Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

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The Slammers Maximum Jive Band

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S
The Slammers Maximum Jive Band - Jive Time
The Slammers Maximum Jive Band – Jive Time

The Slammers Maximum Jive Band – Jive Time

El Toro Records ETCD2036
She Walks Right In – All of Me – Just A Gigolo – Swanee River Boogie – What’d I Say – Hook, Line & Sinker – Stagger Lee – Chicken & the Hawk – Boogie Woogie Country Girl – Shortenin’ Bread – Buona Sera
If you dig contemporary bands like The Stargazers, the Big Six and Ray Gelato’s Giants Of Jive and of course Louis Prima and Louis Jordan this one is for you. Recorded live it proposes a good set of danceable music. I really enjoyed the excellent “Swanee River Boogie” (think Jerry Lee meets a Jive band), “Hook, Line and Sinker” which is full of joy, the instrumental “Shortnin’ Bread” with great saxes (both juicy and screaming) and the rockabilly “Boogie Woogie Country Girl” with a heavy slap bass and piano. That’s too bad they only play covers, and extremely well known ones, cause these guys (and girl) are good musicians and a little bit of originality would have been good. This said, I must say I couldn’t help but tapping my feet while listening to it, so I guess this is the more important, don’t you think?

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Slammers Maximum Jive Band - Hey There You !!!!
The Slammers Maximum Jive Band – Hey There You !!!!

The Slammers Maximum Jive Band – Hey There You !!!!

Hey There You ! – Bim Bam – Choo Choo Ch’Boogie – Oh Marie – Straighten Up And Fly Right – Such A Night – Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chicken – Shortnin’ Bread – Boogie Woogie Country Girl – Swanee River Boogie – Corrine, Corrina – What’d I Say – Bloodshot Eyes – Linda Lu – All Of Me
All right boys, grab your dancin’ shoes, push the furnitures on the wall, roll the rug, you’ll need a maximum of space cause this guys (and girls) are here to make you dance. Captured live on the stage of the Warrington Blues Festival in 2007, this cd shows the Slammers Maximum Jive Band at their best: full of energy, excitement and with a communicative “joie de vivre”. You can hear from every note they’re happy to be here (and the listener regrets he wasn’t there to see them that day), and I think this is the key of the success of such a recording.
There’s no radical departure from their studio album, but as I said, the live recording really advantages them. The powerful rhythm section supports the solists who trade solos. All of them are great players, but I’d like to make a special mention to Claire Hamlin whose talent shines on her rendition of Swanee River Boogie and Ray Charles’ What’d I say. Add James Gray warmful vocal and you’ll have every ingredients for a great band. The show starts with Freddie Bell’s Hey There You, and you’re off for 49 minutes and 15 songs of jumpin’ jivin’ rhythm blues, with a touch of rockabilly here and there, that won’t let you a second to catch your breath. I’ll look forward the next one.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Starjays

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S
The Starjays - Bang! It's the Starjays
The Starjays – Bang! It’s the Starjays

The Starjays – Bang! It’s the Starjays

Rhythm Bomb – RBR5828 {2016}
Who Do You Love The Most? – The Right Girl – Flat Broke – I’ll Wait – Nobody Loves You Like Me – My Wild Girl – Cadillac Of Woman – Keep On Talkin’- One Quick Stop – What’s Gone Wrong? – Turn Down The Lights – Tintarella Di Luna – A Sin Comin’ On – Get Closer

Led by Roy Kay (the Roy Kay trio\Combo, the Margraves) and Angela Tini (Angelatini and the Trebblemakers) and featuring the talents of piano wizard Carl Sonny Leyland, Marshall Scott Warner on drums, Tony Laborie on double bass, Sean Jensen on sax and Mike Geglia on guitar (also from the Roy Kay trio connection), the Starjays are a hot combo that plays rhythm’n’blues and rock’n’roll (and I mean real Rock’n’roll) with, for a song or two, a slight 60’s feel. They reminded me of the Jive Bombers, the excellent and now defunct Austin based band that featured Shaun Young.
Roy Kay and Angela Tini share the vocal duties (solo or in duets) which brings a lot of diversity to this album. As she is probably lesser known than her partner Roy Kay who have quite a few albums under his name, I have to sing here the praise of Miss Tini’s voice who manages to be powerful, subtle and dare I say a bit naughty (Get Closer), all that with a Ruth Brown vibe. Other names come to mind, but it would reduce Tini’s own personnality that is present here from start to finish (understand “she has her own voice and she is no impersonnator”).
All songs but two are originals penned by Kay and Tini. It’s very well produced, recorded, sung (I’ve already said that, but better twice than never) and played, each solist having plenty of room to express himself.
And icing on the cake, it comes in a nicely designed digipack .

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Jeff Potter – Great Big Beat

in Albums/Contemporary artists/OPQ/Reviews
Jeff Potter - Great Big Beat
Jeff Potter – Great Big Beat

El Toro Records – ETCD 8010
She’s Got A Great Big Beat – All Right With Me – When The Moon Comes Up – Golden Roll – I Can’t Believe – She’s So Explosive – Time On My Hands – Somebody Loves You – High Octane – Kinda Lovin’Man – Let’s Go To The Moon – Modern Busy World – Get Some Rest – Some Of The Time – The Romp

Jeff Potter (who plays piano, guitar, drums, organ) with the help of a cast of fine musicians (including Betsy-Dawn Williams and guitarist extraordinaire Graham Tichy) offers here a very good self penned album full of piano led rock’n’roll (“High Octane”, “She’s Got A Great Big Beat”), doo wop (“She’s So Explosive” with excellent bass vocal from Tichy),ballad (“I Can’t Believe”, “It’s A Busy World”) and a couple of instrumental thrown in for good measure “Golden Roll” (a tune with a strong Bill Dogget’s Honky Tonk feel on which Potter plays organ) and the rockin’ (with a 60’s vibe) “the Romp”. You can hear the influences of Jerry Lee Lewis (of course), Fats Domino, Buddy Holly (on “Some Of The Time”) and more modern bands like The Blasters. Truly a great rock’n’roll album.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Number 9 Blacktops – Cool On My Right

in Albums/Contemporary artists/MN/Reviews

number-9-blacktopsPart-Cd 6108.001

Steel Belted Radicals – Kentucky – Berlin – Big Rig – Monster Truck Takeover – Frankfort Avenue – Queen Of Hearts – Rock ‘N’N Roll Band – Come On Already – Out Of Sin – Boomland

Produced by Supersuckers frontman Eddie Spaghetti and with a bass player proudly sporting a Motorhead t-shirt, don’t expect the Number 9 Blacktops to play doo-wop.
This is raunchy and straight-in-your-face rock’n’roll with big guitar (Skinny Jim their singer-guitarist is endorsed by Gretsch), warm and round bass (electric, that is) and hammer-pounding drums. Imagine a hard hitting rockabilly band ingested, digested and regurgitated by ZZ Top, add a dash of surf (there’s a couple of instrumentals), a bit of early Reverend Horton Heat and a solid dose of country-punk ala Jason and the Scorchers and you’ll get a close idea of the sound of this album. And the whole thing is rounded in less than 30 minutes. Yes, this is Rock’n’roll! Highly recommended though clearly not for the purists.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Nervous Breakdown – Dirty Beats

in Albums/Contemporary artists/MN/Reviews
Nervous Breakdown - Dirty Beats
Nervous Breakdown – Dirty Beats

PART CD 688.001
Nervous Breakdown Bash ~ You Bring Me Down ~ Do The Bop ~ Wild And Bad ~ Bad Side Of The Blues ~ Treat Me Like A Man ~ Dirty Beats ~ Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen ~ Baby You’re Mine ~ It’s Alright ~ Leave Me Alone ~ Bird Doggin ~ It Must Be Hell ~ Supersonica (instr.) ~ Where Have You Been?

This German quartet (guitar – double bass – drums – sax) plays modern rockabilly and rock’n’roll at a frenzied beat that sometimes borders on old school psychobilly (when the “billy” was still present). The saxophone brings a very personal touch and gives them a sound of their own, but if I had to make a comparison, I’d say they could be the little brothers of Hot Boogie Chillun. You’ll also hear some Sonics influences too.
Formed in 2005 they’ve waited 5 years to release their debut album and it shows. They are very well rehearsed and tight. You can hear that a special attention has been put into the arrangements and the sound is powerful, far from your usual “let’s release a record 2 months after we got together…” one often finds.
The other positive point is that 12 of the songs are very well crafted originals.
Nervous Breakdown take every good aspect of 80’s neo-rockabilly and take them into the 21st century for a sound that owes nothing to the past. A band to follow.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Peter Davenport & the Roof Raisers

in Profiles

Peter DavenportCountry: UK
Genre: Rock’n’Roll

Peter Davenport left the Stargazers in the Summer of 1982 and formed this band around 1984. The first line-up included Neil Barnet (vocals), Russell Gillam (double bass) John Tuck (drums quite possibly the same who played with Paul Fenech in Dynamite around 1978 and now with The Rapiers), Chris Gardner (piano, clarinet, sax) and of course Davenport on guitar.
The band played some local gigs then the line-up evolved, featuring Jacko Buddin (Flying Saucers, Dynamite band and later vocalist with The Comets), Andy Dunnet (sax) with Gardner concentrating on piano. They recorded two tracks at University of East Anglia concert hall/studio in Norwich for Northwood Records that appeared on the compilation album “Big Noise From Northwood” in 1985 (Northwood LP NWLP1002 [1985] Reissued on cd on Downer Records [2000]).
Both Bop A Doo A Doo Bop (“one of my silly songs” as Davenport once said) and Let’s Loose Those Blues were written by Davenport.
As you can guess they were heavily influenced by the Jodimars and Bill Haley and it’s too bad they didn’t record more songs.
They disbanded around the first half of 1985. Gardner (a Bill Haley expert who wrote articles, liner notes and gathered the essential Bill Haley database) teamed again with Davenport in 1988 when the Stargazers re formed.

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