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The Salt Flat Trio

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S
Salt Flat Trio - Flat Out West
Salt Flat Trio – Flat Out West

The Salt Flat Trio – Flat Out West

Press Tone PCD04 [2004]
Georgia On A Fast Train – Goodbye Farewell – All Night Long – You’ve Had Your Chance – Salt Flat Racers – Do It Everytime – Livin’ Out Of My Trunk – Two Left Feet – Get Along – Country Life – Moanin’ The Blues – Be Bop Baby – Willin’ And Ready – Bop Pills – Sugar-Coated Baby
The Salt Flat Trio were a taditionnal drummerless rockabilly trio from Perth, Australia. With great musicians and a singer who sounded a bit like a hillbilly Eddie Cochran. The future looked bright and promising for them, sadly the untimely death of Tyson Feifer their lead singer stopped them in full rise. This album features 16 solid rockin’ songs, half are from the pen of the band’s double bassist Jay MvIvor and the remaining tracks are covers of Billy Joe Shaver, Hank Williams, Rocky Burnette, Bob Luman, Johnny Horton and Macy Skipper.
Two songs feature a steel guitar for a more a more rural bop feel and a piano can be heard on the frantic Be Bop Baby. Recommended if you like High Noon and Wayne Hancock.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Ezra Lee

in Albums/Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews
Ezra Lee & The Havoc Band - Boomerang Boogie
Ezra Lee & The Havoc Band – Boomerang Boogie

Ezra Lee & The Havoc Band – Boomerang Boogie

Rhythm Bomb Records – RBR 5823 [2016]
Boomerang Boogie  – My Baby Wants To Rock’n’Roll All Night – Nasty Boogie – Is It Wrong (For Loving You) – Caught In The Middle – Honky Tonk Girl – Motorbilly Radio (Go Cat Go) – My Baby Dont Lie To Me – Tore Up – Honky Tonk Downstairs – Try To Forget My Name – So Long – Endless Sleep – She`s Tough – Let It Rock

For his new album, the third, for Rhythm Bomb, Ezra Lee teamed up with the Shaun Havoc band (Shaun Havoc on drums, Kevin Spiers on guitar, Pete Mavric on double bass and Mark McGurgan on tenor saxophone). To bring variety to the set both Lee and havoc takes the lead vocal duties.
If you compare to his previous albums, it shows a slight departure in term of sound. It delves more into the sixties and mixes rockin’ blues, New Orleans rock’n’roll and country rock. Some songs evoke either Creedence Clearwater Revival or even the Flyin’ Burrito Brothers like Motorbilly Radio (Go Cat Go). The later features a pedal steel while some other songs have a guest fiddle for a straight Honky Tonk sound (Try to Forget My Name).
The choice of covers reflects that eclectism too with songs coming from the catalogs of Champion Jack Dupree, Charlie Rich, Jody Reynolds, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry but also the Paladins, the Reverend Horton Heat and Aussie fellows Pat Capocci and Danny & the Cosmic Tremors.
Pumping piano, strong drum beat, mean electric guitar and jumpin’ sax, everything concurs to make a solid Rock’n’Roll album.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Ezra Lee - Motor Head baby
Ezra Lee – Motor Head baby

Ezra Lee – Motor Head baby

Rhythm Bomb RBR5809 [2015]
Rock Little Baby – Motor Head Baby – Wow Wow – Volcanic Boogie – Over At Hattie’s Barrelhouse – It’s You Baby – The Entertainer – Don’t Say That You Love Me – Last Date – Pink Champagne – Rocker – A Little Unfair – Skinny Woman – Low Down Piana Blues – Rock & Roll Outlaw

Ezra Lee the piano pounding wizard of Oz returned with a brand new album that confirmed all the good things we thought about him.
Backed by the excellent Firebird Trio (Pete Belair on guitar, Hank Elwood Green on drums and on slap bass Chris Nomad D’Rozario who played with Brian Setzer during one of his recent Rockabilly Riot Tour) Lee covers a wide range of style. Of course there’s plenty of Jerry Lee influenced Rock’n’roll (and the production of Paulie Bignell with the drums to the fore strenghten that impression). there’s also a good dose of blues (most notably the excellent Low Down Piana Blues), some Boogie Woogie and even of cover of Scott Joplin’s ragtime classic The  Entertainer. The sole minor flaw would be the cover of AC/DC’s Rocker that doesn’t really fit him vocally but that shouldn’t prevent you to buy that very good album.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Ezra lee - You Can't Stop A Freight Train
Ezra lee – You Can’t Stop A Freight Train

Ezra Lee – You Can’t Stop A Freight Train

Press-Tone Music PCD 15.
Just One Of Those Things / Mean What I Say / Creola / Can’t Stop A Freight Train / I’ll Keep Waiting / Rock’n’Roll Piano Man / Pantin’ Panther / Ezzy’s Boogie / Look, But Can’t Touch / Count On Me (To Shoot You Down) / Firefly / Spread It All Around / The Devil Is A Dame / She Done Gone.

Singer-pianist Ezra Lee is another proof of the good state of health of the Aussie’s rockin’ scene. Like his first recordings available on “Preston Rockabilly vol. 2” this album has been recorded at Preston Studio by the expert hands of Graeme Thomas (and Cal Robinson too) with long time friend Pat Capocci on guitar (who also wrote or co-wrote half of the songs here), Cal Robinson on bass and Ricky “the Goat” on drums.
It’s a pretty good and solid debut album. One could fear that a pianist named “Lee” would merely be a Jerry Lee copycat, but it would be a huge mistake. Sure it contains a healthy dose of piano pounding rockers like Just One of Those Things, Ezzy’s Boogie (pretty much like Jerry Lee’s Real Wild Child) and of course Rock’n’roll Piano man.
 But there’s plenty of other good things too like Sun rockabilly (Spread It Around) and Honky Tonk (I’ll Keep Waiting, Count on Me (to shoot you)) which proves that this boy also likes Moon Mullican. One will also find a couple of blues numbers that show his admiration for Otis Spann and Jonnie Johnson like Mean What I Say or Firefly a Muddy Waters inspired number. There’s also a beautiful New Orleans blues with a Rumba beat called Creola (a little bit like Earl Hooker’s Guitar Rumba), a Texas blues (Pantin’ Panther) and a Carl Mann influenced rocker.
No need to say that Pat Capocci’s guitar is the perfect complement to Ezra’s voice and piano.
Good job folks, I’m really looking forward the next one…
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

 

Scotty Baker

in Reviews
scottybaker
Scotty Baker – Just Like That

Scotty Baker – Just Like That

Press Tone Music [2011]
50 Buick – C’Mon And Fight Me – Broke On payday Again – Just Like That – Tell Me Why You Love Me – Tyre Kickers – Suddenly Alone – Just Can’t Style My Hair – Jacky And Dave – Not Today – I’m Past My Prime – Set Me Loose On That Blonde – That’s The Way I Like It – Doin’ Time On The Passenger Side

Scotty Baker is, after Pat Capocci, Ezra Lee and the Rechords (to name but three) Australia’s latest Rockabilly sensation. With his warm and deep voice, his capacity to write solid originals and a strong backing band, this guy is dangerous! His debut album, features 14 self penned songs and covers a wide range of style.
One can hear a bit of Johnny Cash influences with the boom-chicka-boom Rockabilly of C’Mon and Fight Me or Just Like That, a talkin’ blues ala “Boy Named Sue”. Next to that one will find straight Rockabilly (Jacky and Dave, Set Me Loose On that Blonde), honky tonk with steel guitar (Broke on Payday Again), pumpin’ piano rock’n’roll (Tell Me Why) and bluegrass with (Tyres Kickers). Believe me, the whole album is flawless but if I had to pick some highlights it would be the hilarious “Just Can’t Style My Hair” (with the memorable “I’d rather look like Yul Brynner than David Hasselhoff”), “Not Today” (something like a cross between Hank Williams and Johnny Jano), “Suddenly Alone” that captures the spirit of Elvis’ early ballads like Harbor Lights or Tomorrow Night and “Doin’ Time On the Passenger Seat” a five-minute stroller that closes the album with class.
I really hope to hear more from that guy soon.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Pat Capocci (reviews)

in Reviews
Pat Capocci - Coming In Hot
Pat Capocci – Coming In Hot

Pat Capocci – Coming in hot / Burn it down Baby

Ruby Records RR 45 102 

Ruby Records did it again! After launching the label with none other than Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys they joined forces with Australia’s number one rocker, mister Pat Capocci and the result is another killer single.
Side A is a crazy rocker with wild drums, rockin’ piano and Pat’s guitar all over. Side two is bluesier, with a bit of Jimmy Reed’s Shame, Shame, Shame on the beat, and a perfect dirty guitar sound.


 

Pat Capocci - Delinquent Beat
Pat Capocci – Delinquent Beat

Pat Capocci – Delinquent Beat

Press-Tone Music PCD 17 {2009}
Leave The World Behind – All My Fault – Delinquent Beat – Barebones Barber Shop – Devil At My Door – Trapped In A Cage – Sally Ann – Dynamite – Devil Got My Baby – All Night Long – Capocci’s Crawl – Pinch Me Quick – Half-Way Dead – I Promised I’d Never Fall In Love Again

This is Pat Capocci’s second lp and third release if you count Preston Rockabilly vol. 2. And once again it’s been recorded by Graeme Thomas one of the most talented man when it comes to record roots music.
Capocci is backed by the finest musicians you can find on the Aussie’s scene, namely John Flynn and Cal Robinson on bass, Ezra Lee on piano, Ricky ‘the goet’ on drums and Danny Wegzryn on harmony vocals.
This album marks a slight departure in Pat’s sound and shows the young singer/guitarist focusing on his harder stuff. Thus one can hear on a majority of songs the influence of Dale Hawkins (and his two guitar players the great James Burton and Roy Buchanan) as well as Roy Hall. This is for the core of the lp, but one will also find a Texas blues shuffle (Sally Ann), a Bo Diddley Beat (Delinquent Beat) and a jazz ditty (Barebones Barber Shop). The latter made me think how good it would be to hear Pat and Ezra Lee doing an album worth of King Cole inspired material. All My Fault evokes the sound of Carl Mann. Talkin’ about Sun pianists, the listener will also hear in Lee’s piano shades of Charlie Rich too.
Capocci’s Crawl is a fine instrumental with a swamp mood while Clifton Chenier’s All Night Long(the sole cover of the album) is turned into a mean rocker.
Believe me when I say that “Delinquent Beat” is without a doubt one of the best rockin’ record released this past decade.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Pat Capocci - Steppin Out
Pat Capocci – Steppin Out

Pat Capocci – Steppin’ Out

Press-Tone Music PCD 11 {2008}
Dead End Track / The Pickle / Way Too Long / Gonna Have Me Some Fun / Shake Me Up / Mary Jane / Sick And Tired / Steppin’ Out / Hillbilly Girl / Give Me A Break / Blue Skies Turn Grey / Chasin’ My Tail / Free And Easy / News Travels Fast (And So Do You).

Pat Capocci is nothing else than one of the best thing to happen to modern rockabilly in years. “Modern” is probably not the right word to describe the sound of this rockin’ cat. He often sounds as if he came straight from the fifties. And this guy has the whole package that would make more than one envious: he has the look, the songs (he penned all songs but two on this album), the sound, the voice and he’s more than able when it comes to deliver a hot (or a smooth) guitar solo.
On Steppin’ Out, his debut album, he shows the wide range of his style and skills. Needless to say that Rockabilly stands in good position with songs like Dead End Track, Steppin’ Out or the excellent Blues Skies Turn Grey that reminds me a bit of Al Ferrier (yes, he is THAT good). There’s also a couple of wild rockers like Free and Easy, Give Me A Break (with a Grady Martin-esque baritone guitar) or the frantic Mary Jane.
Pat is also more than able to deliver some hot blues songs, like the Pickle, an instrumental with piano in the style of Johnny Guitar Watson, and Shake Me Up.
Gonna Have Some Fun leans more on the jazz side, but is equally successful.
At this point, I can believe what you’re thinking: It would be too good to be true if this young cat could also play country music. You bet he can! And with style! Just listen to the hillbilly bop of Hillbilly Girl and Chasin’ My Tail (both featuring Rick Dempster of the Dance Hall Racketeers on steel guitar) the latter having a touch of Buddy Holly’s Gotta Get You Near Me Blues. News Travels Fast (And So Do You), an excellent country shuffle that seems to come straight from the 60’s, rounds up the set with class.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Preston Rockabilly - Vol. 2 - Out Of The Valley
Preston Rockabilly – Vol. 2 – Out Of The Valley

Preston Rockabilly Vol. 2 – Out Of The Valley
Press-Tone Music PCD 13
Pat Capocci, Ezra Lee and Danny Wegrzyn (Danny & the Cosmic Tremors) are three Australian cats who play in each other bands. For this album they went to Graeme Thomas’ Preston studio with Cal Robinson on bass, Paul Hainey on drums and Dave Cantrell (the Wildcats, Toni & the Tomcats) on steel.
Pat Capocci performs six songs, all self penned. Full Grown Woman is one of his wildest track, almost garage, Second Best is a traditionnal rockabilly, Burnin’ the Candle is a solid rocker. He also performs a country shuffle (Try To Forget Me), a Jerry Lee type of number (Til I Get to You) and a superb instrumental (After Hours) that has shades of T-Bone Walker and Johnny Guitar Watson.
Danny & the Cosmic Tremors perform five songs (four origiuals and one cover) including two classic rockabillies (my Baby Wants to Rock’n’Roll, So Long). Much wilder is the cover of Bill Johnson’s You Better Dig It. Little Darling, as its title indicates, is a smooth ballad and Feel Allright With You is a hot bopper that reminds me the style of Rip Carson.
Last but not least, Ezra Lee, the piano pumpin’ man, is present here with two rockers (Abby Jane and Goodbye Astrid Goodbye), a strong Rockabilly number (Werris creek Devil). I’m Gonna Kill Your Daddy sees Capocci playing a mean slide guitar that evokes Elmore James and Coalfire Man is more in the style of memphis Slim.
Without a doubt this trio counts among today’s hottest rockabilly/rock’n’roll acts

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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