Part Records

Mac Curtis

Mac Curtis – Early In The Morning/Nashville Marimba Band

mac curtisBluelight Records – BLR 33224 2
Early In The Morning – Big Boss Man – Ain’t That A Shame – Blues Man – Baby What You Want Me To Do – Maybelline – Gulf Stream Line – Stagger Lee – I’d Run A Mile – I Got A Woman – When The Hurt Moves In – Him Or Me (What’s It Gonna Be) – Running Bear – I Fall To Pieces – Gentle On My Mind – For The Good Times – Orange Blossom Special – Spanish Eyes – Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town – Careless Hands – Help Me Make It Through The Night – Devil’s Dream – Pistol Packin’ Mama – She Knows All The Good Ways To Be Bad

In 1970 Mac Curtis recorded Early in the Morning, an album on which he revisited songs from the fifties with a Country edge. The songs came from the catalogues of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Jerry Reed, Ray Charles, Lloyd Price, etc., with a couple of originals thrown in for good measure.
The repertoire ranged from the bluesy, albeit with steel guitar, Baby What You Want Me to Do, to the Country shuffle of When The Hurts Moves In, which would be perfect for Dale Watson, with a bit of Swamp Rock in between with Gulfstream Line. The majority of the remaining songs are on a thin line between country and Rock’n’roll, and the result is close to what Carl Perkins recorded during the same period.
The musicianship is excellent throughout, but that’s not a surprise with musicians like Tommy Allsup and Leon Rhodes on guitars, Charlie McCoy on harmonica, DJ Fontana on drums, and Curtis’s deep and rich voice beautifully serves the whole album.
The following year, Mac Curtis returned to the studio to record Mac Curtis’ Nashville Marimba band in one day. This is a surprising album, to say the least. Still, with a crew of first-rate musicians, Curtis revisits a set of Country classics in instrumental versions done in an exotica/easy-listening mood. However, it features some sparkling moments on guitar and hot fiddle parts from Johnny Gimble. It’s the kind of album you’re happy to own and play to your friends to see their reaction. You really have to hear their version of Gentle On My Mind to believe it.
Two excellent Country numbers with a Rockabilly feel, recorded in 1974, rounds up the set.
All in all, you have one excellent album, a curiosity and two hot bonus tracks. That’s more than enough to make you jump on this reissue.


mac-curtis-rollinrock
Mac Curtis – the Rollin Rock Recordings 1

Mac Curtis – the Rollin Rock Recordings 1

Part records
Big D Women – Baby Let’s Play House – Heartbreakin’ Mama – Fannie Mae – Sidetrack Mama – Holdin’ On – Good Rockin’ Tonight – Amarillo Killer – Hot Rocks – Crazy Crazy Lovin’ – Wild Wild Women – You Hurt Me – Sexy Ways – Good Rockin’ Tomorrow – Wake Up Rock’n’roll Rock-A-Baby – Hard Hearted Girl – Party Line – Turn To Me – For Your Love – Rockabilly Uprising – Been Gone A Long Time – Juice Box – Gone Out Of My Mind – Wildcat Tamer – Let’s Go

Mac Curtis is a true Rockabilly legend and in my humble opinion he recorded some of the very best sides of the genre. In 1972 he got in touch with the no-less legendary Ronnie Weiser of Rollin’ Rock and Ray Campi (the full story is explained in the very informative booklet featuring notes by Mac Curtis himself) to make some new Rockabilly recordings.
The first album to result from those sessions was Ruffabilly on which he’s backed by Campi (dobro, guitar, bass), Steve Bailey (drums) and Jimmie Lee Maslon on harmonica for one track. This is superior Rockabilly music, especially if you replace it in the period (the 70’s) with powerful slap bass and at the time with the exception of Charlie Feathers very few could come closer to the real thing than Mac Curtis. The liner notes explain why there are three Johnny Carroll tunes on that album: Campi and Curtis believed that the singer had died and wanted to pay homage to him.
The second album included here is “Good Rockin’ Tomorrow” and is equally good with Campi playing all the instruments and Billy Zoom (X) guesting on saxophone. In all you have 25 recordings that are 25 little rockabilly gems that deserve to be in anyone’s collection. They also show the importance of Mac Curtis and Rollin Rock on the European scene in the 70’s from the Teddy Boys to the burgeoning psychobilly scene.

The Tin Cans

 

The Tin Cans – Back For More

Tin Cans

PART-CD 6101.002 [2021]
The Time Is Right – Boppin’ On – Lost In Swamp – Illusive Love – You Drag Me Down – Anyway – Sound Of The Highway – Free As A Bird – Poor Man‘s Blues – Ship Of Lost Souls – I Need To Know – The Girl Next Door – Please Mr Postman

The Tin Cans return with a brand new album, full of original material except for The Marvelettes’ Please Mr Postman. The band consists of Claudius Wolke (ex-Magnetics) on double-bass and lead vocals, Sebastian Glenz (Scannerz) on guitar and Martin Putela (The Cambles) on drums.
The first song, The Time is Right, is pure Neo-Rockabilly gold, with a haunting guitar riff, in the style of RestlessVanish Without A Trace. Mark Harman influenced quite a few guitar players, but Sebastian „Semmel“ Glenz is, without a doubt, one of the best. Boppin’ On is more traditional, with a slight boppin’ Hillbilly edge.
Lost In the Swamp is a great and powerful country-rocker that finds the band sounding like the Planet Rockers. The next song, titled Illusive Love, is a highly melodic rock’n’roll tune propelled by a solid double bass. In the same style, you’ll find I Need To Know, with harmonies. Back to pure Neo-rockabilly (can Neo-Rockabilly be pure, hum, that’s a good question) with You Drag Me Down, followed by Anyway, which is more in the boogie blues vein as is Poor man’s Blues in the second half of the album.
Sound Of The Highway is one of the best cuts of the album. One could describe it as country-rock meets British Rock’n’roll à la Johnny Kidd. Free As A Bird pursues in the Country vein, but this time, it’s a western ballad, with another fine picking part from Semmel. Ship Of Lost Souls is a fast neo-Rockabilly tune, maybe not the most original of the set, but very efficient.
With its Beatles-tinged melody, fast rhythm and beautiful harmonies, The Girl Next Door made me think, “Wow they sound like a German Neo-Rockabilly answer to the Bellfuries.” Even Wolke’s voice reinforces this feeling. Really, really great! The album ends with Mr Postman (also covered by the Fab Four, by the way), turned into a ska number. And it works.
All in all a very pleasant album, warmly recommended to anyone who likes Restless, Dave Phillips, the Blue Cats, or simply has good taste in music.

Buy it here.

The Tin Cans – Unbreakable

Tin Cans

Mad Drunken Monkey Records MDMO15 [2012]
I Got The Rhythm – From One To Four – From The Bottom Of My Heart – Turn That Music Down – Once Again – Searching For You – Go Buddy Go – I Wanna Know – Crying Shame – Please Come Back – This Is It – Letter Of Goodbye – High On Rock ‘n’ Roll – That Day Went To The Devil – Lady Of Leisure – Brave Rockin’ Heart
Formed in 1996, the Tin Cans are now firmly established as one of the top Neo-rockabilly band in activity today. To tell you the truth with Unbreakable their sixth album, they probably release one of the very best albums of the genre. With 15 self penned songs it’s a rare case of all-killer-no-filler record. Yes sir! Here you’ll find superb musicianship from the strong rhythm section to the hot guitar of Semmel. The Tin Cans doesn’t seem to care about the musical trends that come and go on the rockin’ scene they play their own vision of Rockabilly and album after album like a joiner who sands down a piece of wood to obtain the perfect curve, they refine their vision. To achieve this they use elements of 50’s rockabilly mixed with 80’s neo-rockabilly, a bit of country twang, a touch of ska, all of this played with a 21st century feel. A brilliant that comes in a nicely designed digipack.
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Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Nina and the Hot Spots

Nina and the Hot Spots – Monkey Business

Nina and the hot spots

Part Records PART-CD 6116.002
Hot Spot Boogie – This Cat’s Sleeping (In A Big Bass Drum) – Can’t Believe You’re Gone – Monkey Business – Magic Fire – Cruisin’ Baby – Pretty Face – Little Bit – Mars Marriage – Everytime – Barber Bop – The Day – Love ‘n’ Seduce

Nina and the Hot Spots are Nina Salhab (lead Vocals, blues harp), Christian Dietkron (guitar), Sebastian König (drums), Thias Salhab (double bass) and Uwe Pickardt (saxophone).
After an excellent mini-album released in 2015, the band returns for our biggest pleasure with a full-length album. What strikes the listener when he puts the record in the player and plays the first song is the quality of the recording and how tight the band is. The rhythm section blends perfectly to lay down a solid groove, and then the saxophone erupts into a hot solo. But wait! I forgot to mention something! Sorry guys, but the one who steals the show is Nina with her superb and confident voice.
This Cat’s Sleeping (In A Big Bass Drums) is a solid rocker with a strong Stargazers feel. The next song is also in the Rock’n’Roll mould. Although it borders on Twist, it never falls into it. The title track is more Rockabilly-tinged yet jazzy at the same time. It features a superb harmony part between the sax and the guitar to launch the solo. Glen Campbell’s Magic Fire could and should be the theme of the next Jame Bond film. All songs but this one are originals, either penned by Nina, Uwe or Thias, who takes the lion’s share. Pretty Face brings a welcome touch of Latin beat while Little Bit Of This is a boogie blues, which sees, what an excellent surprise, the lady playing the harmonica (more like this one on the next album, please.)
Mars Marriage brings a different beat than your usual Rock’n’Roll and somehow evokes me the best of the Speedos. The highly melodic Everytime brings a touch of pop with a slightly modern feel. The Day is a ballad in the grand tradition of the Fifties, while the last tune ends the selection with a solid Diddley beat.
All in all, you have a good and varied album, which is sure to make you have a real good time.

Available here
Nina and the Hot Spots website.


ninahotspots
Nina and the Hot Spots

Nina and the Hot Spots – Cha-Ching!

Part records [2015]
Get Up – Rock Me Crazy –  Schwing Dich –  Farmer Girl – I’m In Love

A good and varied five songs ep by this German combo. Get Up and Rock Me Crazy are two Rock’n’Roll and Jive tunes with solid saxophone with a touch of Jazz that are sure to please fans of the Stargazers. Schwing Dich is sung in German and leans more toward German Rock’n’Roll singers like Conny Froboess or Peter Krauss.
Farmer Girl is a duet with a strong hillbilly flair, with nice finger picking guitar and harmonica. The last song is a slow blues-jazz number that sounds as if it had been recorded in the wee hours of the morning in a small and smoky jazz club.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Jimmie Lee Maslon

Jimmie Lee Maslon - My Wildcat Ways
Jimmie Lee Maslon – My Wildcat Ways

Jimmie Lee Maslon – My Wildcat Ways

PART-CD 6109.001 [2014]
Your Wildcat Ways – Hard Hard Man – The Haunt You Baby Rock  – Salacious Rockabilly Cat – All These Things – Please Mr. Dee Jay – The Girl I Left Behind – Please Give Me Something – Rockhouse Dreams – Turn Me Around – Sugar Coated Baby – I’m Gonna Love You Tonight – Hello My Darlin’ – I’m A One-Woman Man – Be Careful – Be Bop Boogie Boy  – Dance To The Bop – I Need Love – Love Me  – Yeh! I’m Movin’ – Long Gone Daddy – The Drag – Bip Bop Boom – A Rockin’ Good Way – Your Wildcat Ways – Please Give Me Something

May the Gods of Rock’n’roll, whoever they are, bless Andy Widder and his label Part-Records for their unflagging work. After Ravenna & the Magnetics, Mac Curtis and Ray Campi, he continues to explore Rollin’ Rock back catalog and reissues the one and only Jimmy Lee Maslon.
Maslon is a one of a kind Rockabilly singer, like a volcano always menacing to erupt, something like Charlie Feathers, Lux Interior and Gene Vincent all rolled into one. Feathers for he shares the same Rockabilly integrity and no nonsense approach, Lux for the weird aspect he sometimes has and Vincent for the torrid side he can reveal (when he’s not weird). And don’t forget to add some Clarence Frogman Henry for good measure.
Those twenty-six rockabilly jewels recorded in the early 70’s influenced countless of bands all around the world and you won’t find absolutely no fillers here, how many can claim that?
And this beautiful music comes with a rich booklet with liner notes written by Ronnie Weiser, Poison Ivy, Ray Campi, Johnny Legend, Wild Bob Burgos, Rip Masters and Jimmie Lee himself.
Essential to any Rockabilly collection.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Hot Wire

Hot Wire – Tribute

hot wire tribute

Part Records – Part-CD684 002
Tigerfeet – The Joker – Radio Sweetheart – I’m On Fire – Wonderful Life – Perfect – The Look – Mystify – Like A Prayer – Under The Bridge – U.F.O. – I Want You To Want Me – Mary Ann – F***in’ Sweet

Hot Wire – If It Ain’t Rock’n’Roll, We’ll Fix It

Hot Wire If it aint Rock'n'roll we'll fix it

Part Records – Part-CD684 001
Highschool Ceasar – Slippin’ & Slidin’ – Tainted Love – Viva Las Vegas – Proud Mary – Cocaine Blues – Summertime – I Wanna Be Like You – Red Light – No Heart To Spare – Breakaway – You Shook Me All Night Long – Ignition – Casting My Spell (live) – Built For Speed (live) – Crazy Little Thing Called Love (live) – All By Myself (live) – Ghostriders In The Sky (live) – The Passenger (live) – Bop A Lena (live) – Stray Cat Strut (live)

Hot Wire are a German quartet that seems to specialize in applying neo-rockabilly treatment to pop songs. Many bands have done that before with various degrees of success, when it works it’s usually on short distance, but a full album unless you’re very good is far too much.
Above all, the song has to be good and adding a slap bass isn’t enough to transform it into a rockabilly number. For example, recently Barney’s Boogie Train covered Iron Maiden’s I’m Running Free and Mickael Jackson’s Beat It which arent specially “rockabilly”, but they managed to find the rockin’ element in these songs (the train rhythm for Iron Maiden and the syncopation for Jackson). So why Hot Wire covered Roxette (the 80’s band not the Doctor Feelgood song) remains a mystery to me. Same for Madonna’s Like a Prayer. Once the surprise is gone, there’s nothing really interesting left, musically speaking. That’s too bad because you can hear they are good musicians and even if the singer is not the best I’ve heard, they do a good job. It’s just the choice of the material that is odd.
The second album is made of more rockin’ material and works better, but the comparison to the originals often works against the band (Proud Mary, Cocaine Blues, Ignition…). It also contains ten bonus tracks recorded live but the sound is very poor.
Not a bad band but they should work on their own songs.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Hellabama Honky Tonks

Hellabama Honky Tonks – Bang Boom Jubilee [2012]

Hellabama Honky Tonks

Part
One Two Three Four – Bang Boom Jubilee – Too Drunk To Dance – Rock All Night – Make You Mine – It’s Not Easy – Broken Hearts On A Saturday Night – Voodoo Doll – I Don’t Know What Happened To Rock ‘n’ Roll – B-Side Of Love – Six More Miles – Get Down – Rock The Bop – Last Caress – Never Met A Girl Like You

Don’t be afraid by the ugly cover that makes them look like a cheap imitation of rockabilly ready to go to the eurovision contest. The music is far better than what you could expect.
The Hellabama Honky Tonks play fats driven rockabilly with the slap bass to the fore (sometimes the slap more than the bass) with a touch of blues (Rockin’ All Night) and a modern attitude that often borders to Psychobilly. Real good ideas and solid originals complete the package.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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