what is modern Rockabilly to someone who doesn’t have a clue, I’d surely use this song and the Blue Cats’Man with a mission.

After such a strong opener you have to be good. And Saint Dom and the sinful are! The songs follow one after another always bringing something new. Some are very close to Psychobilly like Mr Saint or One Foot in the Grave. Others are more traditionnal like Cause I Do (with a riff similar to the Moonlighters’ Broken Heart) or the title track with its powerful slap bass. It must be noted that the slap bass is particularly well recorded; You can hear both the slap and the bass and the sound is warm.

A bit of glam can be heard on Ghost Town (maybe it’s the intro that makes me say that) and some boogie blues on Jenny Won’t Play No More with guest harmonica player Scotswood Slim. Talking about guest, Steve Clark of the Neutronz can be heard adding a touch of Mark Harman influenced guitar on some tracks.

If at this point you didn’t understand that you should order this record without delay, I guess one of us has a problem… No seriously, order it right now!

Saint Dom on reverbnation.

Saint Dom at Raucous records.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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