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Gin Palace Jesters

Gin Palace Jesters - Roadhouse Riot...and other songs with words
Gin Palace Jesters – Roadhouse Riot…and other songs with words

Gin Palace Jesters – Roadhouse Riot …And Other Songs With Words

Rhythm Bomb – RBR 5616
Losing Her Memory/You Cry Alone/Moonbeam/Ol’ Webb’s Bullhorn Pontiac/Are You Missing Me/Too Sad to Stay(& Much Too Scared to Leave)/Down Beneath the Willows/Roadhouse Riot/Reflections Don’t Lie/Alison Rose/Second Fiddle/Hit The Bricks/Goody Gumdrops/Last One’s Left Waltz

Dave Sisson is not only the singer/guitar player of the high octane rockabilly trio Three Blue Teardrops, he also leads this country and western combo.
A little less western swing tinged, Roadhouse Favorite shows a slight change in the sound of the band aiming at a late 50’s / early 60’s honky tonk sound when Ray Price, Buck Owens and Webb Pierce were kings.
As a consequence you’ll find plenty of fiddle, pedal steel, Don Rich styled telecaster and harmony vocals. Sisson is a terrific songwriter for that kind of Honky Tonk sound, and weepers like Moonbeam and the haunting Down Beneath the Willow with the beautiful contribution of fiddler Katie Schandegg on backing vocals are perfect to give you give goosebumbs. No good country album would be complete without a Waltz. Not only you have one but icing on the cake, it’s a duet between Sisson and Schandegg. One will also find some bluegrass (Are You Missing Me), a bit of Western swing (Too Sad to Stay and much too scared to leave) and a nod to Carl Mann (Hit The Bricks).

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Vince and the Sun Boppers

Vince and the Sun Boppers
Vince and the Sun Boppers

Vince and the Sun Boppers – Gone For Lovin’

Rhythm Bomb RBR 5830
Bad Boy Rock – Black Haired Woman – Bunny Love – Dance With Sally – Devil Eyes – Gone For Lovin – Mama Little Chicky – I’m Longing For You – It’s You – Lone No More- Ooh My Baby – You Gotta Be Mine

When he recorded Elvis Scotty and Bill in July 1954, Sam Phillips probably didn’t know that not only he was writing history but more than 60 years later, folks from all around the world, young and old, would continue to play this music.

Vince and the Sun Boppers are one of those bands who perpetuate the tradition of classic Rockabilly (I don’t like the term authentic, for me as long as it’s played with the heart, whether it’s Big Sandy, Crazy Cavan or the Rockats, it’s authentic) These four cats (Vince Mannino: vocals lead guitar, Francesco Ardito: double bass, Silvio Chiodo: acoustic guitar and John Ziino: drums) come from Sicily but had Rhythm Bomb, their label, told me those songs came from a lost Sun session (I guess there’s a reason why they’re called the Sun Boppers)  from 1956 I would easily have believed them.

Everything here sounds period perfect. The rhythm section is top notch with a solid acoustic rhythm guitar, a light double bass – unlike too many bass players Mister Ardito knows that you don’t need to slap on all songs when you have a drummer – that perfectly matches with the drummer who manages to perfectly nail that Jimmy Van Eaton/ WS Holland sound. And of course there’s the voice and the guitar.
All these qualities to serve a bunch of excellent self-penned songs that manage to be both originals and in the tradition. As I said Vince and the Sun Boppers’ main influence is clearly the Sun sound but one can also hear the influence of Texas Rockabilly bands like Sid King and the Five Strings on a tune like Mama Little Chicky. Equally great is “It’s You” with its Jordanaires like backing vocals.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Kieron McDonald (ex-Flatfoot Shakers)

kieron mcdonald
Kieron McDonald – Shake that thing

Kieron McDonald – Shake That Thing

Rhythm Bomb RBR 5838

Rockabilly High – Janet Leigh – Why – Go Go Girl – The Knock On My Door – Goodbye Lonesome Hello Baby Doll – I’m The King Of The RoadThe Devil’s Eyes – A Little Love – She Thinks Of Him – Louanne – She Means Nothing To Me – You’re Gonna Be Alone – It’s A Drag

I’ve been a fan of Kieron McDonald brand of Rockabilly since the Flatfoot Shakers, his previous band. He then went on as a solo artist and released a bunch of albums that deserve to be in any decent contemporary Rockabilly collection. His latest one, released on Rhythm Bomb records from Germany but recorded in Australia makes no exception. This is superb traditional Rockabilly with a good dose of Johnny Horton (there’s a hint of I’m Coming Home in King Of the Road and some Lover’s Rock in the Devil’s Eyes). The sound, courtesy of Dave Attana at studio Ignition is period perfect and the band consisting of a who’s who of the Aussie’s scene (Andrew Lindsay, Dave Cantrell, Til Vex and EzraLee) is top notch.
McDonald can really sing and write songs (all tunes but one are originals) ranging from mean rockabilly to honky tonk influenced stuff with a ballad thrown in for good measure and a Jerry Lee type of rocker (I guess that with Ezra lee in the studio it must be hard to resist).
A superb cover in the style of a 50’s movie poster, designed by Chris Wilkinson, complete perfectly this must-have record.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Quarter Mile Combo

Quarter Mile Combo - Motels Gas & beer
Quarter Mile Combo – Motels Gas & beer

Quarter Mile Combo – Motels Gas & beer

6 Volt Records / Rhythm Bomb [2009]
Kitten – Electrified – Cougar Mama – Rodeo Show – Good Lovin’- Knockout Punch – 100 Miles to Heartbreak – Preacher Man – Word to the Wise – Wrecking Ball – Boss Lady – Getting Wild (Drinkin’ Song)

These quartet (three guys and one girl) comes from California and this is their debut album released on their own label 6 Volt Records (distributed by Rhythm Bomb Records in Europe). They’re led by the rockin’ voice of Nettie Hammar, and man, she sure knows how to rock. The twelve songs are originals, penned by bass player Todd Jenkins or drummer Gary Daly. There are many great moments on this album. Electrified and Wreckin’ Bell are two traditionnal rockabilly numbers while Kitten and Cougar Mama show the influence of the Reverend Horton Heat in the structure and the solos. It also features a solid rocka-ballad with some kind of Doo Wop vocals (Knockout Punch) and a bit of country with 100 Miles To A Heartbreaker. Preacher Man is very original opening with a church organ and then evoluting into a “film noir” ambiance. The well named Getting Wild closes the set. By no means traditionnalist, though respectful of the past (once again think Reverend Horton Heat) the Quarter Mile Combo deliver here a good debut album.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis