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Shaun Young

Shaun Young
© Shaun Young
To complete our High Noon article, here’s an overview of Shaun Young’s rich solo career (discography to come soon).

Shaun Young’s first solo releases

Shaun Young’s first solo outing is a single for Goofin’ records, released in 1993. This fine little platter features two excellent Texas Rockabilly songs with that Buddy Holly feel.
The following year a superb 10” hits the shelves. It contains six tracks ranging from hillbilly boogie (Baby Doll Boogie) to country weeper (She Made Me Promise) with, of course, Rockabilly in between. Hence he takes the relatively soft Ain’t I the Lucky One (originally by Marty Robbins) and turns it into a wild Johnny Powers-tinged number. The musicians include Chris Miller on steel, Kevin Smith on bass, long-time friend Todd Wulfmeyer (the Shifters) on guitar and bass, Adam Berlin (8 1/2 Souvenirs) on drums, and Brian Holtfeld (Derailers) on lead guitar, in what could possibly be his first trace on records.

Three years later, in 1997, Young finally releases his first full-length featuring 12 self-penned songs and two covers (High Voltage and I’m Slippin’ In).
He recorded it in two sessions with two different bands. One took place at Hitsville IV in Helsinki, Finland (like Stranger Things), with the Barnshakers, during which they cut Red Hot Daddy, High Voltage and Ricketty Shack. On these three tracks, the sound is more Rock’n’roll than Rockabilly, with a saxophone and a piano on Johnny Jano’s High Voltage.
Young recorded the remaining songs in his 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 (Foolish Pride, Right Here, Right Now and Forever). Yet others show some subtle differences. For example, She Still Loves Me evokes Gene Vincent’s Catman, and 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, is How Can I Turn Her Away. Young also makes good use of Miller’s steel guitar to achieve spooky effects on Phantom of Rock’nRoll. But Beg Steal and Borrow, featuring Dave Bedrich on trumpet (from the Big Town Swingtet), who gives the song a full Texas swing sound, steals the show.

Shaun Young the drummer and the songwriter

At the turn of the nineties, we discover that Young is also a terrific drummer. “I started drumming when I found some vintage drums at a local flea market. I got a great deal on them, so I thought I’d better learn to play them. I always dug the drums and drummers like Gene Krupa and Dickie Harrel. So I would get a lesson from Bobby Trimble every time Big Sandy was in Austin, and I picked up a gig playing with Marti Brom. It was trial by fire, either learn to play decent or look like a fool. That was in 93 or 94.
In 1995, he launches Jet-Tone records and releases a single by Marti Brom (Don’t Stop), on which he plays with Kevin Smith, Todd Wulfmeyer and Chris Miller under the name of the Jet-Tone Boys. “We met Marti at the local flea market. Her husband Bob just walked over cause he saw a greaser-looking guy. I told him I had a band, and Marti should come and sit in with us so people would find out about her.” The same musicians appear on Mean! (Squarebird records) and Lassoed Live (Goofin’). I shall not go more into details about these recordings as I plan to write an article about Marti Brom’s discography in a near future.
The second release of Jet-Tone records is The Ridgetop Westernaires. The Ridgetop Westernaires consist of Hillbilly maestro Wayne Hancock backed by the Jet-Tone Boys. All the ingredients of Hancock’s music are here, and the musicians are top-notch, as you can guess. One can even hear a drum solo which is not usual in Hancock’s music. Hancock will later re-record both songs on later albums. Lookin’ for better days will appear on Wild Free and Reckless, and Johnson City on That’s What Daddy Wants still with Miller on steel.
Still with Kevin Smith on double bass and Stanley Smith (Asylum Street Spankers, Jazz Pharaohs), Shaun Young backs pianist Carl Sonny Leyland on Farrish Street Jive (Goofin). It’s one of Leyland’s best releases, featuring early blues and jazz, boogie-woogie, and superb renditions of Jimmie Rodgers. Leyland’s fingers fly on the keyboard while the powerful slap bass of Kevin Smith and the period-perfect drumming (those temple blocks!) of Young provide a solid backbone to the ensemble.

Our vision really came together in Austin thanks to Shaun Young.
He’s the one who convinced us to move here.
He also told us we should concentrate on the harmony thing.
He’s been probably the biggest influence on us and our direction.
I can’t say enough good things about him.
Billy Horton


At the same time, he also plays with the Horton Brothers, but like Marti Brom, they’ll soon have a story of their own very soon, so I won’t develop too much. But his collaboration with the brothers far exceeds the drumming role (“Our vision really came together in Austin thanks to Shaun Young. He’s the one who convinced us to move here. He also told us we should concentrate on the harmony thing. He’s been probably the biggest influence on us and our direction. I can’t say enough good things about him.” Billy Horton)
Like many, Billy and Bobby Horton acknowledge Young’s songwriting talent and cover The Beaumont Boogie. They are not the first ones to do so. As early as 1994, prior to High Noon’s version, the Ranch Girls record I’m Done, I’m Through. Likewise, Kiss and Tell Baby appears on Kim Lenz’s debut album in 1998, four years before What Are You Waitin’ For.
The same year, Shaun Young also writes Gone-A-Rockin’ for the Barnshakers (released on the B-side of Hocus Pocus, Goofin Records 583). This song, like There Goes My Gal, which appears on the Silver BulletsOut At Least, was, to my knowledge, never recorded by Young
In 2003, Cave Catt Sammy records Knockout, which will appear on Young’s Movin nearly 15 years later. The Silverados, an Australian group, covers Rickety Shack from Red Hot Daddy and the Da Silva Trio covers Stranger Things.

The Jive bombers

While still in High Noon, Shaun drums for the Big Town Swingtet. “It was a Swing combo (Two trumpets, trombone, tenor sax, guitar, stand-up bass, drums and a great female vocalist named Dana Dattalo.) We played gigs just for fun and had a good following.” Then Sean Mencher moved to Maine. “High Noon wasn’t playing locally much anymore so some of us decided to become more serious. The Jive Bombers are Dana Dattalo on vocals, Vance Hazen on bass, Bobby Horton on guitar, Murph Motycka (Nick Curran) on saxes, Derek Peterson (Kidd Pharaoh) on piano, and Shaun Young on drums and vocals. Both Young and Dattalo share the lead vocals duties and sang duet too. They play post-world war II jump, jive, and hot rockin’ rhythm’ n’ blues. Their first release is a single for Goofin’ records, featuring a cover of Sammy Price (Hole In The Wall) and a Young original. The band eventually records a full-length album at Fort Horton and releases it in 1999 on Texas Jamboree. The band’s originals, mostly written by Young, find their place next to the covers of Julia Lee, Ruth Brown, Buddy Johnson, and Ann Cole. One can hear in their sound the influence of artists like Faye Adams.

[During the Swing revival] there wasn’t too many good bands. I dig swing and when I say swing I mean Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, and Count Basie. I never heard any new bands that sounded like them.
Shaun Young

The Jive Bombers (Shaun Young, Dana Dattalo, Bobby Horton, Derek Peterson, Vance Hazen, Murph Motycka)
The Jive Bombers (Shaun Young, Dana Dattalo, Bobby Horton, Derek Peterson, Vance Hazen, Murph Motycka)


Influenced by Gene Krupa, Chick Webb, Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, but also J.I. Allison, and Bobby Trimble (“the best on the modern scene”), Shaun Young works hard to get the right drum sound. “I have or have had three vintage kits I’ve recorded with. 1940 Ludwigs, 1949 Leedys and 1938 Slingerland Radio Kings. It is very important to me to have a good sound when I drum. I studied old records magazine articles and such to try to find out how the old guys tuned their drums. Then I tried to play within that style.

The album is released during the Swing craze, and although the Jive Bombers aren’t a proper Swing band, they are quickly assimilated into the scene. “We played all the time and made good money while having a lot of fun.” Sadly, the band stopped when Dattalo got a good job offer in Hawaii and left the band. “I didn’t think it was worth it to replace her so we split up.” It’s a pity, for the Jive Bombers are, with the early incarnation of the Mighty Blue Kings, one of the very best Jump blues bands at the time.

Back to Rockabilly

Busy with all these different projects, Shaun Young only returns to the studio under his own name in 2005. Wiggle Walk is recorded at the now legendary Fort Horton studios in Austin with the Horton Brothers (Billy on bass, Bobby on guitar and lap steel), Dave Biller (guitar) and Buck Johnson (drums). Together or separately, they played on some of the best records ever made in the genre, and this one makes no exceptions to the rule. It’s a killer!

Shaun Young, with Dave Biller, Billy Horton, Bobby Horton and Buck Johnson.
Shaun Young, with Dave Biller, Billy Horton, Bobby Horton and Buck Johnson.

Here’s what Young says about that album “That was a fun record to make! It was great to finally record an album with the Horton brothers, Dave Leroy Biller Buck Johnson and T Jarrod Bonta, the band I’ve been playing gigs with in Texas for ten years. We’ve been gigging with that line-up ever since Billy and Bobby moved to Austin, but other commitments have kept us from doing a record until now.
I had a bunch of songs written that Bobby and I had been getting together and arranging. Bobby is my right-hand man when it comes to fleshing out my song ideas, and Billy is a great producer and engineer in the studio. How can you go wrong with a line-up like that? I can’t say enough good things about all those guys, and I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s real when I’m singing in front of that group of top-notch musicians!

I love High Noon (an understatement, believe me), but the best thing I can say about this record is that it’s not a High Noon album with other musicians and drums. Of course, 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 one can also hear more pronounced Elvis influences. The brilliant I’ve Found What I’ve Looking For could come from an Elvis RCA album (The Lowells playing the part of the Jordanaires). In contrast, Mean Mean Mean is more reminiscent of the Sun days (with a feeling 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 the late Nick Curran on drums and guitar, you’ve got one of the album’s many highlights. After this, scorchy blues follows the great Don’t ask me why with backup vocal provided by the Horton Brothers. And then another change of style with The List, a great rockin’ and boppin’ song. The album ends with Rocket in My Pocket, where the talent of guest piano player T Bonta shines throughout.

The Thunderchiefs

In 2006, Young starts a new project: The Thunderchiefs. It is surprising to find him playing lead guitar in a surf band. That same year, he explained the origins of the band:
It’s a funny story. I used to play lead electric guitar when I was a teenager back in Colorado. I was an ok guitar player, but when I met Sean Mencher, I thought, heck, I don’t need to mess with this anymore, he’s got it down! So it’s been 15 or 16 years since I’ve tried to play any electric lead guitar. About six months ago, I bought a Fender Stratocaster and started relearning some old instrumental guitar tunes I used to play as a kid. Typical stuff like Walk Don’t Run and Pipeline. Well, I told my buddy Joe Emery that I thought it would be fun to start a Surf band and play some of these tunes just for fun. Joe is a great Surf guitar player who had a band called Death Valley here in Austin back in the early 90s. High Noon used to play shows with them quite a bit back then. He is now the singer and guitarist for a KILLER garage rock band, the Ugly Beats. Anyone who digs 60s garage rock needs to check out the Ugly Beats! Well, Joe says that sounds like fun. I want to play bass!
I thought that would be great since Joe has never played bass in a band before, and I’m not the world’s greatest guitar picker, so this will work well. I figured If I just found a group of guys that wanted to mess around and learn as we went, I wouldn’t make any good players bored with my screw-ups. That whole plan went out the window when Bobby Trimble heard about it. Bobby is one of my closest friends, and we always wanted to play in a band together. We’re both big Surf music fans. Bobby just moved to Austin from California this past year, and it’s great to have him living in Texas! When Bobby got wind of our little plan, he told me, “DUDE, I’m playing drums!!! I thought, well, heck, if Bobby is going to play the drums, I’d better get good fast, or I’m going to start to stick out! So we got together over at Joe’s house for our first rehearsal and had a ball. We new we need to find a second guitar player to fill things out.
That’s when Mike Guerrero called Joe. Mike is well known to Surf music fans as the incredible lead guitar player of the Austin Surf trio, The Sir Finks. Their Songs in the Key of Boss album is one of the best modern surf records ever! Mike hadn’t been playing much since The Sir Finks, spending time raising his family and such. Mike told Joe he wanted to play guitar with us. When Joe told me that, I about fell on the floor! That’s like starting your first rockabilly band and having Cliff Gallup call and say he wants in the band. So suddenly, we had a very good Surf band put together.

The Thunderchiefs release two singles and two albums. The first one is recorded at Shaun’s Jet-Tone Studios, and the second is produced and recorded by Billy Horton at Fort Horton. Emery, Young and Guerero all write originals and play very few covers. But on Dig, one can find a surf rendition of Sean Mencher’s Comanche Moon. Though mainly instrumentals, the albums also features some vocals numbers, ranging from Buddy Holly/Bobby Fuller, the Beach Boys or more garage-sounding stuff. On the band’s second single, Jason Gentry replaces Guerrero on bass.

The Texas Blue Dots and the Three Ringers

In 2013, Young revives Jet-Tone Records, which had laid dormant since the mid-90s, to release music by his new band: The Texas Blue Dots. The combo consists of Paolo Bortolomiol (bass), Alberto Telo (drums) and Massimo Gerosa (piano). A four-song EP on Sleazy Records quickly follows it. Both releases contain a solid mix of Rockabilly, piano-led Rock’n’Roll with a touch of Texas Blues. Ray Sharpe’s Monkey’s Uncle is also the occasion to pay homage to Ronnie Dawson.
In 2015, Young teams up with Italian singer Rockin’ Bonnie to release a single with two duets. The backing band consists of members of Rockin’ Bonnie’s band and the Texas Blue Dots. Broken Hearted Boogie brings back Young to Hillbilly Boogie, akin to Tennessee Ernie Ford’s duets, whereas We’ll Make It Somehow is a more country-rock with a twangy guitar.
2017 sees Young returning to straight Rockabilly with the release of the debut single from Shaun Young and the Three Ringers on Ruby Records. The Three Ringers are Bobby Trimble (of Fly-Rite Trio/Boys fame) on drums, Tjarko (Ronnie Dawson, the Tinstars, Planet Rockers) on guitar and Todd Wulfmeyer (8 1/2 Souvenirs, Marti Brom) on double bass. The three of them also play in the Modern Don Juan. It’s a perfect double-sider.
The Texas Blue Dots returned in 2018 with a single on Rockin’ Records. Side A, Going Wild, lives to its name and finds Young in a Little Richard mood, playing a mean guitar while the piano is hammering behind him. The flip is a cover of the Sandals’ 6-Pak. That same year, the Texas Blue Dots releases a single on Swelltune Records (Look At Me/Drop Anchor). Look At Me is an excellent Boogie Blues reminiscing of John Lee Hooker. On the flip, there’s a superb Rockin’ Blues cover of Harmonica Slim’s Drop Anchor.
Fans of the singer are finally rewarded with the release of Movin’, a full-length album featuring both the Three-Ringers and the Texas Blue Dots.
The Texas Blue Dots are the perfect vehicle for the blues-inspired stuff (Someday or Got It Made with a nod to Gene Vincent’s Baby Blue in the intro), but you’ll also find a bit of jivin’ jazz (Baby Stop Your Jivin’ Me) and plain Rock’n’roll (When You Do That.) The latter featuring a cracking guitar solo.
The songs on which the Three Ringers play, cover the whole spectrum of rockin’ music. Movin has the same tension and menace as the best of Johnny Kidd. Things Will Never Be the Same is pure Rockabilly, straight from the fifties. 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 weren’t already given to Hank Williams, I would call him the Hillbilly Shakespeare. Since the High Noon days, Young has consistently demonstrated his talent as a fine lyricist, and this album is no exception. Another fine example is the rockin’ My Heartaches Been Confirmed.
Knockout closes the album like every good rockin’ album should: letting you beg for more.
Both bands are excellent, but I’d like to mention Mr Wulfmeyer’s harmonies that are a big part of the mix (I can’t tell you how many times I listened to More than any…), and Young’s production is nothing but perfect.
Finally, in 2021, Swelltune Records releases Music For Fishin, the debut album of the Anglers, a mysterious Surf combo. Mysterious, because you can’t find the name of the musicians anywhere. But a quick look at the writing credit gives you the beginning of an answer: all songs, but Blue Skies, are written by Shaun Young. In fact, the Anglers could very possibly be Young playing all the instruments, the same way Deke Dickerson hid behind the Real Bad News. Anyway, their brand of Surf/Fish music is sure to hook you (sorry I couldn’t resist). This is, as far as I know, Young’s latest release.

Shaun Young is still active musically. you can often hear him play live stuff on his Facebook page (and you can donate too), and he just recently launched a Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/shaunyoungmusic)

© Fred Turgis / the Rockabilly Chronicle
Interviews with Shaun Young conducted by Fred “Virgil” Turgis in 2001 and 2006.

Tammi Savoy

Tammi Savoy & The Chris Casello Combo – That Rock ‘n’ Roll Rhythm!

tammi savoy

El Toro Records – BE 146 [2021]
Fine and Dandy – If It’s News To You – I Want a Man (It’s Gotta Be That Way) – Ain’t Givin’ Up Nothin – In My Blue World – When Your Lover Don’t Love You / G’wan’ Bout Your Business – I Want Your Good Lovin’ – Hot Lava – Big Baby – As Long As I’m Movin’ – Uh Huh (Goodbye)

This is the vinyl reissue of the album previously released on Swelltune records last year.
If you dig Rythm’n’Blues with a rockin’ edge and if singers like Ruth Brown and Lavern Baker float your boat, no doubt that you’ll jump on this delicious slab of wax.
Tammi Savoy has the ideal voice for that genre. Her range and flexibility allow her to be both powerful and tender. She can croon in your ear one minute and tear the roof down the other.
Chris Casello on guitar is the perfect complement and always find the appropriate tone to back the singer. The band consists of Russ Deluca on drums, percussion and piano, Jesse Woelfel on acoustic bass (except for G’wan’ Bout Your Business which features Teddy Fury on drums, Kirsten Ballweg on bass and Sean Mencher on acoustic guitar).
The repertoire explores all the aspects of the blues idiom, whether it’s jumpin’, rockin’, bouncin’, or swingin’. Casello tickles the steel guitar on a couple of songs, which gives an exotic touch (In My Blue World) or even a western-swing feel (Fine and Dandy.)
Eight out of the twelve songs are originals. The remaining four comes from Little Esther, Priscilla Bowman, Teddy McRae and Ruth Brown.
One could argue that some of the originals are not that original. Still, to be fair, the quality of the singing (did I already tell you that Tammi Savoy had a pretty good voice?), Casello’s scorching guitar, the band and the period-perfect production are more than enough to make this album something highly enjoyable.

Available here.


Tammi Savoy & the Chris Casello Combo – Big Baby

Tammi Savoy and the Chris Casello Combo

Swelltune 45-005 [2018]

Big Baby – Ain’t Givin’ Up Nothin’

If you dig Rythm’n’Blues with a rockin’ edge, if singers like Ruth Brown and Lavern Baker float your boat, no doubt that you’ll jump on this new Swelltune release.

Tammi Savoy has the ideal voice for that genre and with the Chris Casello combo (Chris Casello on guitars, Jesse Woelfel on bass fiddle and Russ DeLuca on drums, maracas & piano) she found the perfect band to back her.
A side is a self penned number. If the song is not that original in its structure, the quality of the singing, the rhythm section and Casello’s scorching guitar solo are more than enough to make it highly enjoyable.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Tammi Savoy on the web and on facebook.

Tammi Savoy & Chris Casello Combo on facebook.

Chris Casello’s website can be found here.

Swelltune records’ website.

The Rock-A-Sonics

The Rock-A-Sonics – Ain’t No Solid Sender

Swelltune Records SRCD-006 [2021]
Jump, Wiggle & Shake – Ain’t No Solid Sender – Give Myself a Party – Boppin’ Guitar – You Don’t Owe Me a Thing – Midnight Blues – Knee Deep in the Blues

The Rock-A-Sonics are Willie Barry (vocals, acoustic guitar), Eric Hurtt (electric guitar), Louie Newmyer (upright bass), Tommy Bowes (drums) and Kim Reynolds (piano). This mighty fine combo plays a mix of soft Rockabilly with a solid melodic side and uptempo country.
Shaun Young perfectly recorded the band with a period-perfect sound at his Jet-Tone Studio.
I already wrote all the good things I thought about Barry’s voice when I reviewed his solo album (here), but this cat amazes me with his smooth voice that evokes the likes of Ricky Nelson and Faron Young.
The first two songs are originals penned by Barry. They are, with Ray Melton’s Boppin’ Guitar, the most Rockabilly sides of this mini-album. Jump, Wiggle & Shake features a nice piano part with a boogie-woogie break. More Rockabilly bands should play with a piano; it strengthens the rhythm sections and adds a different voice for the solos. Ain’t No Solid Sender shows Hurtt in full action with a delicate guitar part. Don Gibson’s Give Myself A Party seems to have been written for the band, and with Barry’s voice in mind, the band providing a subtle backing. They are very at ease with this kind of material, as prove their renditions of Marty Robbins’ You Don’t Owe Me A Thing and Knee Deep In The Blues.
It’s always exciting to discover a brand new band of that quality. Suddenly, it took me thirty years in the past when I first heard High Noon, Big Sandy and bands of that calibre.

https://swelltune-records.myshopify.com

High Noon the Rockabilly trio

High Noon – Change

high noonSwelltune Records – SR45-007 [2020]
Change – You Done Did It

In early 2020, Shaun Young, Sean Mencher, and Kevin Smith, internationally known as High Noon, the finest purveyor of today’s Rockabilly, got back together to make their first new recordings since 2002.
You wouldn’t believe that 18 years have passed since What Are You Waiting For. The trio sounds as fresh as the first time as I heard them when they released Glory Bound on Willie Lewis‘ Rock-A-Billy Records.
When these three guys are in the same room, you can expect the best in rural bop and drummerless Rockabilly.
Each is in fine form. Mencher is particularly inspired on You Done Did It. One could complain that on Change, Youngs tends to quaver more than usual (and necessary), but that’s a minor flaw.
Both songs are originals, Young penned the side one, and the whole trio is credited for the flip.


High Noon - Flatland Saturday Night
High Noon – Flatland Saturday Night

High Noon – Flatland Saturday Night

Bear Family
Glorybound – Stranger Things – She Forgot Her Memory – When She’s Good – Let’s Go Daddy-O – Long Empty Stretch Of Highway – My Ex Is Why – Beautiful – Rock Too Slow – Rockin’ Wildcat – Rockin’ Beauty – Old Habits – Flatland Saturday Night – Bluebonnet Boogie – Not For Nothin’ – Rattlesnake Man – Mixed Signal Mama – Fishing Hole Boogie – I’m Not Blue – Gotta Lotta That – Doggone That Cat – Now You’re Gonna Be Loved – Comanche Moon – Kiss And Tell Baby – Slow Down Baby – It’s The Beat – High On A Hill – Hanging From The Old Oak Tree – My Little Thrill – Call Of The Honky-Tonk – Quick Hand (demo) – My Heart Cries Yes (demo)

If you’re familiar with the Rockabilly genre, High Noon needs no introduction. But just in case… They were with Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Trio and the Dave and deke Combo, one of the bands that led the revival of American Rockabilly and among the first in the USA to play this music as if it came straigth from the fifties.

For any true Rockabilly lovers, High Noon almost sounded too good to be true: Shaun Young’s voice conjured the memories of the great Texas Rockabilly singers (among them a certain guy from Lubbock). Sean Mencher’s bag of riffs seemed bottomless. Unlike too many Rockabilly guitar player who were happy to copy Hank Garland or Scotty Moore, Mencher developped his style by listening to the generation that came before like Merle Travis but also Oscar Moore or Charlie Christian. And there was Kevin Smith who showed everybody what “slapping a doghouse bass” really meant (and he was more than able to sing harmonies too.)

Like an aknowledgement to their contribution to this music, High Noon now receives the Bear Family treatment, a well deserved treatment to the legends they are.

Except for the two demos (Quick Hand and My Heart Cries Yes) all songs (32 !) here are lifted from their Goofin’ records. So don’t expect to find songs recorded for Willie Lewis’Rock-A-Billy records or songs from their mini-album Texas style that saw High Noon playing with steel, fiddle, banjo and accordion (maybe for volume 2, who knows?)

Anyway if you don’t own anything from this great band, this is the best introduction you’ll find with a thick 40-page booklet (though the interview with shaun Young looks exactly like the interview I did with him a couple of years ago).
Read more at: https://www.bear-family.com/high-noon-flatland-saturday-night.html


High Noon ‎– What Are You Waiting For?

high noonGoofin’ Records ‎– GRCD 6116 [2002]
Let’s Go Daddy-o – Hanging (From The Old Oak Tree) – Old Habits – Prelude To The Blues – Bayou Beauty – Not For Nothin’ – Railroad Crossing – Beautiful – Yard Dog – I’ve Never Felt As Lucky – Kiss And Tell Baby – Comanche Moon – Gotta Love That – Misunderstood – It’s The Beat

Between Stranger Things in 1995 and this album, the three members of High Noon kept themselves busy. Shaun Young recorded a solo album, formed the Jive Bombers, and played with the Horton Brothers. Sean Mencher toured with Wayne Hancock and also produced bands. In the meantime, Kevin Smith lent his talents to many artists, including the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
Set to appear at the Green Bay 50’s Festival in 2002, High Noon decided to record a new album to present new material on stage.
Recorded and produced by Billy Horton, “What Are You Waiting For?” contains 15 original songs. All their various experiences nurtured the sound of the trio and expanded what they started with Stranger Things.
From the boppin’ Let’s Go Daddy-O to the Cajun tinged Bayou Beauty, with the excellent Travis/Atkins instrumental Comanche Moon and the beautiful ballad Not For Nothing, the band goes from style to another with class and refinement.
But in case you’d forget that High Noon is “the Texas Rockabilly Trio”, listen to songs like Hanging (from the old oak tree) with its powerful slap bass, Misunderstood, It’s the Beat, the Holly-esque Beautiful and Railroad Crossin with its guitar solo evoking Grady Martin.
Young’s tremolo makes wonder on slow songs like I’ve Never Felt As Lucky. Kevin Smith proves one more time that he’s the undisputed master of the slap bass. He provides the backbone of the sound with, here and there, some short and brilliant solos. On guitar, Sean Mencher enlightens the whole album with his amazing licks, quoting Paul Burlison, Grady Martin, Chet Atkins, and Merle Travis.
What are you waiting for? Buy it!


High Noon - Texas Style
High Noon – Texas Style

High Noon – Texas Style

 Exile Records ‎– EX10EP09 [1994]
Crazy Mixed Up World – He Won I Lost,  She’s Found – Across the River – My Heart Cries Yes (but my mind whispers no) – Movie Magg – Red Barn Boogie

The Texas Rockabilly trio released this 10″ mini album in 1994. First, look at that cover! It’s perfect! Congratulations to Carlos Fernandez who captured the band in action. Then the music… For this one, High Noon took a slight departure from their usual brand of stripped down rockabilly and brought some guests to the party.
The opener is a cover of the Willie Dixon song made popular by Little Walter. The trio with the help of Alvin Crow on fiddle and John Ely on steel turns it into a superb hillbilly bop with Shaun Young yelling the name of the musicians in the great Bob Wills tradition. As usual Shaun’s vocals are superb, Sean Mencher’s guitar inventive and Kevin Smith provides the perfect backbone with his slap.
Next is He Won, I Lost, She’s Found, penned by Mencher. This Honky Tonk with steel, fiddle and harmony vocals (provided by Brent wilson of the Wagoneers) is sure to make you cry in you beer. The side A closes with Across the River, another Mencher original. It’s another fine ballad enlightened by Mike Maddux on accordion.
Side B opens with My Heart Cries Yes. Can these boys play bluegrass. You bet they can! With the help of Danny Barnes (Bad Livers) on banjo. Perkins’ Movie Magg is here to remind you that High Noon is one of the very best (if not the best) Rockabilly band of the late 80’s/early 90’s. Finally the steel and the fiddle return for Hank Harral’s Red Barn Boogie to conclude this mini album in beauty.

Three Blue Teardrops

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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

Sean Mencher

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Sean Mencher

Sean Mencher – Sean mencher Plays Guitar

Swelltune Records – SRCD-002
Mystery Train – Saturday Night Shuffle – Sing Me Back Home – Someone To Watch Over Me – The Mensch – Mister Sandman – Comanche Moon – Your New Flame (Is Burning Me) – Stagecoach Comin’ – How High the Moon – Betina – Buckaroo – Hey Good Lookin’ – Sir Swish – Walkin’ the Strings – America the Beautiful

Sean Mencher is well known for being the lead guitarist of High Noon, the Rockabilly trio. With his style, a mix of Merle Travis and Scotty Moore with some jazz thrown in for good measure, and with his sure taste he gained a well deserved reputation on the scene. He also played with Wayne Hancock and Dig Wayne (Buzz and the Flyers) and with his deep knowledge of Rockabilly and other related genres, he also produced bands like Croonin’ Kurt, the Gin Palace Jesters, the Starline Rhythm Boys and the Twilite Ranchers. And of course he recorded a couple of records under his own name (see below).
His new album, recorded for Swelltune records, is an instrumental one, featuring just Sean and his guitar. No effects, no tricks, no heavy production… just one man, his guitar, a microphone, his fingers and most of all, his soul.
I don’t play guitar so don’t expect me to tell you things like “Oh that E9b5 chord is amazing”. I can’t and if I could I wouldn’t. It would miss the point. Of course I bet that guitar players will freak out when they hear Sean’s skills, but the beauty of the thing is that regular guys like me will also enjoy it because this music speaks directly to your heart.
The songs come from guitar greats like Merle Travis (of course), Chet Atkins, Les Paul as well as Junior Parker, Hank Williams, Buck Owens and some jazz standard like Someone to Watch Over Me. I particularly enjoyed this one on which his guitar softly sings, almost like a lullaby.
Also included are four Mencher’s original like Comanche Moon (previously released on a solo single and also with High Noon), Your new Flame, Betina and Sir Wish.
A truly great and sensitive album.


Sean Mencher
Sean Mencher

Sean Mencher – self titled

Goofin Records GRCD6136
Rock Rock Jump And Jive – Settin’ The Woods On Fire – Right Or Wrong – Crying The Blues Over You – Bayou Beauty – All The Time – Tummat Silmät (Dark Eyes) – Don’t Big Shot Me – Hot Rod Man – Vamos A La Playa – Down The Line – Little Baby Doll – Honky Tonk Gal – Hit Git And Split
After two singles – one on Deke Dickerson’s Eccofonic and one on Goofin, it’s good to finally see a long player from High Noon’s ace guitar player : Sean Mencher. It’s a solid rockin’ album mainly made of classic covers which is a bit odd when you know Sean’s ability to write songs. This album sounds like Mencher wanted to play every genre he likes and sometimes mixing them together. You’ve got plenty of rockabilly of course (Rock’n’Roll Jump And Jive, Hot Rod Man, Go Cat Go’s Little Baby Doll) with Zach Ovingtons’ fiddle giving an original and nice country flavour. Some other songs are plain country like Hank Williams’ Settin The Wood On Fire or jazz / western swing Right Or Wrong, one of the highlight of this album, with a great swingin’ fiddle and as usual Sean guitar play is superb. You’ll also find a beautiful blues, Bill Neely’s “Crying The Blues Over You”, with just Sean’s fingerpicking and a harmonica. Mencher’s self penned “Bayou Beauty”, previously played by Ronnie Dawson and High Noon, is done this time with a full Cajun instrumentation with accordion, triangle and Matthew Doucet a native of South Louisiana on fiddle. A trumpet player is present on Link Davis’ Dong Big Shot Me, a not so different from the original version that suits Mencher’s vocal very well and also on the Mexican flavoured “Vamos A La Playa” provided by ex-Asylum Street Spankers Josh Arnson. The musicians show their skills on their interpretation of the classic instrumental Dark Eyes which sounds like a mix between jazz and rockabilly. This very good and versatile album shows all of Sean Mencher’s influences and is a pleasure from start to finish.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Sean MencherSean Mencher

Ecco-Fonic EF1007 [1996]
Jumpin’ Track – Your New Flame (Is Burnin’ Me)

Once again Mencher nails it with two brilliant instrumentals recorded in Maine.
Side one features a band (Cartwright Thompson on rhythm guitar, Lesie Freda on string bass and Mark Cousins on drums) and is a rocka-boogie that comes complete with train sounds while the flip side sees Sean going solo for a Travis thumb-picking rendition of High Noon’s Your New Flame.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


sean mencherSean Mencher and his Rockin’ Guitar

Goofin Records GOOFY554 [1995]
When You Smile/Comanche Moon

Side one is a superb rock’n’roll song, highly melodic. Side Two allows Mencher to show all his skills on guitar with a amazing instrumental with Travis and Atkins influences.
Must have single.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Read our interview with Sean Mencher here.