November 15' Record Reviews
“A Record Date With”
Sleazy Records SRLP – 13 – Vinyl LP
Brand new album from Marcel Riesco, who started his career many moons ago as the lead singer of the Truly Lover Trio. This album truly looks amazing with it´s very authentic artwork and the sound of the 180g black vinyl is awesome. Hey, there´s even a great start for this album as he covered Ronnie Smith´s top jiver “Long Time No Love” (written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson by the way). Ten of the 14 tracks were written by Marcel and the other four, all have the Roy Orbison / Joe Melson connection. The whole album has an absolute period perfect sound, done by the boys of the Lightning Recorders studio in Berlin, Germany. For all of you who are not familiar with Marcel let me tell you that he´s got that beautiful voice of a young Roy Orbison ! “Dumbstruck” , “Because He Broke Your Heart”, “Little Angel” or “I Wonder” could easily be mistaken for some unissued early 60's Roy Orbison songs, check out that KILLER ballad “Fickle Heart”. “They Say” makes a great early 60's Teen Jiver in the style of the big ´O´. “I´ve Been Draggin´ Since You´ve Gone” has a bit of early 60's Nashville Country sound in it, a great one! “Shook Up” is a great cover of the Joe Melson rocker and I have to say that I really prefer Marcel´s version, it´s more rockin´! “Can´t Forget Your Love” has a really unique but very catchy rhythm, “Gypsy Man” again is a great Roy Orbison style up tempo Jiver. “I Was A Fool” is a nearly one to one copy of the classic Roy Orbison / Ken Cook duet recorded for SUN Records. “Oh Yeah” is another great cover of a Joe Melson record, which Joe recorded for Hickory Records (possibly Joe´s best Rocker, but check out his killer version of “Wake Up Little Susie”). This album ends with a wonderful ballad which screams out Roy Orbison!! (“Under The Light Of The Blue Moon”). To be honest, I´m normally not a big fan of the more polished Teen Rock´n´Roll sound of the late 50's and early 60's and I usually tend to the wilder side of rockin´ music but I would be a fool not to like this fantastic album. Very well done Marcel, I love it!
“Gonna Get My Gun”
Hoodwink Records HEP 002 – 4 track CD EP (http://www.hoodwinkrecordings.co.uk/)
“Bop / Devil´s Guitar”
Rollin´ Records Vinyl 45
“Pink, Pink Elephants”
Sleazy Records SR 95 – Vinyl 4 track EP
Brand new 10 tracker by the lovely Marlene and her boys. Yes my friends, this time the album comes in the much prefered vinyl format instead of CD. As you may already know the Rhythm Shakers have a bluesy style of late 50's and early 60's Garage Rock´n´Roll. Be warned all you jivin´ and tuxedo wearing Pat Boone look-a-likes, this may not be your cup of lovely Earl Grey tea! The album starts with a great bluesy Rocker called “No LLoraré Mas Por Ti” (No idea what this means by the way) , whilst the mid-tempo title track “Panic” has a strong 60's / Sonics influence to it. “Please Don´t Leave” is another great bluesy uptempo Rocker followed by a powerful killer track called “Corazón”. The hard hitting “Watcha Gonna Do” is another one of my favorite tracks on this album. Like on their previous records you also find a very nice (early 60's style this time) ballad, where Marlene sounds totally different (“Let You Go”). “Hey Sah No Ney” is a great cover of the Mickey Lee Lane track which filled the Hemsby dance floor in the late 90's. I´m not too keen on most of Mickey Lee Lanes´ recordings (only dig a handful or so) but that´s just my personal taste, the Rhythm Shakers cover version is powerful and really top notch! “Go Crazy” is another favorite of mine, followed by the bluesy Rocker “No More Crying Over You”. Did I mention that eight of the ten tracks were written by Marlene and Victor? Last track on this killer album is a cover of the Cramps “Ultra Twist”. Okay, I´ve never been a Cramps fan but the Rhythm Shakers really did a great job on this one. Their version should also appeal to all you Excellos fans out there. The album is a limited edition of 500 copies and as far as I know most of them are already sold, so better hurry up kats´n ´dolls! Another great album from a band that never fails to deliver!
Here´s something for all you European Kats´n Kittens: Wild Records now have a European headquarters where you can get your CD´s, vinyl and merchandising without spending a fortune on shipping and custom fees, check out their website: http://www.wildrecordseurope.com/
This band surprised many of us kats when they stepped in as a substitute at this years's Rockabilly Rave. They were already around in the later part of 1980´s and were reformed in 2012. They do play an authentic Rockabilly style with a bit of Country and Blues mixed in. Here you´ll get 4 great self- penned tracks: The mid-tempo “Gotta Get My Gun”, the wild and frantic “Hot Rod Mama” (a sure-fire hit at their Rave live set!), the strollin´, bluesy sound of “New Shoes Blues” and the fast rockin´ ”Rock Library Rock”. This great little EP was recorded in the Hoodwink Recording studios in Derby, England. I really hope to see this killer band again somewhere in the near future!!
“21 Days In Jail”
Rhythm Bomb Records RBR 5802 – CD
East Coast Rockabilly Central
Babe Miller is one of those die hard traditionalists who keep their Country / Honky Tonk music as authentic as possible. Unfortunately, I missed his set at this year's Rockabilly Rave (because of a bad hangover I have to admit), and here we have his first recordings for the Spanish Sleazy Records label. His style is a mixture of late 50's / early 60's Honky Tonk Country with a bit of Hillbilly and traces of Rockabilly thrown in. I´m not an expert on this kind of music but after reading the back cover of this 4 tracker (great lookin´ artwork by the way) I´m happy to report that all 4 tracks were written by Babe and the lead guitar player Tom Pettitt. Without a shadow of a doubt I really can recommend this very talented Country singer and songwriter to all those Country music fans out there who are eager to hear a new talent who is far away from the Nashville pop/rock music acts labeled as “Country”.
Oh boy, another 45 by this UK top rockin´ band. Guess in 10 years from now you will find a 10 CD Box with a hardbound book from Bear Family Records including all of their 150 rare 45's and album only tracks from their early career. So, what we got this time? “Bop” is an absolute killer Bopper which will fill the dance floor with cohorts of young (and not-so-young) bopping kats ´n ´kittens and “Devil´s Guitar” with its great guitar playing is also one of my favorite tracks by the boys. So another killer 45 from a band that never disappoints me.
"True Love Highway“
Rhythm Bomb Records RBR 5785 – CD
Another 4 great tracks from the French Wildman, this time he went to Memphis to visit the Union Avenue 706 to lay down some wild rockin´ sides. Here we get two Elvis numbers: “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and “That´s All Right Mama” which are done in his very own and crazy style. Guess that´s something the Sun crew has not heard before, just like Sam Phillips hearing Elvis belting out his very own style in 1954 for the first time! Jake's own songs “Babe, Babe, Baby” and the Christmas song “Lovin´Heart” are also done in his very own style. I really love this guy: He is unique, he´s wild and has his very own distinctive style. This record by the way is a teaser for his brand new album which should be out by now. It´s a great fun record for all fans of this absolutely krazy French Hepcat.
Jake Calypso & his Red Hot
“Babe, Babe, Baby !”
Chicken Records EP 311214 – 4 track vinyl EP
The Broadkasters are another project of Playboys / Houserockers mastermind Rob Glazebrook and consists of Rob on vocals and guitar, Nick Hoadley on slappin´ bass , Nick Simonon on drums (all of them are also in the Houserockers) and Ian Austen-Jones on harmonica. You won´t find any Rockabilly here (Okay, Magic Sam´s “21 Days In Jail” could be easily described as black Rockabilly) but absolute top notch & authentic rockin´ Blues like it was done in the 50's on labels like Chess or SUN Records. The sounds on these tracks are rough and period perfect. I´m not an expert on Blues but when someone can re-create the atmosphere and sound of an early recording from Little Junior Parker, Howlin´Wolf or Muddy Waters it´ll do it for me! It´s not the stuff I'm normally into but I have to admit that I absolutely love the rough and “in your face” sound on this album, their version of “Melow Down Easy” for example is absolute killer!! There are so many great tracks on this one, just check out their very melodic version of Slim Harpo´s “Lover´s Confession” or their killer stroll version of “Crazy Mixed Up Kid”. Although the end of this one comes a bit unexpected (fault in the recording process??) it is great, same for both versions of “Stop Breakin´Down” or “Evil Hearted Woman”. As far as I can see there is only one self penned song, the Rob Glazebrook written “Baby Done Left Me”. Is there a single weak track I do not like?? No! I guess this is one of the albums that will stay in my mid 50's two- tone bakelite CD player for quite some time. No bloody Hippie Blues here, just the real sound from the early to mid 1950's. TOP NOTCH AND VERY AUTHENTIC KILLER ROCKIN´BLUES!!
The Rhythm Shakers
Wild Records – Vinyl LP
Excellent debut from this top 5 piece authentic Rockabilly band from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Guitar player Tom Sanderson was also a member of the Long Gone Trio from the same town. They recorded a killer album for El Toro Records some years ago. On this kool 16 tracker you´ll find their versions of classics like Alvis Wayne´s “Sleep Rock-A-Roll Rock-A Baby” & “Don´t Mean Maybe Baby”, Charlie Rich´s “Rebound”, Marlon Grisham´s “Ain´t That A Dilly” , George Jones´”Revenoor Man” (great) or Jimmy and Johnny´s “Can´t Find The Doorknob” (another topster). Many of these cover versions are really excellent but for me it´s their self-penned material that makes them stand out from other US bands. By the way: These boys do not sound “American” by any means, they do have a very European Hepcat sound!! Here are some of my favorite tracks: the Carl Mann styled “Baby´s Gone”, the duet Rocker “See It My Way” (both are killer Jivers by the way), their versions of “Revenoor Man”, “Have A Ball” (one of my all-time faves by the way) and “Can´t Find The Doorknob”, the hard hitting stroller “Poor Boy Blues”, “Love Bug” (I guess Ike & The Capers are also doin´ this killer Country Rocker in their live-sets) and their own “Baby We Are Through”. This one´s a great Rocker complete with a Jordanaires style backing!! To cut it short it´s a killer album with some very strong tracks, can´t wait for the follow-up!!!