First I have to admit that I´m a big fan of this Rockabilly trio from Austin Texas. I saw them on their first European tour and from that time I was absolutely hooked on their authentic sound and style. Not every modern day Rockabilly band gets a chance to have a “Best Of” album on Bear Family Records and as you can imagine the sound on this little shiny is an absolute ripper (Australian for killer….). Here you'll get 32 tracks, 30 of them were taken from their three albums on Goofin´ Records. As a little bonus the good folks of Bear Family Records have thrown in two previously un-issued demo tracks: “Quick Hand” and “My Heart Cries Yes”, both nice mid-tempo rockers. When you listen to the recordings you´ll find out that their sound changed a bit over the years from the pure and wild Rockabilly sound of “Rockin´Wildcat”, “Rattlesnake Man” or the moody “Rock Too Slow” to a more Country Rockabilly / Honky Tonk sound of “Mixed Signal Mama” or “Call Of The Honky Tonk”. If you don´t own their previous albums (shame on ya´!) buy it. In my humble opinion they are one of the very best U.S. Rockabilly bands since the golden year of 1956. Did I already mention the great booklet with a complete discography and some expert liner notes by top rockin´ UK jock Mr. Bill Smoker?? (Check out his radio show by the way: www.rockabillydj.com).
Hi-Style Records – CD
Here we have the second album from these Los Angeles Blues Rockers. I´m not an expert on this kinda stuff, so at the moment I can´t tell you if there are many self-written songs on it. (But I guess there are…). What I can tell you of course is the fact that these recordings do have a rough and authentic sound (recorded at the Black Shack Recording Studio in Calw, Germany ) and I also can admit that I like this one more that their first album, which was a bit too modern / clean sounding in my opinion. There is a good variety of mid- and up-tempo Blues Rockers and Boppers on this album, good rockin´ entertainment. Some of the tracks could have easily been recorded at the Wild Records studio (“Mary Jane” , “Rock All Night” or “Satisfy My Soul” for example) , “Negro Gato” makes a good early 60's style stroller and “No More” brings Lil´ Louis back to my mind. All in all a great follow-up to their debut record, highly recommended to all you Blues rockin´ kats ´n´kittens out there. Well done boys!
Brand new album from this Aussie piano rocker. I know that some of you lot out there really dig this kind of American Boogie Woogie Honky Tonk Piano Rock´n´Roll and Country but I sadly have to confess that this is absolutely not my cup of tea. Ezra and his band are doing an ace job and I can understand that they are very popular on the roots music and the rockin´ circuit but for me their sound is much too modern and brings the 70's recordings of Mr. Lewis back to my mind. I really wonder what Ezra would sound like with an authentic Rockabilly trio backing him up. Without a shadow of a doubt it´s a good album that will please all his fans but it is simply not for me.
Debut CD – EP from this female fronted, Brooklyn, N.Y. rockin´ band. Their style is a blend of American Roots music: Rockabilly, a bit of Jump Blues and some Country thrown in. On this little shiny (you can get it on their website for a very good price) you´ll find two of their own compositions, the rockin´ ”Back Burner” and the Bo Diddley influenced “N.Y. Island Hoppin´”. Also you´ll find a cover of the Wayne Walker classic “All I Can Do Is Cry”. It´s a good offering but unfortunately it is also not the rough and authentic sound the Hepcat scene will go nuts for. Check out their website and decide for yourself. Good quality music from a great band, no more, no less. DJ Wildgoner
Second album from this krazy Hepcat and his unholy buddies. When you look at the track list you´ll find many European Hepkat-club-favorites like “Tornado”, “Slippin´In”, “My Search” or “Big Door”. Instead of covering these cult tracks note by note they all receive a special Lil´ Mo treatment, some more, some less. Benny Banta´s “Cry Little Girlie” for example starts a bit like the Sonics´ (or Hot Boogie Chillun´s) version of “Have Love, Will Travel”, genius or just insane?? I really like the wild jivin´ ”Sally Forth”, top notch rockin´ entertainment by the way. It´s an album of many different styles, check out their versions of Country rockers like “Livin´ Some Before I Die” or “Dig Boy”, great stuff buddies! Only weak point is that there are only 12 tracks on this CD. Okay, maybe we are lucky and get it on proper wax some day, then twelve tracks would be fine with me. Kool album with some great ´different enough´ versions of classic tracks plus some great own compositions. Worth buying for “Sally Forth” alone in my opinion, a first class dancefloor filling jiver!
Lil´ Mo & The Unholy IV
“The Big Payoff!”
Rhythm Bomb Records RBR 5911 - CD
Suzette Sundae & the Lovelifes
“3 track EP”
The Bop Thrills
“I´m The One / I Want My Baby Back”
Sin Gal Records - digital download http://www.thebopthrills.com/#!merch/c1xdn
Ezra Lee & The Havoc Band
Rhythm Bomb Records CD pre-view
A lot of things have already been said about this album on all those different blogs, fanzines and rockin´ mags. Most of the (I guess not always rockin´) people are ravin´ about another sensational Rockabilly record in the style of their fabulous “Just Plain Lonesome” album. But is it really another rockin´ soon-to-be classic in that league? No kats´n´kittens, in my opinion it´s not! It´s not a modern day folk rock (or whatever you may call it) record like their second album and the style of the songs are purely Bellfuries: most excellent songwriting, great melodies BUT you won´t find too much 1950's Rockabilly / Rock´n´Roll influence at all. “Oh, this or that US blog states that it is pure Rock´n´Roll and “retro” Rockabilly”. Oh boy, don´t believe anything on the net! Check it out and decide for yourself if you like it enough to buy it or not. Having said that, there are some fine rockin´ numbers like “Baltimore” (which sounds a bit like J.D McPherson in his early days), the early 60's influenced “Bad Seed Sown”, the jivin´ rocker “Beaumont Blues” or the nice “Under The Light Of The Moon”. Some of the other songs have a strong early to mid 60´s pop music style to it (or a slight touch of Rockabilly like “Loving Arms”). This US band never labeled itself as a Rockabilly band (which is fine with me), they are great musicians in their own right and they´ll try a lot to expand their (or our) musical boundaries. In my opinion it´s a nicely produced album with lots of cleverly written songs, perfect for Joey´s extraordinary voice but you have to be very open minded in your musical taste to enjoy it to the full, so (like Ricky Nelson said) “it´s up to you”.
Here we have the debut from this wild Rhode Island ( New England ) Rockabilly band. Founded by Screamin´ Scotty and Jeff Deware these guys are no newcomers on the rockin´ scene, having played in bands like the Amazing Royal Crowns or the Red Pennys before. Their kind of Rockabilly surely is on the wild side, often fast and frantic, somewhere between the desperate sound of the late 50's and the very early Hepcat bands of the late 80's / early 90´s. “I´m The One”, a wild Rocker, sounds a bit like mid 80's Rockabilly, “I Want My Baby Back” (not the Jimmy Cross number by the way) has much more 50's Rockabilly influence in it, I prefer that one! In my opinion it's a kool offering from great new outfit ( also I would have preferred a proper vinyl record ), check out their homepage!
"East Coast Rockabilly Central"
This hot little 14 tracker will be out for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly weekender and I guess I don´t have to mention that Lil´ Mo and his buddies are the cream of the crop of the current U.S. Doo Wop scene. I would not call them a typical white Doo Wop formation because they draw their influences not only from the White Group Sound but also from the classic R&B vocal group sound of the 1950's. You´ll find many up-tempo, sax driven tracks on this little shiny that will please all you dancers out there like the title track “Get Up And Dance”, “Hands Off”, “Shut The Door”, “Bop, Shake, Boogie”, their version of the El Dorados´ “At My Front Door (Crazy Little Mama)” or the Five Keys classic “She´s The Most” (“Cheese On Toast” some English kats will remember I guess…). When it comes to Doo Wop I do prefer the White Group sound (or Neo-Doo Wop as some hard core Doo Woppers may call it) of the late 50's and early 60's. Fine examples of this genre are their wonderful version of “You Belong To Me”, “Miss Magician”, the up-tempo “Zoop” or the jivin´ dance floor filler “Why Don´t You Answer”. Their acappella version of the Five Satins classic “To The Aisle” is simply great and their take on Richard Berry´s “Have Love, Will Travel “ received a special Lil´ Mo treatment, great and different enough to other cover versions. This kool little shiny ends with the sax instrumental “All Night Long”, a tribute to the recently deceased king of the honkin´ sax Mr. Joe Houston (R.I.P)! A fine and rockin´ Doo Wop / R&B album, especially recommended to all you dancers out there.
Lil´ Mo & The Dynaflos
"Get Up And Dance”
Rhythm Bomb Records CD pre-view
“Flatland Saturday Nigh”
Bear Family Records BCD 17383 – CD
"Record Reviews March 2016"
“Low Down Dog”
Rhythm Bomb Records CD pre-view ( no cover yet)
Here we have the second album from this Australian rockin´ Hillbilly Girl. She´s got a fine voice and Mr. Ralph Braband from Rhythm Bomb did the right thing in offering her a record contract. Her style is a nice blend of haunting Hillbilly, a bit of Western Swing , authentic Rockabilly and even a bit of early 60's style rockin´! The recordings were done in Berlin with the help of the Lightning Recorders “A-Team” so you already know that all the different styles on this top notch album are period perfect. Besides some haunting Country & Western ballads like the opening track “All I Can Do Is Sing” (this one reminds me of Kay Marie) or “Big Wide World”, you´ll get some great up-tempo stuff like “Rock & Rollin´Fever (it starts slow but picks up speed), the Western Swing styled stroller “My Sweet Baby Blue” or the boppin´ ”Black Cat Blues”. “Lover Man” (sounds a bit like Marti Brom by the way) could have been taken from one of those late 50's / early 60's Exotica compilations while “Rodney” has a great rockin´ Country Beat to it, very good and unusual. The title track of this album, “Weather Vane” , makes a great stroller by the way! “Boppin´On The Moon” is a great rockin´ track and pure authentic 50's style Rockabilly, some other songs like “Caddilac” or “High Fly Boogie” have a strong Western Swing / Country Boogie influence. “Bobby Brown” again is a great rocker with a bit of a jazzy feel and background vocals. Last song on this highly recommended album is the acoustic, jazzy Country ballad “I Stole The Train”. It´s a great album without a single weak track, check it out folks!!
“The Weather Vane”
Rhythm Bomb Records CD pre-view