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V/A – The Northwood Story

in Contemporary artists/Reviews/VARIOUS
the Northwood Story
the Northwood Story

The Northwood Story

NVCDCOMP 3
Red Hot ‘n’ Blue – Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes / Riverside Trio – Forty Miles Away / Lazy Farm Boys – Jack Rabbit / Sure Shots – Fire Engine Baby / Lone Stars – Lonely Town / Rochee & The Sarnos – Woman Eater / Blue Rhythm Boys – That Don’t Move Me (Alternate Take) / Slingshots – Hay Rig Ride / Fireball XL5 – Walking On The Edge Of Midnight / Red Hot ‘n’ Blue – Caldonia / 4 Blazes – Buck Dance Rhythm / Peter Davenport & the Roof Raisers – Bop A Du Bop A Du Bop / Riverside Trio – Dopey Frutti / Slingshots – That Chick’s Too Young To Fry / Sprites – B-I-Bickey-Bi Bo Bo Bo / Fireball XL5 – Blues Don’t Go / Blue Rhythm Boys – Rollin’ And Tumblin’ / Red Hot ‘n’ Blue – Move Baby Move / Riverside Trio – You Lied All Through The Night / Crawdads – Don’t Let Religion Fool Ya

Northwood was one the most exciting label of the mid 80’s, aiming at an “authenthic” sound before the term was coined by so-called purists. This collection gathers 20 songs, including 18 never issued before.
Red Hot’n’Blue are featured here with three songs. Sure Like The Look In Your Eyes is a re-cut of their great blues bopper with a different line-up and a fuller sound. Louis Jordan’s Caldonia is a track that didn’t make it on the album and was scheduled for a 7″. They give it a real jazz treatment by merging it with Babs Gonzales/Dizzy Gillespie’s Oop pop a da. Superb solos from every band members. The third song is a live take of Dick Penner’s Move Baby Move.
The Riverside Trio was the other great name of the label and the other band to have a full lp. Included here are two hillbilly boppers (one from their early demo and a studio outtake from their debut album) and a new version of Doppey Frutti, probably recorded to be released as a 7″.
The Blue Rhythm Boys were another great band on Northwood. Too bad there wasn’t more unissued stuff. Rollin’ & Tumblin’ comes from their 7″ and That Don’t Move Me is an alternate take of the Carl Perkins cover also present on their debut 45rpm, though this take is a lot wilder.
The Sprites (featuring Pascal Guimbard who later played with Red Hot’n’Blue) were a French band playing Gene Vincent inspired stuff. They had two songs on Big Noise from Northwood. Their cover of Vincent’s B-I-Bickey-Bi sounds exactly like the Screaming Kids.
Another promising act was the Slingshots, who were also on Big Noise. They played Rockabilly with a strong rural feel, and released their debut album more than ten years later after their debut on wax. The Crawdads who have one song here followed a similar path by releasing their debut album “On A Platter” in the early 90’s.
The Sureshots became very popular on the scene, they were and still are a solid live band and released some great albums too. Their cover of the Jiv-A-Tones‘Fire Engine Baby was released on a French ep with the French band the Jokers. This is an alternate take.
The Lonestars later evolved into Howlin’ Wilf’s Vee jays. They played rockin’ blues with a touch of jazz. With the two songs featured on the James Dean of the Dole Queue sampler Lonely Town is to my knowledge their only release.
The Four Blazes featured Pat Reyford and have one song here, a hillbilly rendition of Slim Gaillard’s Buck Dance Rhythm.
Peter Davenport is famous for his association with the Stargazers. The Roofraisers were his first post Gazers venture and featured Jacko Buddin on vocals. Bop A Du Bop A Du Bop is one of the two songs that first appeared on Big Noise From Northwood. Great Bill Haley/Jodimars inspired stuff.
This compilation also proposes an unissued songs from Rochee & the Sarnos (Woman Eater) and two songs by Fireball XL5.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

V/A – Please Give Me Something – The Roots Of The Stray Cats

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews

Genre: Rockabilly, Rock’n’roll

ElToro EpleasegimmeTCD1031 [2010]
Icky Poo : The Nomands ~ Tear It Up : Rock ‘N’ Roll Trio ~ Lonely Travelin’ : Lonesome Lee ~ Sweet Love On My Mind : Jimmy & Johnny ~ Somethin’ Else : Eddie Cochran ~ Bop Bop Ba Doo Bop : Lew Williams ~ Ubangi Stomp : Warren Smith ~ Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie : Eddie Cochran ~ Please Give Me Something : Bill Allen ~ Double Talkin’ Baby : Gene Vincent ~ My One Desire : Ricky Nelson ~ That Mellow Saxophone : Roy Montrell ~ Your Baby Blue Eyes : Rock ‘N’ Roll Trio ~ Wasn’t That Good? : Wynonie Harris ~ Let’s Have A Ball : The Wheels ~ Rock Therapy : Rock ‘N’ Roll Trio ~ Race With The Devil : Gene Vincent ~ I’m Looking For Someone To Love : The Crickets ~ Beautiful Delilah : Chuck Berry ~ One Hand Loose : Charlie Feathers ~ Everybody’s Movin’ : Glen Glenn ~ Slip, Slip, Slippin’ In : Eddie Bond ~ Your True Love : Carl Perkins ~ Stood Up : Ricky Nelson ~ Let It Rock : Chuck Berry ~ Mystery Train : Elvis Presley ~ Sleep Walk : Santo & Johnny ~ Hidden Charms : Chet Atkins

This one will please a lot of rockabilly fans. It could also be named “Songs The Stray Cats Taught Us” in reference to the serie of albums that traced the roots of the Cramps.
It contains songs that were covered or used as a starting point to write originals by Setzer, Phantom and Rocker. Some of the material here is very familiar to the rockabilly devoted. The Stray Cats were not known to cover obscure stuff but they put in the ears of a generation that grew with punk rock and new wave the sound of Johnny Burnette Trio, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran, and for they deserve a lot of respect.
So next to the usual Baby Blue Eyes, Something Else or Race With the Devil that must be familiar (I hope) to most of our readers you’ll find some rare ditties like Icky Poo by the Nomads and Lonely Travelin’ by Lonesome Lee that can be traced as inspiration behind Stray Cat Strut (though I believe that Setzer and co were not aware of that obscure stuff and were probably more inspired by Richard Hell’s Blank Generation, same riff, same b-vox and a similar guitar solo). The Wheels’ Let’s Have A Ball is also included and will later find its way under the name Gonna Ball. Those who doesn’t own the Imperial Rockabilly compilation will be happy to have Lew Williams’ Bob Bob Ba Doo Bop (Fishnet Stockings) and Bill Allen’s Please Gimme Something (Crawl Up & Die).

One can only regret that Eltoro, but maybe it’s a question of copyright or else, didn’t include The Bloodless Pharaohs – Setzer “new wave-arty” band – “Boys Having Babies” that was rewritten for the Stray Cats under the name “Storm The Embassy” and Hank Mizzel’s Jungle Rock that inspired the Stray Cats hto write “Blast Off”.

Despite this minor regret this comp is a must have for any Stray Cats fans (informative liner notes too) and more generally for anybody who’d want an album with rockabilly, rock’n’roll and rhythm’n’blues showing that Setzer and his two partners had an impecable taste.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Various Artists – Western Star Rockabillies 4

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various_western_star_rockabillies_vol4Western Star Records – WSRC 035
Sanity – Rockin’ Rocket 88 / Rain – Bill Fadden and The Silvertone Flyers / Forget Me – Bonneville Barons / Shake Rag – Jack Rabbit Slim / Three Months To Kill – Graham Fenton / Rocket Ship Mama – Warren Scott and The Memphis Playboys / Got A Lot Of Rhythm In My Soul – Miss Jean Vincent / Bluer Than Blue – Rudy La Crioux and The All-Stars / Record Hop – Sue Moreno and Jack Rabbit Slim / Thinkin’ ‘Bout You – Rockin’ Rocket 88 / Lone She Wolf – Lil’ Red and The Doghouse Trio / Rockin’ Rollin’ Stone – Bill Fadden and The Silvertone Flyers / Teenage Bug – Rudy La Crioux and The All-Stars / The Fire Is A-Burnin’ – Sue Moreno and Jack Rabbit Slim / Roly Poly – Graham Fenton / Back No More – TJ and The Bellevue Bombers / Fool For You – Bonneville Barons / The Storm – Rockin’ Rocket 88 / Dirty Billy – Kansas City Cryers / Rock It – Warren Scott and The Memphis Playboys

Volume Four of the Western Star Rockabillies serie is another good occasion to see the good health of this music in UK and the impeccable taste of label owner/producer Alan Wilson.
It also show that the term rockabilly encompass a wide range of music and as they say there’s a little bit for everyone here (and a lot for everybody if you ask me).
Matchbox’s Graham Fenton backed by the Western All Stars (the house band) offers a solid rendition of Roly Poly (with steel guitar) and Huelyn Duval’s Three Months to Kill. If Fenton’s album on Western Star is entirely like this I’m gonna get me a copy for… tomorrow!
Label’s biggest seller, Jack Rabbit Slim are present here under many forms. “Shake Rag” is taken from their latest excellent album. A part of the band is also featured on the Warren Scott tunes, in a 50’s sounding style (I try to avoid as possible the term authentic). Also playing in this style are Bill Fadden (who’d make Charlie Feathers proud with his rendition of rain) and Rudy La Crioux.
Women are not forgotten with Miss Jean Vincent, Sue Moreno (backed by Jack Rabbit Slim) with a mean rocker and a self penned country rocker and Lil’ red and the Doghouse Trio (featuring Rusti Steel).
One highlight of the album is Rockin’ Rocket 88’s the Storm that sounds like an unissued Blue Cats track from the Fight Back period with a fiddle. I know it sounds weird, but you have to listen to it! There’s plenty of good stuff in that excellent album (including my favorite artist of Western Star the Bonneville Barons) and it’s the perfect occasion to discover the label and that sure will lead you to buy the albums.

Available at Western Star.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

V/A – Ain’t Rocket Science 101 & 202

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rocket202

rocket101Wild Hare Records WH06001- WH06004
Vol.1 : 1 Scotch Whisky 2 Gypsy Eyes 3 Minnesota Snow 4 Through With You 5 Red Lipstick on Cigarettes 6 Big Wheels Roll 7 Dear Old Dad 8 Crazy About Nancy 9 Doorbell Dreamboat 10 Buried Hopes 11 Cool It 12 Blue So Blue 13 Lovesick 14 I Want You 15 Its All Life 16 Live This Way 17 Tell Me Darlin 18 Honey Honey 19 Wined and Dined and Pocket Lined 20 Mrs Jackson 21 Why Cant You Be True 22 24 Hours a Day 23 So Untrue 24 Cant Keep My MInd Off Of You 25 Just Take Me Home 26 Feels So Good 27 Catch My Breath
Vol. 2 : 1.We’re Gonna Rock 2 Devil Doll 3 Let Me Be Your Baby 4 Let’s Rock 5 Give a Little Lovin’ 6 Have a Ball 7 Uptown 8 I’m Gonna Break a Heart 9 Epilepsy Betsy 10 What I’ve Got 11 Trouble Follows Me 12 Lonesome Trail 13 Hitch Hiker 14 Long Haul Trucker 15 Last Work In Lovin’ 16 Real Live Doll 17 Operation Complication 18 Slim Jim Sadie 19 Break Loose 20 Jambalaya 21 A Single Tear 22 My Puddin’ Pie 23 Loud Mouth 24 Midnight Train 25 My Love 26 I’d Want Your LOvin’ Anyway 27 Don’t Talk Back

If you are turtle, don’t try to catch this Wild Hare cause he’s running fast and .he ‘s got a double mission : “to help promote historic artists as well as promising new artists involved in the Rockabilly and Hillbilly Circuit”. Since Dave and Kiersten Moore founded in 2003 this label “of Rockabillies for Rockabillies”, they recorded historic talent such as Pat Cupp, Roc LaRue Ron Berry and Joe Penny, both present on this two “Ain’t Rocket Science” first class compilations but also new talents such as The Garnet Hearts, Thommy Burns,Jason Hoss Hicks, Amber Lee, Jerry King, Screamin’ Scotty and many more.
As announced by the owners of the label “no big city attitutes or corporate schemes here”, no “rocket science” “no tracking, no overdubs” but for sure some good ol homebrew rockabilly chemistry concocted by an ever-present Dave Moore (engineer, guitarist and member of the The Saddle Pals)
The 101 is a blend of smooth honky tonkin’ rockabilly sounds (The Saddle Pals) with some raw hillbilly songs as the ones composed by the 20’s and 30’s inspired Thommy Burns hepcat There ‘s even some Sun soundin’ with the veteran Ron Berry (listen to “It’s All Life” that could come right from the fifties Union Avenue studio) and the Steubenville Knight Jason Hicks “close to the Sun Elvis bone” melodic rockabilly
On 102 the starting mood is more on the rockin’ and rollin’ side with the terrific Amber Lee. That gal sure knows how to rock.! Jerry King and his assured strong voice that we already know with his Rivertown Ramblers is here with The Falls City Boys on a more hillbilly repertoire and sounds like an american Jack Baymoore. The legendary Hank Williams sideman Joe Penny sincere and true rockabilly is tremendous; “Real Live DollI” is a “real live masterpiece” and his Jambalaya rendition sounds like a real early fifties Cajun one popped up from the past. Screamin’ Scotty ends up brilliantly and frenetically this second compilation with a great “Don’t Talk Back” rocker.

Dave “Long Tall” Phisel

Preston Rockabilly – Vol. 2 – Out Of The Valley

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Preston Rockabilly - Vol. 2 - Out Of The Valley
Preston Rockabilly – Vol. 2 – Out Of The Valley
Vol. 2 – Out Of The Valley
Press-Tone Music PCD 13
Pat Capocci, Ezra Lee and Danny Wegrzyn (Danny & the Cosmic Tremors) are three Australian cats who play in each other bands. For this album they went to Graeme Thomas’ Preston studio with Cal Robinson on bass, Paul Hainey on drums and Dave Cantrell (the Wildcats, Toni & the Tomcats) on steel.
Pat Capocci performs six songs, all self penned. Full Grown Woman is one of his wildest track, almost garage, Second Best is a traditionnal rockabilly, Burnin’ the Candle is a solid rocker. He also performs a country shuffle (Try To Forget Me), a Jerry Lee type of number (Til I Get to You) and a superb instrumental (After Hours) that has shades of T-Bone Walker and Johnny Guitar Watson.
Danny & the Cosmic Tremors perform five songs (four origiuals and one cover) including two classic rockabillies (my Baby Wants to Rock’n’Roll, So Long). Much wilder is the cover of Bill Johnson’s You Better Dig It. Little Darling, as its title indicates, is a smooth ballad and Feel Allright With You is a hot bopper that reminds me the style of Rip Carson.
Last but not least, Ezra Lee, the piano pumpin’ man, is present here with two rockers (Abby Jane and Goodbye Astrid Goodbye), a strong Rockabilly number (Werris creek Devil). I’m Gonna Kill Your Daddy sees Capocci playing a mean slide guitar that evokes Elmore James and Coalfire Man is more in the style of memphis Slim.
Without a doubt this trio counts among today’s hottest rockabilly/rock’n’roll acts

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

V/A – Psycho Tendencies

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Psycho Tendencies - Raucous
Psycho Tendencies – Raucous
Raucous
The Griswalds – Nighthawk / Spellbound – Last Breath / Full Moon Freaks – Surfboard Song / Frantic Flintstones – Hot Head Baby / Termites – Let Me In / Grovelhog – Times Gotta Change / Long Tall Texans – 900 Miles / Full Moon Freaks – Swamp Rockin’ Baby / Go-Katz – Real Gone Demented Hillbilly Kat / Sugarpuff Demons – Weedin’ / Griswalds – Psycho Tendencies / Termites – I Can’t Wait / Shakin’ Bones – Deviltown USA / Frantic Flintstones – Alley Cat King / Go-Katz – Nightmare / Griswalds – Robbie Robot / Sgt Fury – Cold Cold Sunday / Radium Cats – Haunted By Your Love / Cosmic Voodoo – Old Man In The Woods / Frantic Flintstones – Let’s Go Somewhere

This compilation is a good snapshot of the Psychobilly scene in the second half of the 80’s. The original vinyl was the first long player released on Raucous, a label that has made a long way since. It covers a variety of styles and proves if needed that this music isn’t that easy to pigeonhole. It ranges from the up-tempo skiffle/rockabilly of the Long Tall Texans to the punkish sound of the Grovelhogs. In between you find excellent bands like the Frantic Flintstones, the Go-Katz (with an excellent psycho-hillbilly number), the Griswalds (Robbie Robot sounds like a psychobilly version of Devo!) and Spellbound. Less essential are Full Moon Freaks, Shakin’ Bones and Cosmic Voodoo.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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