"East Coast Rockabilly Central"
This is the debut album from a 6 piece Japanese outfit with female lead vocals from their singers Mei and Yuki. They do have a hard hitting late 50's / early 60's sound complete with a wild guitar and a saxophone for a good slice of ´desperate´ Rock´n´Roll sound . They covered many of my personal favorite rockers like Bob Luman´s “Try Me”, “Aw ´Come On Baby” (Myron Lee) or Scotty McKay´s “Midnight Cryin´Time”. The backing band sounds period perfect and the girls are also doing a great job to deliver the vocals with lots of passion. If you never checked out a Japanese band you have to be aware that their English is the Japanese version of English so be prepared to slightly ´different lyrics´. There´s a good variety of different styles so besides wild late 50's and early 60's Rockers you will also find their version of Wynona Carr´s “Jump Jack Jump” or the cross-over dance floor hit “Burnt Toast And Black Coffee”. There are a few self-written songs which fit in very well and are the real signature of this very lively band, check out the title track “Rockin´ Like A Man” or “Watch Out” and you´ ll figure out what I mean. It´s a very charming and also entertaining album, well done!!
Rockabilly Kitty Rose
"Bourbon Bound / I Saw A Ghost“
Crackerjill Music Vinyl 45
This little shiny offers a good´n´deep look on the bands of the current Teds and Rockers´ scene in Europe. Many bands are favorites from the European Teddyboy scene like the Finnish LimiTEDS and Backdraft with an updated Revival sound, the Foggy Mountain Rockers showing off their love for a Teenage Doo Wop sound with “Lovers Moon” and the German Teddyboy Kings Lou Cifer & The Helions with their “Full Moon And Empty Bottles”. The top rockin´ formation Jungle Tigers seem to have a soft spot for Doo Wop with their “Lover´s At Heart”. Cliff Edwards´ “Under The Moon And Stars” will do very well with the jivin´ crowd on the Rock´n´Roll circuit, “Good Time Gal” is a great mid-tempo number from the dutch Highway 54, one of my favorites on this 25 track CD. A band I never heard of before are Cherry Pets & The Cadets with a heavy lo-fi Blues Bopper called “Howling At The Moon”, great one! Another killer track is “Lonesome Road” by one of my own favorite German bands the Booze Bombs, they are a simply a band that never fail to deliver. Doo Wop music really seems to make a bit of a comeback on the Teddyboy scene at the moment so you are also having a track by the Lauries, a German three piece dedicated to the early 1960's White Group sound. “Bright Moon” is a great track with perfect harmonies but the backing orchestra sounds too mid 196O's for my taste (kind of a later Four Seasons sound if you know what I mean…). On this CD you will find 2 tracks (Jungle Tigers and Warren Ace & The Dukes) which includes Stefan Pfeiffer who died in November 2016 so this sampler can also be seen as a fitting tribute to him as he was one of the true characters of the German rockin´ scene. If you are open minded to other rockin´styles than authentic Rockabilly you should check it out, some great tracks here!
Here we have a white vinyl 45 from a very talented 4 piece outfit from Atlanta, Georgia. To be honest with you my fellow felines, I would not call their music straight Rockabilly. It´s more of a mix of late 1950's Rock´n´Roll, a bit of Jump Blues and of course Rockabilly. Front kitten Kitty has a powerful voice and they do have a full sound complete with lead guitar, slap bass, drums and even a tenor sax to make their sound more swingin´. “Bourbon Bound” reminds me a bit of the all-time classic “Brand New Cadillac” by the French Rockers national hero Vince Taylor and the flipside “I Saw A Ghost” has a very catchy rhythm to it. Check out their website and catch them at a gig if you can. A kool 45 from a band to look out for.
The Lonesome Drifters
“Wooden Barn Records presents the Lonesome Drifters”
Wooden Barn Records 4 track vinyl EP
Jorma Lover and the Others
12 track debut CD
Oh boy, Rhythm Bomb recording started a side project, this brand new French record label. They now are a five piece complete with drums and a wonderful steel guitar. This FABULOUS record came out a few weeks ago in March 2017 and should I mention it´s limited to 500 copies? Well, I got my copy at the French Good Rockin´ Tonight Weekender (a great festival by the way) and I could not resist to play the first track on my DJ gig. Now you can make an educated guess what happened….It packed the dance floor immediately which is a rare case for a brand new track by a modern band but this song “I Don´t Love Ya´” is absolute KILLER!!!! and was written by the French Charlie Feathers Mr. Don Cavalli. He even gave them another song “I´m Lonesome” which also plays in the highest possible league. Doin' a cover of “Eager Boy” done originally by their idol, the Lonesome Drifter himself is nothing special (so you may think) but this version is simply as good as the original with Steves's powerful voice and the bands´perfect backing. Hopeless Homer´s “New Way Rockin´” also would do the original artist very proud and makes the perfect end to a truly amazing “comeback” EP. This is simply a record every true kat and kitten can´t afford to be without. A fantastic EP (great pressing quality) by THE BEST authentic Rockabilly band in Germany. Better be quick fellow felines because this record will sell like hot cakes ! Some of you lucky folks got to hear East Coast Rockabilly Central's DJ Phantom spin "I Don't Love Ya" at this year's Nashville Boogie.
"Rockin´ Like A Man“
Rhythm Bomb Records - CD
Mack Stevens´ Los Paganos Del Ritmo
Part Records Part-CD 6125.001 CD
Here we have the latest album from the Slapbacks, a four piece Rockabilly band from Vienna, Austria. They've been around since 1995 and have already released 5 albums. Their own brand of Rockabilly is deeply influenced by rockin´ Blues and a bit of proper Country and you´ll find loads of very good tracks here! Some of the songs remind me of the Go Getters which isn´t a bad thing by the way. There are loads of very catchy uptempo tracks to keep you entertained, the singer has a great voice and the guitar work is killer. Check out tracks like “Mine, Mine, Mine” , “Dance With Me Baby”, the unusual “Opposites Attract”, the risqué Bopper “Bend Over” , “Take It Easy”, the Instro “Speed”, “Pill Poppin´Daddy” , “Satisfy My Woman” and “29 Chicks” . This highly entertaining rockin´ album ends with an absolutely brilliant Blues Bopper called “Endless Ride” which actually screams out to be on a proper 45, what a fantastic number !! All in all a truly superb album, congratulations boys!
This one´s a very interesting record for all you Johnny Cash fans out there. These demos were cut by Bakersfield Country star Billy Mize for the “Man in Black”. Johnny only used “Clementine” and waxed it down at the same session he did “Five Feet High And Rising”. The amazing thing is Billy´s ability to write and record songs which would have fit Johnny perfectly. In fact, they also could be long lost demos recorded by the man himself, absolutely amazing. Many of you kats ´n ´kittens will be familiar with Billy´s Desperate Rock´n´Roll anthem “Planet Of Desire” but he turned out to be a Bakersfield Country hotshot in the later part of the 1960's and 1970's. As I said, these songs do have the typical Johnny Cash Country sound. The two mid tempo numbers “That´s What I´m Doing” and “She Needed Me” even have a bit of a rockin´ feel to them. All in all a great little record if you love the sound of the Mr. Johnny Cash.
Here´s the debut album by a young French trio who is influenced by 1950's Rockabilly and early 60's British Rock´n´Roll. Sounds good to me at first glance and the fact that the band writes their own material (only a cover from Troyce Key´s “Watch Your Mouth) does make the whole thing even more interesting. When listening to most of the tracks I do not find much Rockabilly or British Rock´n´Roll influence in it. Most of the tracks have a Blues influenced rockin´style but for my taste the whole thing is a bit too tame and contemporary. Having said that, there is a nice ballad “Asking The Stars” which sounds like it could have been taken from the movie “Cry Baby”, some Doo Wop harmony backing vocals would have been nice. They did a great job with their cover of “Watch Your Mouth” and “Being in Love (Like Teenagers” has a strong early 1960's feel to it. There are some tracks I dig more than some of the others but all in all their sound is too modern and not catchy enough for me. But that´s just my humble opinion so check ´em out and make up your own decision.
The Hoodoo Tones
“Confessions of A Loner”
Rhythm Bomb Records RBR 5839 – CD
This is the debut by the Finnish band Jorma Lover and the Others which came out at the end of last year. They do draw their influence from classic 1950's Rockabilly, a bit of teenage Rock´n ´Roll complete with background harmonies , twangin´ Country guitar Rockers and also some early 1960's instrumentals. They don´t have drums in their line-up which shows their love for the early recordings of Elvis and Johnny Burnette´s Rock´n´Roll Trio. For example, The band´s name is actually a word play with English and Finnish words and so you´ll find Jorma Heart at vocals and guitar, Jorma Soul on upright bass and vocals plus Jorma Lover on vocals and guitar. All of the 12 songs were written by the band members and I really have to say they did an excellent job! There´s lots of variety on this album, this is not one of those very boring records with a dozen songs all sounding the same! It´s very different to most other Rockabilly bands on the circuit and in my opinion this is a high-class debut with some great quality songs, very highly recommended !! Here are some of my favorite tracks: “40 days”, “I´m falling”, “Bad News Travel Fast” , “Fly Away” , “Jorma Lover” , “D.I.Y” and “She´s A Hot Little Mama” . Check´em out on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JormaLoverAndTheOthers/
“1958 Demos For Cash”
Richard Weize Archives ALP 10501 – Vinyl 10inch
Brand new 22 track CD album by the Texas Rockabilly Wildman and his two partners in crime from Buenos Aires. Here you´ll get a great authentic and sometimes bluesy and rural Hick Country Rockabilly sound and also some wild Rockers, a bit of Honky Tonk and even something for the lord! Lots of the tracks sound like they could have been taken straight out of one of these Trailer Park podcast shows by record collector and British ex pat - Ricardo Mark Lee Allen. Looking on the inside of this CD I finally found out that Mark is involved in two of the tracks of the album (“Psycho Breakdown” and “Way You´re Treating Me”). Some of the tracks remind me also of the stuff Ronnie Hayward was doing in the 90's. You´ll find lots of killer tracks and different styles here, some really will do very well on the record hops. They are raw and primitive (in a good way) and sound like this kind of music should sound: No updated and over produced sound, just the REAL stuff. His songwriting is great as ever as you will already know because he has done many albums and 45s over the last few decades. Just listen to “Titty City” and you know what I mean. It´s a great album and one of the highlights in the Part Records catalog. Check it out!
Spring 17' Record Reviews
“Howlin´At The Moon – Teds & Rockers Inc. Vol. 2”
Part Records PART-CD 650.020 - CD
Rhythm Bomb Records RBR 5843 – CD