Browse Tag

Wild Hare Records

The Droptops

The Droptops were a trio from Mayland formed by John Bozarth on double bass and lead vocals, Christine Bozarth on drums and Elizabeth Doschek on guitar. They were active during the first decade of the new century. However, I couldn’t find the exact date when the band stopped.

All three members of the Droptops were musically inclined at a very early age. At 7, John learned to play trumpet and piano. “We had a piano in the house that no one used, so I started playing. As I focused on different instruments, I listened to different kinds of music featuring the kinds of things I was playing. That’s when I discovered jazz, listening to Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, all the standards.” Elizabeth’s father played classical piano, and her mother was a fan of 50’s Rock’n’Roll. They later went on to play in different bands in high school. John played trombone in the Jazz ensemble, Christine played the flute in the concert band and orchestra, and Elizabeth played violin in the orchestra. Like many, the three members of the Droptops were members of the Punk scene in their teens. Before forming the band, John and Christine played in a Punk band called the Drednoks, and Christine was a member of the Connecticut punk band the Snatch. And through that scene, they got introduced to the music of the Reverend Horton Heat and Johnny Cash. John was also a fan of Elvis, the Stray Cats and Bill Haley. “They were a different sound from most stuff played on the radio.” He found out that bands were playing that style of music. Elizabeth’s introduction to roots music came from her mom “pretty much since birth” with artists like Chuck Berry and Little Richard.

The Droptops
The Droptops

The Droptops formed in 2003 though the band’s origin is slightly older. Says Christine, “All three of us had been friends for years. Christine and I met in middle school, and we became friends with John a few years later in high school. After returning to the DC area after college in 2001, we decided to get together along with another friend, Brooks, to put together a rockabilly band. We played as a four-piece (with John on vocals and rhythm guitar, Elizabeth on lead guitar, Christine on bass guitar, and Brooks on drums) for a couple of years. In 2003 John and Christine switched instruments, Brooks left the band, and we formed the current version of the Droptops.” The guitar player adds, “We liked the sheer enthusiasm of the music and the excellent musicianship of many rockabilly artists. Rockabilly is both interesting musically and fun.” John completes, “I always liked the fact that you could make good music without having to be overly-proficient at your chosen instrument. It’s a lot of fun when you don’t have to concentrate on whether or not you’re the best at what you play.

I always liked the fact that you could make good music without having to be overly-proficient at your chosen instrument. It’s a lot of fun when you don’t have to concentrate on whether or not you’re the best at what you play.

Their influences

Asked about their influences, the band cited the Sun sound, Eddie Cochran, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. John added Marshall Lytle of the Comets “because that’s what got me into playing upright bass”. Christine said she worshipped Chuck Berry, “my guitar idol” She also added Chicago Blues artists like Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy to the list. But the taste of the band proved to be broader than that. When I asked what was on their turntable at home, they gave the following answers: Christine “a lot of 50s rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and doo-wop; anything with a solid beat and energetic delivery”, John “Hank Thompson, Jackie Wilson, Louis Jordan, The Ramones, Gene Krupa, Bob Wills, Charlie Feathers” and Elizabeth “Chicago style blues, jazz from the 1940s to today, and 50s rhythm and blues and rock and roll artists.

The album

In 2007, the trio released an album on Wild Hare records. This album is made of 10 self-penned songs (although titles like “Rock! Rock! Rock!” and “Lovesick Blues” sound familiar, they are written by the band and are not Johnny Powers and Hank Williams’ songs), alternating slow and mid-tempo tunes. The whole cd is very coherent, and the production (as on every Wild Hare productions) manages to capture the excitement of the music. As they said, their sound is obviously influenced by Sun records, but you can also find some similarities with Jimmy Bowen in John’s voice. If you dig Rockabilly artists like Carl Perkins and Johnny Powers or today’s bands like The Flea Bops or The Raging Teens, this one will please you from start to finish.

We do think about whether our songs sound too much like other bands’ songs, particularly famous songs, when we write. This can be hard, especially if you’ve spent the day listening to Rockabilly! On more than one occasion I have written what I thought was a great song only to realize afterwards that it was exactly like some song I was listening to earlier.

About the songwriting

When we talked about the songwriting process and the trap of unconsciously re-writing some classics, Elizabeth answered, “We do think about whether our songs sound too much like other bands’ songs, particularly famous songs, when we write. This can be hard, especially if you’ve spent the day listening to Rockabilly! On more than one occasion I have written what I thought was a great song only to realize afterwards that it was exactly like some song I was listening to earlier.” That said, the brand of Rockabilly played by the Droptops remained very fresh. I see two main reasons. The first one can be found in the blues element added by Elizabeth. She developed her Rockabilly style by listening to the Rockabilly pioneers’ same things and not copying note-for-note Rockabilly solos.
The second reason is their songwriting “When we write, we don’t worry too much about sticking to the “rockabilly” genre. Most of our stuff is probably more like 50s rock and roll than Rockabilly anyway. We do probably try to stay away from writing material that sounds too modern. Our main goal in writing songs is to try to write songs that tap into our strengths as a band.

The band worked on material for a second album, but I believe they stopped playing before it was recorded or released. As I said in the introduction, I couldn’t find exactly when the Droptops actually stopped playing. During his stint with the band in 2008, I know that John Bozarth joined the Garnet Hearts, who released one album on Wild Hare and a second one on Another Mile records. He later formed with Christine on drums and Andrew Ladson of the Garnet Hearts a band called the Charmers. An album was announced on Another Mile Record though I don’t think they ever released anything.
When writing this article, I searched the internet to complete my info. I was surprised that very few existed about the Droptops on the web. It’s quite unfair since it was an excellent band with a personal style and solid originals, and I hope this small article will fill that void.


Wild Hare Records presents… The Droptops
Wild Hare07002 [2007]
Where There’s Smoke – Rock! Rock! Rock! – Walkin’ The Floor – You Treat Me Mean – She’s My Baby – Back With My Baby – Lovesick Blues – Stuck On You – When You Go – Disappearing Baby

Ryan Cain and the Ables / Chaotics

Ryan Cain & the Ables – Cupid and the Devil 

ryan cain

Self released [2016]
Hepcat Habitat – Knots – Drinkin’ Wine Spodee Odee – Selfie Of Your Heart – I Call Bullshit – Tears Of Doom – Cupid And The Devil – Waltz Wrong With This Picture – Go Boy Go – Talk To Me – Keep The Change – Kill Devil Hillbilly

Released in 2016, Cupid and the Devil is the second album from Ryan Cain and the Ables after My pistol Rides Shotgun in 2012. Cain formerly played with Ryan Cain and the Chaotics, who had an album on Wild Hare in 2008. Brandon Elmore, who plays bass on this album, also played in the Chaotics.

The opener is a medium Rockabilly number somewhat reminiscent of Johnny Powers. 13 Knots follows. It features a Spanish guitar reminiscent of the Marty Robbins’ Gunfighters ballads like El Paso or Big Iron. Next is a cover of Sticks McGhee’s Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee, though Cain’s cover is obviously influenced by Johnny Burnette’s. This is not the only song that shows the influence of the Rock’n’Roll Trio. One can also hear it on Go Boy Go as well as the title track and I Call Bullshit, a frantic Rockabilly on which Cain almost ran out of oxygen.
But Cain has the excellent idea to keep things varied. Hence some songs lean more on the country and western side of things, like the Johnny Cash-tinged Keep The Change. Also, Selfie Of Your Heart is a superb country shuffle with a fiddle. And if the opening riff of Tears of Doom sounds like Tomorrow Night, the nasal voice and the fiddle firmly anchor the song in the hillbilly idiom. 
Two ballads complete the set Talk To Me and Waltz Wrong with This Picture which only lacks the Jordanaires to be perfect.
In a surprising manner, the album ends with a Surf instrumental, which is good but sounds a bit out of place.

If you’re looking for a traditional-sounding Rockabilly and Rock’n’roll album with country echoes, look no further, Ryan Cain’s Cupid and the Devil is perfect for you. It’s a perfect album, produced with taste and excellently recorded.

Fred ”Virgil” Turgis

V/A – Ain’t Rocket Science 101 & 202



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

The Hillbilly Huxters – The Hillbilly Rock’n’roll show


hillbillyhuxters1Wild Hare Records – WH 11001
Let’s Go Boppin’ Tonight – Big Fairlane – My Buckets Got A Hole in It – Can’t See My Baby Tonight – Hillbilly Blues – Hoochicoo – Kiss Me – Rock Pretty Mama – I’m Coming Home – Huxtercize – Twistin’n Turnin’ – Tear It Up – I Do What I Want When I Want
Still under the shock of The Hillbilly Stroll (Wild Hare WH 9002) his previous effort, I’ve received Dave Moore’s latest album with his new combo the Hillbilly Huxters with Matt Todd on double-bass and Strawback Slim on drums.
I probably said that before, but I’ll repeat it again and again if needed: Dave Moore and Wild Hare are the finest and best purveyors of real rockabilly music since Willie Lewis’ Rock-A-Billy Record. Like the late Colorado genius, it is obvious that this guy does not only play rockabilly: he lives and breathes it. And most of all, he understands it (how many can say that?). The Hillbilly Huxters are no exceptions to the rules. The name says it all, it rocks but the rural roots are never far. It’s wild, it’s raw but never in detriment to the songs (a bunch of originals like the frantic I Do What I Want When I Want coupled with covers from Al Ferrier, Johnny Burnette, Hank Williams, Johnny Horton, Eddy Clearwater). Recorded live it contains some minor flaws but I wouldn’t trade a flawless performance for all the feeling included in this album. Never. You’ll never recreate the excitement of the first time you listened to a Meteor or a Goldband record, but this is as close as you can get.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

David Moore – The Hillbilly Stroll


dmoore_small Wild Hare WH09002 [2009]
If you dig rockabilly music (which one can assumes as you read this lines) and especially 50’s sounding rockabilly the name of Dave Moore may be familiar to you. He’s the guy behind the excellent Wild Hare records label and has played on countless recordings (the liner notes say “43 professionnal releases with 29 different artists on 280 tracks!”).
This is, to my knowledge, his first real solo effort, including 12 self-penned songs on which he’s backed by Ryan Cain, Wendy Lebeau and Buck Stevens among others.
Some of this tunes have previously been sung by members of the Wild Hare roster like the Pat Cupp influenced “Blue So Blue” by Ron Berry, “Uptown” by Amber Lee and “You Better Leave” (appearing here in a very demo sounding version) by Buck Stevens.
Musically this is what you can expect – and love – from Wild Hare: a mix of vintage and raw sounding rockabilly with its feet solidly anchored in the hillbilly tradition, going from “Love Eternally” a country weeper in a Hank Williams vein to the frantic rockabilly of “I Do What I Want When I Want” all recording on vintage equipment that makes the Wild Haresignature sound.
A must have.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Buck Stevens


Buck Stevens - Dance Floor Favorites
Buck Stevens – Dance Floor Favorites

Buck Stevens – Dance Floor Favorites

Wild Hare Records
Baby Makin Baby – Bop and Shake – I Wont Be Your Fool – Be Bop Gal – I Tried – You Better Leave – Hot Rod Ford – Mama Said – What Do I Gotta Do – My Heart Holds a Picture of You – Read Between The Lines Laurie Loo – The Hawaian Song – Rock With My Baby – Fancy Pants – Thats Right Baby
Some records are harder to review than others. Take Buck Stevens’ latest output on Wild Hare. What can I say about it but “Excellent, go buy it NOW !”. Man, what a drag, I believe I’ll have to check my dictionnary of synonims… Seriously this record is… excellent (I told ya!). It gathers sides from his previous recordings (cd’s and ep) as well as some unissued stuff. I could tell you that you can hear the influence of Johnny Burnette and the rock’n’roll trio (Bop and Shake), Hank Williams (I Won’t Be Your Fool) and Elvis (I Tried), but it wouldn’t give you an accurate portrait of this talented guy. And most of all it would leave apart a whole side of his music: his personality. Combined with first class songwriting and the great sound we’re now used to expect from Wild Hare, it just gives you a rare and precious album.
If you like your rockabilly raw, exciting with a dash of hillbilly bop, Buck Stevens is your man.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis