Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

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Teddy boy

Johnny Knife & the Rippers

in Albums/Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews
Johnny Knife and the Rippers
Johnny Knife and the Rippers

Johnny Knife & the Rippers – Sinister Street

Part Records Part CD 6102 [2012]
Teddy Boy Five – Heads Or Tales – Break Up Today – Growl – My Old Man Is A Square – Be Bop Teddy Girl – Mysterious Night – Jack The Ripper – Don’t Take Your Love From Me – Riot At leister Square – Fiddler On The Roof – Texas calls You Home – Sinister Street – Gonna Type A Letter – Dankee Belle – Saturday Night At The Duckpond – At The Ace London Rocker

Johnny Knife and the Rippers are a 1/3 Norwegian-2/3 German powerful rockin’ trio formed by John Sindre Lynhaug (aka Johnny Knife) on lead vocals and electric bass, Christian Hockmouth on guitar and Sven Schürmann on drums. These three guys are solid musicians having respectively played with three famous Teddy Boys bands: Rebels Revenge, the Town Rebels and the Foggy Mountain Rockers. And it shows in the final result.It’s a very tight album that mixes influences from the late 50’s/early 60’s British rockers (with covers of Johnny Kidd, Billy Fury and Screamin Lord Sutch) with the sound of the mid 70’s Teddy Boys bands. Take your drape jacket and your creepers and bop to the sound of Johnny Knife and the Ripers.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Wild Roosters

in Contemporary artists/Reviews/UVWXYZ
Wild Roosters
Wild Roosters – Take It Off

Wild Roosters – Take It Off

Part Records – 693.001 [2011]
Sweet Revenge / Tennessee Zip / Demon Riders / Fancy Dan / Forever Ted / Ride On Rebels / The Only One / Take It Off / Sisters In Crime / Tore Up / Motorbike / Won’t Waste My Time / Raw Deal / Southern Rose

Despite a very distasteful cover (front and back) I really enjoyed Wild Roosters’ latest effort. These Swedish guys are on the scene for quite some time having played with Snakebite, Crossfire or Wild Bob Burgos. As you can easily guess with this pedigree, they play Teddy Boys rock’n’roll with a sound close to Cavan’s Our Own Way Of Rocking. They have good originals and also give a breath of fresh air to well chosen covers (including Burgos’Ride On Rebels). You’ll find the usual anthems about bikes (Motorbike, Demon Riders), girls and Teds with the soon to be a stage classic “Forever Ted”. They sure won’t change the face of Rock’n’roll, but you’re guaranteed to have a good time.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Foggy Mountain Rockers

in Albums/Contemporary artists/EF/Reviews
The Foggy Mountain Rockers - Hang Him High
The Foggy Mountain Rockers – Hang Him High

The Foggy Mountain Rockers – Hang Him High

PART CD 627.001 [1998]
The Way Of Rock’n’Roll ~ I’m On The Run ~ Rheinland Rock’n’Roll ~ Long Blonde Hair ~ Blues Train To Hell ~ Country Roads ~ You Gonna Rock ~ Lonesome Teddyboy ~ Rock’n’Roll Will Never Die ~ Der Alptraum ~ Unchained Melody ~ Hang Him High ~ Noch’n Bier ~ Ghostriders In The Sky

Hang Him High was supposed to be the band’s first release but Pin-up, the original label, decided to cease releasing records once the recording finished. It’s only years later that Part got the rights and finally issued it, hence the subtitle “early recordings”. But “early” doesn’t mean “amateurish”. By the time of this recordings they’re already accomplished musicians (listen the guitar solos). They deliver a set of mostly original songs (including two in German) completed with four covers with the solid musical cocktail made of 2 parts teddy boy rock’n’roll, one part country and a dash of skiffle played with a no-nonsense approach. Sure it sounds a bit young compared to later albums where the band was more experienced and also benefited of a real studio and they sometimes try to catch a fish too big for them (Unchained Melody) but Hang Him High is nonetheless very pleasant. You can also hear that they worked hard on the vocal arrangements (Country Roads). Good debut.


The Foggy Mountain Rockers - Angel Heart
The Foggy Mountain Rockers – Angel Heart

The Foggy Mountain Rockers – Angel Heart

PART CD 627.009 [original release 1999 – reissue 2010]
Trouble ~ Hold Me Tight ~ All I Can Do Is Cry ~ Cats´ Rhythm ~ Teenage Paradise ~ Castin´ My Spell ~ Pioneers ~ El Diablo ~ Bopcat ~ Together Forever ~ Angel Heart ~ Dancing Shoes ~ Revenge Of The Innocent ~ Over The Rainbow ~ Wild Nights ~ Party By The Riverside ~ Drinkin´ Beer

First issued in 1999, “Angel Heart” the band’s second album appears here in a brand new mastered version and it’s a winner. This now well established German sextet plays Teddy Boy / British revival inspired rockabilly (think Shotgun, Riot Rockers, Crazy Cavan, Flying Saucers, Matchbox) with a solid dose of country music and even a bit of skiffle provided by the presence of a washboard player. Most of the songs are self penned with the accent put on the melodies. There’s also a few selected covers: Wayne Walker’s All I Can Do Is Cry, Johnny Kidd’s version of Casting My Spell, Cliff Richard’s Dancing Shoes and Gene Vincent Over The Rainbow (yes this Teddyboys have a heart beating under their leather jackets). Musically, the rhythm section is solid and provides the perfect ground for the two guitar players. Their solos are sharp and most of all originals. Those of you who are not stuck in a 50’s conception of the rockabilly thing will sure find a lot to enjoy on this great reissue.


The Foggy Mountain Rockers - Rock’n’Roll Philosophy
The Foggy Mountain Rockers – Rock’n’Roll Philosophy

The Foggy Mountain Rockers – Rock’n’Roll Philosophy

 

PART CD 627.008 [2011]
It`s Not Too Late To Be Wild – Pain Hurts – Be Apart – Teddy Boy Anthem – What You Waitin’ For, The Fog – Alone, Man`s Ruin – The Wanted Man In Black – Tender Days – Something Wrong With You – Teddy Boy Movement – Wanderin‘ Star – The Beat, Illuminati (instr.) – Rock’n’Roll Religion – She Brings Back The Wolf In Me – Don’t Break My Heart Again

With the exception of Crazy Cavan who is above all (and to quote the Foggy Mountain Rockers “It’s wild, it’s weird it’s crazy Cavan and he’s the pope”) the Foggy Mountain Rockers are of one today’s best Teddy Boy gang. They write solid originals played by first rate players with original ideas.
“Rock’n’Roll Philosophy” counts among their very best album. Just listen to the way the guitars interplay on “It’s Not to Late To Rock’n’Roll”, the harmonies on “Pain Hurts” or the melody of “Be Apart” (and strictly between us how many Teddy Boy group can you call “melodic”?). They alternate Rock’n’roll anthems built for the stage with mid tempos with equal pleasure. There’s also a lot of country stuff added to their music (“the Fog”), the western tinged “Illuminati” and a nicely done tribute to Johnny Cash.
Handle at your own risk, this is rock’n’roll music!

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Wildcats – Take and Give

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/UVWXYZ

wildkats_takeHell’s Kitchen Records HKR CD 66604
Let’s Talk About Us / Pleasure Lane / Baby, Won’t You Ride With Me / Flying Bull / Take And Give / She Wants A Ride / Driving My Life Away / Raging Storm / Get Rhythm / They All Gonna Boogie Tonight / When Will I Be Loved / Handy Man
This trio with members from Germany and Netherland plays straight and sincere rock’n’roll with a good dose of British rockabilly/Teddy boy music (call it whatever you want) influences. They didn’t invent anything (and I don’t think they pretend to) but in those sad days of real TV “stars” who don’t know anything about rock’n’roll and its roots a band like the Wildcats is refreshing. The tight rhythm section made of Mikel Mueller’s rollin and groovin electric bass and Peet Shenk’s drums supports the solid lead guitar of Kees Van Bemmel who delivers fine and innovative solos (you don’t have the feeling to hear another Paul Burlison/Grady Martin wannabee). Half of the songs are originals, written by Kees, my favorite being the Diddley-esque “They All Gonna Boogie Tonight” and “Raging Storm” with its structure close to Bertha Lou. Actually on this one they are not that far to some psychobilly bands like The Meteors.
In their covers you find “Let’s Talk About Us“, which made me think about Dave Edmunds’ version, “Take and Give” that proves they’re not only a rockin’ band but can be sweet too, and a muscled version of Cash’s Get Rhythm.
A good album with a nice package too.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

An interview with Cavan Grogan

in Interviews
Cavan Grogan
Cavan Grogan still crazy after all these years with the great Rhythm Rockers

An interview with Cavan Grogan (Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers)

Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers are the longest rockabilly band in activity with a line-up almost unchanged. They made the link between the pioneers of the 50’s and the rockabilly revival of the 80’s, and when bands were happy to play covers, they came with a set of solid originals and never stop writing classic after classic. What Rockabilly fan have never heard of Sadie, Teddy Boy Boogie, Are You Still Crazy, My Little Sister, Rockabilly Rules OK, The Rockin’ Alcoholic, Hey Teenager?
Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers always give themsleves at 100% on stage and I’m ready to bet my collection that they never refuse a picture with a fan.
For all this things, and for the rest you have in store, Cavan, Lyndon, Terry, Mike and Graham (without forgetting Vance and Don), thanks a lot!

Fred “Virgil” Turgis
Proud fan club member #76
(this interview with Cavan Grogan was conducted when the band was celebrated its 40 years of activity)

Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers will soon celebrate its 40th birthday. What are your feelings?
Could you imagine it would last that long when you started?
Cavan Grogan 40 Year’s no way man, I don’t think we even thought about how long the band might last.We were just having fun, and trying to keep rock’n’roll alive.
But we knew we’d always be rock’n’roll fans.

Did you see an evolution of the rockin’ scene during these years?
Cavan Grogan Oh yes we saw the rockabilly thing coming and a lot of fans of the music started to look back at the roots, Swing even came into the rock’n’roll scene for a while, Like Louis Jordan, Louis Prima ect. Also hillbilly and blues. A lot of young bands started up across Europe which led to today’s scene.

The line up of Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers has remained extremely steady across the years, which is very rare…
Cavan Grogan Yeah we just can’t hold bass player’s they keep going then coming back for more.

Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers
Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers in the 70’s

From the beginning you wrote your own songs and proved that rock’n’roll was a living thing. Was it hard to impose new songs to the audience ?
Cavan Grogan Well we like doing some of the old song’s, But we like to do them our way. But we al way’s felt new original material is what would keep the ball rolling and attract new , maybe younger fan’s into the scene. We had no trouble getting our song’s over because when we started nobody had heard of most of the 50’s rockabilly we were playing anyway.

How do you choose the covers that you play?
Cavan Grogan First off, I have to like the song, Then we have to mould it into the bands style. We never pick song’s because they’re popular, and we try to avoid songs the other bands are playing. Although if they become popular by us, most bands start doing them any how like, Old Black Joe, Creek Goes Dry etc.

What was the music you grew up listening to, before you were old enough to choose music by yourself? What was the music in your house and did your family had an importance in the music you listened to and later played?
Cavan Grogan I think I always choose the music I liked even as a kid I twiddled with the radio and listened to music on the fair grounds. My father yo used to sing some great old Irish songs with wonderful lyrics.

What was the first rock’n’roll/rockabilly record you’ve heard?
Cavan Grogan When I was a kid I lived in a town called Claremorrris in County Mayo in the west of Ireland. The music there was mostly country or traditional Irish. But you had the fair grounds the radio, and the cinema. I remember hearing Bill Haley quite often, But what really knocked me out , Was when I saw the film Lovin You with Elvis in the amazing scenes like lonesome cowboy with the spotlight. Got a lot of livin to do, with his scruffy denims, and i couldn’t stop singing let’s have a party. !! I wasn’t to see this movie again for about 20 years. But i never forgot those scenes. And have never seen anything to beat them to this day. I’m sure that was the day I decided to be a singer. (On their latest album, Cavan wrote a song called Groovy At The Movie about this memories)

What did appeal to you in Rockabilly?
Cavan Grogan Rockabilly to me is a rock’n’roll stripped down to it’s bare essentials. The appeal is like skiffle. You feel if you can hold a good steady beat play a few chords, It’s open for anyone to have a go. Although in the reality it’s far more complicated then that. I loved that ol slap bass, and the echo’s vocal’s ‘n’ hiccups yeah man!!

One can safely say you didn’t feel very concerned by the music of your generation?
Cavan Grogan Yes I had no interest in the music of my generation, Rock’n’roll to me was the big explosion. My interest was to look back on what caused this, not to follow a bit of sharpnal that flew off into space from it.

Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers: Don Kinsella (bass), Terry Walley (guitar), Lyndon Needs (guitar), Mike Coffey (drums) and Cavan Grogan (vocals).
Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers: Don Kinsella (bass), Terry Walley (guitar), Lyndon Needs (guitar), Mike Coffey (drums) and Cavan Grogan (vocals).

There’s always been a huge dose of country music in your songs. Was it easy to find this stuff in the UK?
Cavan Grogan Yeah it was fairly easy i think Hank William’s was the first one i took to.

Did you see onstage or hear on record a band that impressed you recently?
Cavan Grogan Yes I often see bands that impress me. I like bands who don’t copy who try to do things their own way. And put all there energy into putting it over

What is the album you’re never tired of listening to?
Cavan Grogan Gotta be Carl Perkins Dance album or maybe Elvis Rock’n’Roll No2. And now thinking about it there are quite a few actually.

Just by curiosity, what is the last record you bought?
Cavan Grogan I recently found a copy of Nellie Lutcher singing Fine Brown Frame on a 78, Doe’s that count ?

It sure does, one last word?
Cavan Grogan LET”S FUCKIN ROCK !!!

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