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The Doel Brothers

in CD/Reviews

Doel BrothersThe Doel Brothers – There’s a bottle on the table

El Toro Records – ETCD7027 [2019]

Bottle On the Table – Beer Bucket Boogie – Thanks A Lot – Baby I’m Ready – Love Letter – Distance Between You And Me – Welcome To My Heart – Just Say You Don’t Know – Jealousy – New England In The Fall – Country Bum – Hole In My Shoe – Viva Las Vegas – How High The Moon

Our favourite hillbillies, the Doel Brothers (Gordon on vocals and rhythm guitar, David on vocals and lead guitar Tom or Curtis on drums with Steve Whitworth on double bass and Phil Morgan on steel guitar) are back and they did it again! Can you believe it, it’s already their fourth album and it seems that each of their album is better than the previous one. I don’t write that lightly, considering that I already placed their debut effort as one of the best contemporary hillbilly platter, able to stand proudly near another of my favourite combo, namely the Dave and Deke Combo.

With five covers and nine originals penned by David and Gordon Doel who also share vocal duties, “There’s a Bottle On the Table” is a hillbilly / rockabilly / western bop rollercoaster from start to finish with top musicianship, solid songwriting and perfect production. It also comes with a superb cover illustrated by Garry Boller which gives you another reason to jump on that little jewel!
The repertoire ranges from straight Rockabilly like Bottle on the Table and Love Letter (the latter having a strong Sun flair) to country boogie with Beer Bucket Boogie, an original that sounds like an unissued Tennessee Ernie Ford tune. Phil Morgan’s steel guitar part with ricochets à la Speedy West adds to this feeling.

Other than those song you’ll find a bit of bluegrass with their cover of Dwight Yoakam’s The Distance Between You and Me with harmony vocals and dobro as well as some western swing influenced stuff (New England In the Fall), shades of Johnny Horton (Welcome to My Heart) and Little Jimmy Dickens (Hole In My Shoe) and lot of plain old hillbilly and Honky Tonk.

The bonus track is a cover of How High the Moon, dedicated to the memory of their dad that would make both Les Paul and Rhubarb Red proud.

Grab your moonshine, take a sip, roll back the rug, put the record in the player and enjoy the sweet sound of the Doel Brothers.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


The Doel Brothers - Oh Brother... It's The Doel Brothers
The Doel Brothers – Oh Brother… It’s The Doel Brothers

The Doel Brothers – Oh Brother… It’s The Doel Brothers

El Toro {2013}
Educated Mind – Goin’ Away – Kissin’ Bug Boogie – I’ll Do It Everytime – Sure You Won’t – I Need Your Lovin’ – Pick You Up – Whiskey Lovin’ Fool – Nothin’ ’bout Love – Tell Me You’re Mine – Rockin’ Shoes – Hey Baby

The Doel Brothers come from England and are David, Gordon and Tom Doel plus Gary Boller. They previously played with the Western Aces, the Radio Ramblers, the Westernaires so these four guys are not exactly newcommers but this is their first one under this name. And what a record! I hadn’t heard such a good hillbilly tinged platter since the heyday of the Dave and Deke Combo (or at least the Horton Brothers) and that was not a surprise to see that Dave “Pappy” Stuckey wrote the laudatory liner notes.
This record is simply amazing with superb originals (and I mean REAL originals, not old melodies quickly rearranged with new lyrics as it’s too often the case), beautiful harmonies reminiscent of the Farmer Boys or Rusty and Doug and top notch musicianship. There’s also a bit of Tennessee Two in Sure You Won’t (the influence of Cash can also be heard on Rockin’ Shoes) and Rockabilly too (I Need Your Lovin’). The whole set is completed by three excellent cover of Tennessee Ernie Ford, Johnny Horton and Tom James.
Cuzzins, believe me, I strongly advice you to get this record, this is hillbilly bop as it should be played.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Roy Kay Trio / Roy Kay Combo

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews

Roy Kay Trio – Travel Bound

Miz Liz 002 [2014]

Travel Bound – One year ago Tonight

Fantastic single from the Roy Kay Trio (but that’s not a surprise.)
A side is a superb piece of wild Rockabilly with a strong Johnny Burnette feel. The flip is mellower and is a beautiful country shuffle.
And to add more beauty to all that, it comes in colored vinyl.

Roy Kay Combo - I'm Hooked
Roy Kay Combo – I’m Hooked

Roy Kay Combo – I’m Hooked

Lur Liner Records LL004 (2009)
Boom – From Can To Can’t – Give Me Love – I’m Waitin’ – Askin’ But Not Gettin’ – Midnight Station – I’m Hooked – How It’s Done – Hey Honey – Dream On My Own – Love To Spare – Think Of Me
After releasing some of today’s finest rockabilly records, Roy Kay and his two partners in crime (Mike Geglia on guitar and Robin Cady on double bass) decided to try something new. They added drums (played by Aaron Mlasko) and a suberp rockin’ piano, giving them a fuller sound and a more rock’n’roll flair. The piano and Roy’s catchy melodies (he wrote 11 out of the 12 songs of this album) also evoke the recordings of Kenny Parchman and Carl Mann too. The whole thing is rounded by solid backup vocals, some in a doo-wop style that work very well. Tony Laborie (The Top Hands, Rattled Roosters, Ray Condo) plays steel on some tunes addind a Bill Haley’s Saddlemen feel to “How It’s Done” (that also features fine question/answer vocals) and a straight hillbilly style to “Think Of Me”.
Another great album from Roy and the boys (welcome to the new one) and I bet that the first time you hear it you’ll bet at your turn hooked by the Roy Kay Combo.
Nice digipack presentation too.


roykayharmonyRoy Kay Trio – The Rhythm and Harmony of…

Texas Jamboree TexJam 6903 (2008)
Why Even Try – Starlight Alone – Everyone’s In Love – She’s Trouble – Heart That Beats With Mine – Young And Foolish – Goodbye Romance -Endless Night – Hearts Unknown – New Girl – Feelin’ Down – So Tired – What She’d Love To Hear -Wonder
Released on the excellent Austin based label Texas Jamboree (Horton Brothers, Miss Lauren Marie, Nick Curran…) and coming in a beautiful digipack the fourth album from this drummerless trio shows a slight departure from their usual sound. Instead of the rockabilly boppers you’ve been used to you’ll find the band exploring late fifties/early sixties territories. The result is fourteen highly melodic (not that their rockabilly wasn’t melodic) and very well crafted pop songs written by Roy Kay that play in the same league as Buddy Holly (She’s Trouble, New Girl, I Wonder), The Everly Brothers (thanks to the fine harmonies of Robin Cady and Mike Geglia). The more you listen to this sweet tunes the more they grow in you and you find yourself playing the album over and over. These boys don’t have any equivalent on the scene, though you could rapproach them to The Horton Brothers or The Bellfuries as they really try to bring new structures and unusual chord progressions in their songs. Succumb to the charm of the rhythm and harmony of the Roy Kay Trio.


Roy Kay Trio - Rock-A-Way Lonesome Moon
Roy Kay Trio – Rock-A-Way Lonesome Moon

Roy Kay Trio – Rock-A-Way Lonesome Moon

Lur-Liner LL003 (2005)
Their third album . The previous ones has been respectively produced by Deke Dickerson and Ashley Kingman. For this one they went to Germany and choose Axel Praefcke (Ike & The Capers) as co-producer. I believe you already know all the good things I think about them. And this album won’t change my mind!
All but three songs are originals mostly written by Roy. Robin (bass) and Mike (guitar) contribute one song each. About the music there’s no big departure from the previous albums, you’ll find the same blend of rockabilly (“My Rockin’ Heart”, “Move On”), hillbilly boogie (“She Tracked Me Down” has backing vocals very similar to Webb Pierce’s Teenage Boogie), beautiful ballads (“I’ve Lost”, “Untie This Strings”) but this time they added a touch of western swing with “Cadillac In Model A”. Axel did a very good job producing this record and gave it a sound of its own. I won’t go more into details, but if you want to hear a well produced album, good songwriting, beautiful harmonies this one is for you. Another (the third !!!!) future classic album from Roy and the boy. Wouldn’t be surprised to find them on “That’ll Flat Git It Vol. 217” in 2052. And as usual with this band, the cover and the booklet are very well designed.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Shaun Young

in Contemporary artists/Reviews

Shaun Young – Movin’

Shaun Young Movin'

Rhythm Bomb Records RBR-5893 [2018]

Movin’ – Things Will Never Be The Same – I Plead The 5th – More Than Any Tongue Can Tell – Baby Stop Your Jivin’ Me – Drink Til I Can’t Feel The Pain – My Heartache’s Been Confirmed – Got It Made – Someday – Set Me Up – When You Do That – Knockout

At last, a brand new album from Shaun Young. Sure, he released some pretty good 7″ in the recent years but they were just appetizers for this main course.

But here it is. A full 12 songs albums featuring 11 originals and one cover (Someday by way of Bobby Vee and the Crickets.). But wait! There’s more! Young is not alone and he didn’t record this album with one but with two bands.

The Texas Blue Dots are Alberto Telo (Colton Turner) on drums, Paolo Bortoloiol on bass, Massimo Gerosa on piano (is there an Italian connection in Austin?) and none other than Young himself on guitar.

The songs on which they play have a strong blues influence (Someday or Got It Made with a nod to Gene Vincent’s Baby Blue in the intro) with a bit of jivin’ jazz (Baby Stop Your Jivin Me) and plain Rock’n’roll (When You Do That.) The later featuring a cracking guitar solo.

The Three Ringers are the other band to back the singer on this album. They are Bobby Trimble (of Fly Rite Trio/Boys fame) on drums, Tjarko (Ronnie Dawson, the Tinstars, Planet Rockers) on guitar and Todd Wulfmeyer (81/2 Souvenirs, Marti Brom) on double bass. The three of them also play in the Modern Don Juan. So, like with the Texas Blue Dots, expect solid musicianship.

The songs on which they play cover the whole spectrum of rockin’ music. Movin has the same tension and menace than the best of Johnny Kidd. Things Will Never Be the Same is pure Rockabilly straight from the fifties. I guess that Willie Lewis would have been proud to release this one on a beautiful 78rpm. I plead the 5th is more on the Honky Tonk side of things and so are Drink Til I Can Feel the Pain and Set Me Up.

On the Buddy Holly influenced “More than Any Tounge Can Tell” Young sings “I know that I’m not Shakespeare”, well if that title wasn’t already given to Hank Williams I would easily call him the Hillbilly Shakespeare. Since the High Noon days, Young has always proven to be a fine lyricist and this album makes no exception. Another fine exemple is the rockin’ My Heartaches Been Confirmed.

Knockout closes the album like every good rockin’ album should do: letting you beg for more.

Both bands give the best and i’d like to mention Mr Wulfmeyer harmonies that are a big part of the mix (I can’t tell you how many time I listened to More than any…) and Young’s production is nothing but perfect.

Go to Rhythm Bomb or your favorite online dealer to grab a copy of this masterpiece right now!

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Shaun Young - Wiggle Walk
Shaun Young – Wiggle Walk

Shaun Young – Wiggle Walk

Goofin’ Records [2005]
Get It Got It Good – One-Two-Three Carburetors – The Fire Of Love – My Advice – Wiggle Walk – Havin’ More Fun Than The Law Should Allow – I’ve Found What I Was Looking For – When You’re In Love – She’s Got What I Want – Move Around – Nobody But You Babe – Don’t Ask Me Why – The List – Mean Mean Mean – Rocket In My Pocket

Wiggle Walk was recorded at the now legendary Fort Horton studios in Austin, with the Horton Brothers (Billy on the bass, Bobby on the guitar and lap steel), Dave Biller (guitar) and Buck Johnson (drums). Together or separately they played on some of the best records made this last 10 years and this one makes no exceptions to the rule. It’s a KILLLER ! 
I love High Noon (and it’s an understatement, believe me) but the best thing I can say about this record is that it’s not an High Noon album with other musicians and drums. Well you still have that Buddy Holly feel (Notably on Billy Fury’s My Advice and Bobby Vee and the Cricket’s When you’re in love), but also some Elvis with the brilliant I’ve found what I’ve looking for you could easily find on an Elvis RCA album (The Lowells playing the part of the Jordanaires) and Mean Mean Mean more reminiscent of the Sun days (with a feel similar to I forgot to remember to forget).
Among the covers figures Little Walter’s Nobody but you Baby. Man, this boy can sing the blues too (did you ever doubt ?) and with the help of guest Nick Curran on drums and guitar you’ve got one of the many highlights of the album. Just after this scorchy blues follows the great Don’t ask me why with backup vocal provided (I guess) by the Horton Brothers. And then another change of style with The List, a great rockin’ and boppin’ song. This 37 minute album (at last something I can reproach) ends with  Rocket in My Pocket where the talent of guest piano player T Bonta shines throughout.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Shaun Young – Red Hot Daddy

Shaun Young - Red Hot Daddy
Shaun Young – Red Hot Daddy

Goofin GRCG 6062 [1997]
Red Hot Daddy ~ She Still Loves Me ~ If I Can’t Be Your Lover ~ What’s The Deal Jack? ~ High Voltage ~ Phantom Rock ‘n’ Roll ~ Hey Flat Get It ~ I’m Slippin’ In ~ The End Is Near ~ How Can I Turn Her Away ~ Beg Steal & Borrow ~ Foolish Pride ~ Right Here, Right Now and Forever ~ Rickety Shack

Between two High Noon albums, and after his debut 10”, Shaun Young, lead singer of High Noon, took some time to record his first full length featuring 12 originals and two covers (High Voltage and I’m Slippin’ In).
It was recorded in two sessions with two different bands. One took place in Helsinki in Finland with the Barnshakers for backing band, during which they cut Red Hot Daddy, High Voltage and Ricketty Shack. On this three tracks the sound is more Rock’n’roll than Rockabilly with the addition of a saxophone and a piano on Jano’s High Voltage.
The remaining songs were recorded in Shaun’s studio in Austin with Kevin Smith (string bass), Chris Miller (steel), Dereck Peterson (lead guitar), Tjarko Jeen (lead guitar) and Lisa Pankratz sharing the drums duties with Young. The core of this recording is made of Texas rockabilly quite similar to High Noon in style and quality but there are some subtle differences. For exemple She Still Loves Me evokes Gene Vincent’s Catman, If I Can’t Be Your Lover (I Don’t Want to be your Friend) is a superb honky tonk in the style of Hank Williams. Another honky tonk, but with an early Buddy Holly feel in it is How Can I Turn Her Away. Young also makes good use Miller’s steel guitar to achieve spooky effects on Phantom of Rock’nRoll. But the best song, by far, is Beg Steal and Borrow featuring Dave Bedrich on trumpet (from the Big Town Swingtet) who gives to the song a full Texas swing sound.
Superb album from start to finish.

Shaun Young – Our Last Night / Heartache Heartbreak

Shaun Young - Our Last Night
Shaun Young – Our Last Night

Goofin Records GOOFY 543 [1993]

Debut solo single from High Noon frontman. Excellent Texas rockabilly with that Buddy Holly feel.

Ravenna and the Magnetics

in Contemporary artists/R/Reviews

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

Three Blue Teardrops

in Contemporary artists/Reviews

Three Blue Teardrops – Ballin’ Jack/Morbid Teenage Love Song

Three Blue Teardrops

Swelltune Records SR45-004 [2018]

At last some new music by Three Blue Teardrops!

Dave Sisson, Randy Sabo and Rick Uppling are back with a brand new single recorded at Hi-Style studios.

Side A is a hot jiver that benefits of the addition of a saxophone and features a mean and superb solo.

B-side is even better. Imagine a sad rockabilly ballad with female backing vocals produced by Shadow Morton. I was almost expecting to hear car crash sound effects in the middle of the song.

Buy it at Swelltune records.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Three Blue Teardrops - Rustbelt Trio
Three Blue Teardrops – Rustbelt Trio

Three Blue Teardrops – Rustbelt Trio


A-OK – Shocked – Lincoln ’59 – Alone At Last – Headin’ For Disaster – American Way – Hard-Boiled – Little Lovely – Lord Send Me An Angel – Damage Control – The Dead Know Nothing – I still Dream Of You – I’m Still Standin’ Here
The fourth album relased by Three Blue Teardrops, more than 10 years after their debut release ‘One Part Fist” on the legendary British label Nervous Records. I’m a huge fan of Alan Wilson’s work as a musician (The Sharks) or as a producer (Frantic Flintstones, Gazmen, Colbert Hamilton…) but I was a little disappointed by his production on “One Part Fist”. I think he tried to give some kind of English psychobilly sound to a 100% American band which didn’t really fit them. The two following albums are now very hard to find but are more reflective of what their true sound is. So is “Rustbelt Trio” produced and released by the band. Here you have a real wild rocking and stomping modern rockabilly album made of 13 songs (all band’s originals, half written by guitarist Dave Sisson and the other half by upright bassist Rick Uppling). One of their best quality is to be able to mix genres, adding traditional vocals harmonies on heavy rockers, or enhance what could be a classic hot rod song (Lincoln 49) with a fine and swing drumbeat. Harmonies and superb brushed snare can also be found on “Alone At Last”, a teenagers’ song with a modern edge. The sound hardens a bit on “Headin’ For Disaster”, which talks about alcoholism and self destruct (Stayin’ out late at the beer joints, poppin’ pills and livin’ hard / Drivin’ too fast on the highway, slow at work and feelin’ tired / You’re lookin’ older everyday you spend gettin’ bent / But pretty soon this gift you got is going to be spent). “American Way” is a true heavy rockabilly or psychobilly (call it whatever you want) song which shouldn’t be out of place in The Quakes repertory. Nice! Changing the mood a bit, “Lord Send Me An Angel” is what you can expect with a title like that, a fine ballad with just the guitar and a very light snare, and once again traditional harmonies on the chorus. And right after this calm and peaceful moment they rush into the wild “Damage Control”. Another change of tempo comes with “The Dead Know Nothing” a western ballad with Mexican trumpets, gunshots and percussions ala Ennio Morricone. An Everly Brothers influence can be heard on “I Still Dream Of You”, and the album ends with “I’m Standin’ Here”, dedicated to Stiff Little Fingers’ Jake Burns, but the message is clear and can apply to Dave, Rick and Randy. It’s very good to see the band back in action, with a all-killer/no-filler album. With the new interest toward psychobilly in the USA, it would be more than justice to find them, who were among the first with The Quakes to play that music in America, achieving the same level of success The Reverend Horton Heat did.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Lil Red and the Doghouse Trio

in Contemporary artists/Reviews


Lil’ Red and the Doghouse Trio – Dirty Word

Red Wolf Records 1001

Lil Red

Dirty Word – Let’s Elope Baby – I’ve Had My Fill – Gonna Be Loved – Stop Look & Listen – My Little Baby – Black Snake Boots – Ain’t Gonna Stand For This No More – No Good Lover – Surly & Grouchy – Gotta Lotta Rhythm In My Soul – Guitar Picker – Stop Whistling Wolf – Finger Prints

Lil’ Red/Diane Urquhart is a new name on the scene, but her musicians surely are not. You may know Rusti Steel (guitar/steel guitar) and Stuart Dale (doghouse bass) from Rusti Steel and the Tin Tax. And that’s a reference solid enough for me. Lil’ Red plays a clean type of rockabilly, with a huge influence from Janis Martin and a bit of hillbilly, and even if her voice lacks of insurance every so often, the global result is pretty pleasant partly due to the strong musicianship of the band. She proves her dedication to this music by writing six of the fourteen songs of this album, including the best cut here, the threatening “Black Snake Boots” a rocker with sax and a bit of “Bertha Lou” feel in it. The rest comes from the catalogs of Janis Martin, Patsy Cline, Rose Maddox, Mickey and Sylvia (Rusti gsings duet on “No Good Lover”).

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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