Rockabilly, Psychobilly and everything in between.

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Rockabilly

The Rockits

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rockitsThe Rockits – The Rockits

Award Records ‎– SH-1001 [1988]
Cruisin’ All Night – TwoTimin’ Baby – Stood Up

Formed in the mid-80’s The Rockits, previously known as the Top Cats, were a neo-rockabilly band heavily influenced by the earlier cat bands such as Stray Cats and Polecats. They were Buddy Dughi(Vocals/Lead Guitarist), Pete Bonny (drums), and Steve Herney (double-bass). This is their sole release, a three-song ep in pink, and black vinyl.
It contains two Buddy Dughi originals, “Cruisin’ All Night” and “TwoTimin’ Baby”, along with their tribute to Ricky Nelson, “Stood Up.” Dughi and Bonny later founded the Hot Rod Trio and Suzy Q & Her Be-Bop Boys.

Teukka & the Rhythm Aces

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Teukka & the Rhythm Aces – Soitan Että Tuun

teukka and the rhythm aces

Goofin Records – GRS-608
Soitan, Että Tuun – We’re Gonna Move – Pocketful Of Rainbows

The first song, “Soitan, että tuun” is a Charlie Rich cover with a melody very close to “Mona Lisa” (sorry I wasn’t able to find out the English title for that one) with finnish lyrics. It could be surprising at first but it works rather well. The band does a nice job on this upbeat rocker with nice piano breaks and a short guitar chorus from Eino Rastas (from Hal Peters’band). Teukka’s fine voice suits Elvis material too as “We’re Gonna Move” shows with some hiccups (but not too much). This mini cd ends with a ballad, another demonstration of the good balance between the band and the singer.
.Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Ten Strike

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10_strike_cover
Ten Strike – Rawkabilly

Ten Strike – Rawkabilly

Trail To Hell – That’s Right – Under Vultures – Lonely Nights

Hailing from Germany, this trio played a mixture of wild rockabilly and what is now called old school psychobilly. They started in the 80’s, had an album on Tombstone Record in 1989 (Outlaw) and supported acts like The Guana Batz, Stray Cats, The Keytones and The Frantic Flintstones. On hiatus for a few years the band returned with this mini lp. The slap bass led mid-tempo “Trail To Hell” has a fine cowboy ballad feel. The singer’s voice on this one reminds a bit of the dutch bands The Tigermen and their song “Gone, Gone, Gone” for those who remember them. “That’s Right” is maybe more classical, a fast rocker with a psycho edge but nonetheless very pleasant. Under Vultures is a new version of a song from their Outlaw lp, and has that fine 80’s neo-rockabilly in the chorus I like so much with backing vocals and stop-starts with slap bass solos. This too short ep ends with “Loneley Nights” a slow tempo with a bluesy feel. The overall production work is very well done and the songs are all written by the band.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Ten Strike - Outlaw
Ten Strike – Outlaw

Ten Strike – Outlaw

Tombstone – Tomb-Disc 681  [1990]

No More Reason To Cry – Long Legs – Under Vultures – Wide Open Land – That’s Right – Country Playin’ – Outlaw Man – Bound To Die – She Ain’t No Good – Wheels Of Steel – Don’t Look Now – 51 Merc – So Many Times

First long play by this German band released in 1990. The line up on this record is Jürgen Fröhlich on Guitar, Vocals, Peter Urban on Double Bass and Jochen Vaupel (who previously played in the Swamp Dogs) on drums.
This is a classic neo-rockabilly album with twelve self-penned songs and one interesting cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Dont Look Now.

Ray Black & The Flying Carpets

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Ray Black & the Flying Carpets – Better Way To Move

Rhythm Bomb – RBR-5883 [2018]
Favorite Doll – Rolling Stone – Secret Lover – Big Boy Rock – Better Way To Move – It Ain’t Right – Shakey Heart – Something Blue – Little E – She’s Gone I’m Fine – Rollerskating Girl – Guy Fawkes Blues
Ray Black & the Flying Carpets is a German quartet. The bandmembers are Ray Black (Singer, Upright Bass), Martin Bone (Lead Guitar), Howlin’ Herbst (Rhythm Guitar, Baritone), and Boz Doz (Drums.)
This album covers a wide range of musical genres. If they don’t convince me with their brand of wild electric Rockabilly, I find them more interesting when they explore other styles. They’ve got a couple of blues bopper and blues-oriented numbers with harmonica and piano that are quite good as well as their more traditional stuff like It Ain’t Right.
I also enjoyed Little E, an early ’60s rocker ala Bertha Lou.
The main problem is that you jump from one style to another, but in the end, the whole album lacks coherence. It’s hard to find the real identity and personality of the band within all those styles. They really should stick to one genre and develop their own style.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Darrel Higham

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Darrel Higham & the Barnshakers – Pretty Little Devil

darrel higham

Goofin Records GOOFY 570 [1997]
Sweethearts Or Strangers – Don’t Be Gone Long – Pretty Little Devil – Flattin’ & Thumbin’

Darrel Higham recorded this ep in 1997 with the ever-excellent Barnshakers from Finland. That was not the first collabration between the British guitar picker and the Finnish Rockabilly band. Both recorded a full album together in 1993. Sometimes when two talented artists or bands join forces, the result doesn’t keep up with the expectations (I have a few example that I’ll keep for myself.) That was not the case here, this four-track ep is excellent.
Side one kicks off with a cover of the old classic “Sweethearts or Strangers”. Higham’s vocals and guitar give it a strong Eddie Cochran feel, and Lester Peabody’s steel guitar nicely enhances it. Next is a cover of Bod Doss’ “Don’t Be Long Gone.” Like the original, it’s jet-propelled by a solid slap bass intro.
Vesa Haaja, the singer of the Barnshakers, joins forces to sing harmonies for the Everly sounding Pretty Little Devil, recorded initially by Bob Denton and Eddie Cochran.
The last track is a guitar duet between Higham and Peabody/Jussi Huhtakangas. Well, the title says it all. It’s a gentle battle between these two great pickers. One can only regret that Deke Dickerson wasn’t there at the time of the recording.
There are still a few copies left on Goofin Records.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Jim Carlisle

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Jim Carlisle – Don’t Start Cryin’ Now

Jim Carlisle

Billy Goat BILL 001 [1978]
Don’t Start Cryin’ Now / She Knows How to Rock Me
Jim Carlisle, who later formed the Blue Rhythm Boys with Paul Ansell, made his debut recording on Billy Goat records in 1978 with this single on which he plays all instruments.
The A-side is a Slim Harpo tune turned into a Rockabilly that wouldn’t be out of place on Sun or Meteor labels. The sound is impressive, very authentic as some would say, and if you didn’t know it was recorded by a British guy in the late seventies, you’d swear it comes straight from an old dusty box of unissued tapes from the fifties.
The same goes for Piano Red’s She Knows How to Rock Me which is more rockin’ blues.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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