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Slim Sandy / Slim Sandy and his Hillbilly Boppers

in Reviews

Slim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – Done Gone!

Crow-Matic Records 2018
Done Gone!  – Chicken Shack Stomp – Romp and StompI’ve Got the Boogie Blue

Though tempting, it’s not always evident, nor fair, to compare one band to another to describe its music. You can give a vague idea, but you can also fail to describe the band’s personality. And you can’t deny that Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers have tons of personality. Album after album they created their style and no contemporary band sounds like them.
If you ever asked yourself (be careful, it’s here that I slip the comparison) “What if the Delmore Brothers had recorded a session with the Cannon’s Jug Stompers?” I guess that the result would be quite close to Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers’ latest ep.
The title track is pure hillbilly yet rocking at the same time. Chicken Shack Stomp is in the same vein and features Mike Sadava on steel guitar. Both are sung by Slim Sandy.
The B-sides opens with Romp and Stomp. Willa Mae and Slim Sandy sing harmony vocals on that one. I wrote it in previous reviews but let me say it again: Willa Mae is a real plus to the band with her mastery of washtub bass and her contribution to the vocals. This is confirmed by Charlene Arthur’s I’ve Got the Boogie Blues on which she sings lead.
All in all, Done Gone is an excellent ep that encompasses the sound of the band perfectly. The vinyl adds to the beauty of the thing, especially with a cover drawn by Slim Sandy/Peter Sandmark.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers - Boogie Woogie FeverSlim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – Boogie Woogie Fever

 

Crow-Matic Records 2018
Done Gone  – I’ve Got the Boogie Blue – Boogie Woogie Fever – Romp and Stomp – Chicken Shack Stomp – Buster’s Dream – Everybody Loves My Baby – It’s All Your Fault – Hillbilly Ball  – Crazy Bout You – No Good Daddy   – Saturday Night Fish Fry   

I was still catchin’ my breath and restin’ my feet after listening repeatedly to “Getting That Low Down Swing” that “Boogie Woogie Fever” arrived in my letter box. Slim! Dont you have no pity? Anyway, my feet will rest later. This new album contains twelve songs including four by Peter Sandmark/Slim Sandy.  They mix hillbilly, western swing (hence the return of Mike Sadava on steel for three tracks), hokum, jug bands music, country blues (with plenty of harmonica), skiffle, a dash of rockabilly and some rhythm’n’blues sparkled here and there.
This cocktail has proven to work very well for the trio (and their occasional guests) and “Boogie Woogie Fever” makes no exception. As they say “if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.”
We all know Peter since his Ray Condo days and the Crazy Rhythm Daddies so for a change I’d like to talk about the other two. Willa Mae is a real plus on vocals. Not only her voice blends very well with Peter’s when they sang together (take a listen to “No Good Daddy”), but she’s also top notch when she takes lead. I especially liked her rendition of “Everybody Loves My Baby.” And despite the apparent simplicity of her instrument (the washtub bass) she can get take the best out of it. The other key element is German Ebert sparse drumming. You won’t find drum rolls or crash cymbal here. He plays just what is needed, and it’s a quality. Talking about musicians, fans of Ray Condo will be happy to find Edgar Bridwell on violin on one track.
The cd comes with a 8-page mini comics drawn by Peter Sandmark but I’ve been told that it’s selling like hot cakes, so you’d better hurry if you want one (Slim Sandy’s website).
You can also find it (and the other albums) on Spotify, iTunes and Google Play.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers - Getting that low down swingSlim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – Getting that Low Down Swing

Crow-Matic Records 2017
Hug And Spank And Kiss – Hop Skip And Jump – Gettin’ That Lowdown Swing – Whoa Boy – No More Nothing – Be Bop A Lula – I Never See My Baby Alone – We’re Gonna Bop – Crawdad – Cadillac Model – Wow Wow Baby

This fine trio returns with another killer album. It kicks off with the Berry influenced “Hug, Spank and Kiss” written by Slim Sandy and featuring Eddy Cavalero (of the the Cavaleros, a band that also features German Ebert of the Hillblly Boppers on drums) on electric lead guitar. Back to a more acoustic sound with the Collins Kids’ “Hop Skip & Jump” with Willa Mae on lead vocals and harmonies by Slim. “Getting that Lowdown Swing” tales the listener back to the early western swing era (before the genre had a name). In the same vein you’ll find “Cadillac in Model A” and “No More Nothin'” both with Mike Sadava steel. He also plays on “I Never See My Baby Alone”. I always liked that one and the Hillbilly Boppers do great justice to that song.
There’s also a good dose of Hillbilly Bop with “Woah Boy” and “We’re Gonna Bop”.
Another good one is their cover of “Be-Bop-A-Lula.” It sounds like the Everly Brothers version but played by a skiffle band. More skiffle-billy follows with “Crawdad” that changes of pace in the middle and evolves into “Rollin’ My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”
Like the previous one it’s joyful and exuberant and it’s highly contagious.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers - Jump Back!
Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers – Jump Back!

Slim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers – Jump Back!

Crow-Matic Records 2014
Jump Back, Love Me, Darlin’ Cory, I’m A Hog For You Baby, Jump Rope Boogie, n The Road Again, Pistol Boogie, Can’t Find The Doorknob, Cow Cow Boogie, Rock ‘n’ Roll Ruby, Rollin And Tumblin

Slim Sandy (Peter Sandmark) is a well known figure on the rocking scene. He drummed for Ray Condo, sang and played guitar in the Crazy Rhythm Daddies and released several albums as a one-man band. He now has a new band, the Hillbilly Boppers, with Willa Mae on washtub bass and harmony vocal and German Ebert on drums, Slim Sandy taking the lead vocals and playing harmonica and swingin’ guitar.

If you want to have a slight idea of the joyful noise made by this hot and fine trio, imagine a mix between the Delmore brothers, Jimmy and Johnny (thanks to Mae’s perfect harmony vocals ) played by a jug band (think Gus Cannon/Noah Lewis) with a swingin’ and a rockin’ edge and some skiffle elements and the fervor of some bluegrass gospels thrown in for good measure. It features eleven tracks lifted from the catalogs of Ella Fitzgerrald, Sun records, Jimmie and Johnny, Muddy Waters and everything good in between  Not only the music and the songs are solid but this record also has a communicative « joie de vivre » that is sure to make you move your feet.  Strongly recommended.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Slim Sandy - rough and ready
Slim Sandy – rough and ready

Slim Sandy – Rough & Ready

Sleazy Records SRCD09
Bow Legged Daddio-Cats Was A Jumpin’-Couldn’t Sleep Last Night-Flathead Ford-Slow Down Baby-No Gasoline-Mr. Guitar-Gettin’ By Jus’ The Same -Three Alley Cats-Party In Room 109
Here is a new short ten tracks Cd from the one-man band Slim Sandy for the spanish Sleazy Records. Slim is part of a today one-man trend with people like Bloodshot Bill, Scott H. Biram, Sheriff Perkins, The Legendary Tiger Man, Mark Sultan, Muskrat, Mr. Bonz, Urban Junior, Reverend Beat Man, The Fabulous Go-Go Boy and Rizorkestra just to name a few of them. But most of these guys are on the trashy side and are influenced more by Hasil Adkins or the sixties garage sounds than Doctor Ross or Harmonica Franck.
Slim with his guitar, harmonica, and suitcase drum is on the rockabilly, blues and hillbilly side. This album “Rough & Ready” with his eight self-penned songs and two covers (John Worthan’s “Cats Was a Jumpin’” and Roy Hall’s “Three Alley Cats” even if his “Flathead Ford” is very similar to Papa Lightfoot’s “Mean Old Train”) will delight the raw and primitive sound lovers. The last track “Party in Room 109” is a song Slim wrote based on the events that happened in room 109 at the Red Hot and Blue Rockabilly Weekender 2006. Don’t have to tell you that there were a lotta booze, yellin’ and savage rock’n’roll involved.
David “Long Tall” Phisel


This is Slim Sandy
This is Slim Sandy

Slim Sandy – This is Slim Sandy

Crow-Matic Records
Don’t Need Nuthin’ – 7 Nights To Rock – Come Back Baby – Bicycle Boogie – You Can’t Fool Me – Cabin By The Creek – California Blues – Down In Kokomo – The Way You Dance – Rock It All Night
This cd offers 10 cuts (three covers and seven originals) recorded live by Slim Sandy, the one man hillbilly blues band. Harmonica, guitar, drums and vocals all played in the same time by the same man. Slim Sandy’s inspiration goes from blues (Doctor Ross’ Come Back Baby) to hillbilly (a great rendition of Jimmie Rodgers’ California Blues with yodel) with a lot of Hasil Adkins and Rock’n’roll in between. Sandy’s own are great too and well written. Sure the sound is raw, but you don’t expect a one man band sounding like a Phil Spector production, do you? Believe me, you can’t go wrong with this guy !
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

 

Kabooms (the)

in Interviews/Stories

An interview with the Kabooms

by Olivier Mey
The best promotion and advertising that any band can have is the exposure given by their live shows. For this reason, there are some bands that even having barely released just an album, it may look like they have been touring for years on festivals. The Kabooms (Matt Olivera – voice and rhythm guitar, El Lega – lead guitar, Xavi Ruiz – upright bass and Berto Martínez – drums) is a band that could fit in this category.

Today we speak to Matt Olivera (singer, rhythm guitar) about the release of his second album “Right Track, wrong way”.


Kabooms
Like any second record, it is the first one in a band’s career to cause some expectations. Are these being fulfilled so far?

Matt Olivera / the Kabooms – This second album is a change in our sound as a band which I think is what we needed. I am convinced that this new work will please both the audience that is already following us and also anyone who didn’t know the band yet.

It’s been four years since the release of your first LP (Beginn ‘on My Knees RBR5807). Did you miss recording new songs?

Matt Olivera / the Kabooms – During all this time we have been working hard in the Kathrina Records studio to release new material with other bands of which we take part of, such as “Matt and the Peabody ducks”, “Legacaster”, etc … so we’ve never stopped working.

Continuing with the first LP, all of the 14 songs were own compositions. Will there be any cover in your second album?

Matt Olivera / the Kabooms – Yes, this time we ventured into some versions that we have already been playing in our live shows and they work very well amongst our public.

The Kabooms - Right Track Wrong Way
The Kabooms – Right Track Wrong Way
You have changed label for the recording of “Right Track, Wrong way” (produced by Kathrina records). Is it for artistic reasons (members of the Kabooms have other projects in this label) or geographical reasons (both, the group and the label, are from Barcelona)?

Matt Olivera / the Kabooms – Yes, exactly. We were very happy with our previous label, but the work we’ve done in Kathrina is a team collaboration, very close geographically and personally. It made sense to put together all the projects in one place. Besides, Kathrina works now in partnership with Sleazy Records on the edition and the distribution, meaning that the potential of both of them together adds so much value that we had no doubt of being in better hands than theirs.

Since its conception, the Kabooms has been a quartet, although with changes of musicians. Should we expect some collaborations in this new work or is the base going to remain the same?

Matt Olivera / the Kabooms – The base is the same and hopefully the current formation is the final, and this is a personal wish because I am very happy with my current bandmates. I think they are the perfect team to form the band. For some live shows we have added a saxophone to some already known songs and versions. The musician is Spencer Evoy (MFC Chicken and the Torontos) which gives extra quality to the show and in the future we have some studio surprises, but I don’t want to spoil any event. Everything will come at the right time.

One of your great qualities and best asset is your live performance, amongst other things; your energy and your complicity with Lega (lead guitar). Does the fact of sharing several projects in common help on this?

Matt Olivera / the Kabooms – Lega and I are almost Siamese. Sometimes we joke (we always joke with everything in fact) that we see each other more than our own families. During a trip to the USA we ended up lifting weights together in the patio of our host, who had a makeshift gym and we said that it was what we needed to be cellmates. I think that the fact that we know each other so much and we have this friendly relationship, marks a pleasant working environment. We have a great time playing, traveling and composing together and I think these things are transferred to our shows and to the public as well.

Regarding the projects with Lega, we find “Walk the Line (Johnny Cash tribute)”. Is Johnny Cash a reference for you?

Matt Olivera / the Kabooms – Yes, I think that as a composer and lyricist, Johnny Cash is one of the most important figures in the 20th century. One of the factors that we took into account when we formed the Cash tribute band was to do it with the utmost respect and solemnity possible, because we are all admirers of the his music and legacy.

You’ve played in many concerts and festivals since the formation of The Kabooms. Have you noticed an evolution of the scene or the public over the years?

Matt Olivera / the Kabooms – Well, we are obviously not getting any younger. At a worldwide level, I have seen young people approaching the 50’s scene and feel wrapped and comfortable in it, listening to the music they like, knowing and participating in the scene until becoming a vital part of it. That’s great. But in Spain, this is not happening. There doesn’t seem to be a generational relay and although we have a large scene, there are no new people that can maintain it in the future. This worries me because I believe that this music and this lifestyle has a lot to offer and I am sure that many people who don’t know this exists, would enjoy our bands and festivals a lot, but if feels like young people don’t want to leave the flock.

A special concert?

Matt Olivera / the Kabooms – Several actually. During the last Rockin Race Jamboree (2019) for example, we played some songs from the new album with two electric guitars (it had been years since the last time I played an electric in a concert) and saxophone. We saw that the new sound worked very well within the public and it was amazing! One concert which I keep special memories of it is from a festival in Calafell called Riverside car show. It was in 2015 and that same week I had lost a very close loved one and had one of the worst weeks in my life… Before playing that weekend I took a deep breath and said to myself “this is going for you”. We performed a great concert (at least for me) and it became a liberating experience. Sometimes you notice an energy that flows between the band and the audience. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it’s an incomparable feeling.

One last Word?

Matt Olivera / the Kabooms – Just one?
I hope that people like our new album “Right track, Wrong way” as much as we enjoyed recording it and that they don’t miss our live shows. I can guarantee that we always put 100% in each of them, they will have a good time, and they’ll be able to get a copy of our last record home!

Marcel Riesco

in Albums/Contemporary artists/R/Reviews

Marcel Riesco – All Shades of Blue

Marcel Riesco all shades of blue

Sleazy Records – SRLP30 – [2018]

All Shades Of Blue – The Actress – Kiss From You – Paper Heart – So Lonely Without You – Fade Away – Borne On The Wind – Let’s Get Goin’ – Yes, I’ve Come Back – Lonely Blue Dreams – Runnin’ Fool – Indian Love

If you have no time to waste reading reviews, here’s what you need to know : GO BUY THIS ALBUM, NOW!

Now if you want to read more…

When Marcel Riesco (of the Truly Lover Trio) announced the immediate release of this album on his Facebook page, I asked him if it would be as good as “A record date” his previous album that blew me away. His too words answer was “Way better”. That was quite a promise but a couple of weeks later I held a physical copy of the lp (with a signed card) and I had to admit that he didn’t lie. Far from that.

This record is a collection of twelve songs including eight originals from Riesco’s pen. The remaining four songs are two Orbison tracks (the Actress and Borne on the wind), a cover of the Morgan Twins (Let’s Get Goin’) and Redd Stewart’s Yes I’ve come back.

As you can guess the set shows a strong Orbisonian influence with ballad for the broken hearted but there’s also more rockin’ stuff with an early 60’s flair as well as some country and western hints here and there.

As usual with the Lightnin recorders stuff, it’s very well recorded with a strong Nashvill Tennessee studio B feel, with a wide range of percussions, piano, vibraphone and pedal steel in addition to the guitar-bass-drums set-up. The real plus being the female voice that blends perfectly with Riesco’s one.

This is an essential album that I couldn’t recommend enough. In a period when everyone on the rockin’ scene tries to sound harder and wilder than his neighbour, it’s refreshing and more than pleasant to find guys like Marcel Riesco or Colton Turner who concentrate on the melodies, the song, the arrangements and the production.

Fred « Virgil » Turgis

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