Western Star - Page 2

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

Slick 49 – Go Wild With Me

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Slick 49 - Go Wild With Me
Slick 49 – Go Wild With Me
Western Star WSRC045
Go Wild with Me / Got Rockin’ On My Mind / Cattin’ Baby /The Stars Don’t Look So Bright / Jumpin’ Round / Prove You Wrong and Do You Right / ’41 Dodge / Riverside Jump / Shake ’em Up Rock / Sweet Rockin’ Baby / Still I’m Gonna Love You / Don’t Shoot Me Baby / All That’s On My Mind / Tear This World Apart / Hot Headed Mama.

Slick 49 are a classic drummer less rockabilly trio with a sound as authentic as you can dream. The pair made by the acoustic guitar and the slap bass lays down a strong rhythmic giving lead guitarist Nigel Mc Corkell plenty of room to express. It’s obvious that these guys have listened to Charlie Feathers (notably on the hiccupy Still I’m Gonna Love You) and most generally to the Meteor label (Bill Bowen’s Don’t Shoot Me Baby).
Slightly different is “Tear This World Apart” that sounds more modern, even neo-rockabilly at places. But different doesn’t mean bad though maybe a question / answer backing vocals would have added something to the tune.
Globally, I wouldn’t use the word “wild” to describe them but tense, always menacing to explode. All in all with eleven original songs and only four covers, Go Wild With Me makes an excellent debut album and as usual you have the Western Star quality in term of production and sound.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Las Pistolas – Deadly Combination

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laspistolasWestern Star WSCR048 [2011]
Pistol Packin’ Peggy Sue – Rhythm In My Soul – The Cinnamon Kid – She’ll Rock Your World – Jump Start – Rock Around With Ollie Vee – Jessica Rabbit – Liquor and Las Pistolas – Don’t Shut Me Out – The Return of Eddie Sin – Lost It All – Sunday Lover – Black Widow – Lady Luck – Sad But True

Las Pistolas are a modern rockabilly trio (guitar, slap bass, drums), and though they already had a cd ep out (on Raucous I guess) Deadly Combination is their first full length featuring 13 originals and only two covers. The opening track, a My Baby Left Me/That’s Allright type of rockabilly, didn’t impress me that much: good but not very original. Things went drastically better with “I’ve Got Rhythm In My Soul”, a hot boppin’ neo-rockabilly number. The rest of the records confirmed that the first song was just an exception. The main core of their music is rockabilly with a modern twist and melodies. But one will also find a western tinged ballad (Cinnamon Kid) and some wild numbers with saxophones (She’ll Rock Your World and the excellent Jessica Rabbit that features a honkin’ Las vegas solo at the end). Liquor and Las Pistolas is a Diddley beat blues with harmonica, tambourine, maracas, distortion on the voice and slide guitar. If you like Wild Billy Childish this one is for you (I only regret they don’t do more in that style). Like any decent rock’n’roll record, Deadly Combination features a nice ballad. This one is called “Lost It All” and even features Alan Wilson on piano. The playing is great, the solos are inventive and the recording as usual with Western Star is top notch. Strongly recommended.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis