Mark Kelf & The Valley Boys - The Best Of
Red Bomb - Cut Her Down - Run Like The Devil - Big Big Town - Shut Up Bottle -That Rod's A Rocket - Don't Think About You - Boxcar Blues - Hot Rod Daddy - Money To Burn - Loose Woman - Storm Ahead - Cat Daddy - Buzz Boom - She's Mine - Chain Reaction - Fat Cat Lee - Don't You Ride That Train - Haunted Hot Rod - Sleep Mama Sleep - Hobo Blues - Never No More - G-1 Johnny - The Crossing - The Hanging Tree
The name of this CD is misleading bus it is not a question of a compilation of the best tracks of this english band but well of a very new album recorded per Mark Kelf and its boys. But on the other hand the superlative is not usurped because we are well in the presence of rockabilly of the best style. It should be said that the gang is not with its first attempt - Mark was part of mythical Fireball XL5 at the beginning of the eighties and these chaps play together since ages (Mark and Richard know themselves since 1976). However, the band has resisted in spite of the changes of crew and the death of one of the members, the double bass player Simon "Dick" Davies. This "Best Of" is their third album (only!) but the first that they carry out for some Americans (NBT in collaboration with Smokehouse Classic records), the two previous were made for the german “Vampirella Records”. Now that I water your mouths you wanna know a little more about the contents? Put that one in your CD player (how that, it is not a vinyl?) and be ready to be beat down in your mug by 24 songs -including 22 self penned compositions by Mark and Richard Howard, the lead guitarist, and two signed by the texan Sonny May- of pure rockabilly without any concession. Well, to be sincere, there’re only two: a little hillbilly can be found and even some (a few) softness as “Fat Cat Lee” and the last song "The Crossing" which is a superb ballad! But before that there is a real rockabilly storm and it start with the very first piece. The “Red Bomb” suits its name well : that one explode like a Burnette Brothers wild rockabilly! And trust me, the remainder is from the same kind (listen to “Cut her Down”, “Don’t Think About You”, “Haunted Hot Rod” just to mention a few!). An excellent album and sayin’ more would be useful: give me the beat, maestro!
David "Long Tall" Phisel

  Jerry King And The Rivertown Ramblers- A Date With...
Jewel Records
You Forgot Your Name Party Line  Brown Eyed Baby - Rains - Honky Tonk Bop - I Want A Lover - Big Door - Bad Dreams - Devils Child - She Dont Live Here No More - Speed Limit - Price Of Love
This is the third cd from Jerry King and The Rivertown Ramblers and like the previous one it's been recorded at the legendary Sun studios. Most of the songs are King's own and that's a good point 'cause he knows how to write good stuff. There're many rockabilly bands today and it's sometime hard to find a sound and a niche. For this recording Jerry King and his gang have choosen to soften their sound and to lean towards a late 50's kind of rock'n'roll. The opening track "You forgot Your Name" featuring piano and backing vocals ala Jordanaires shows this orientation. And they have more in common with Elvis than the word "King" and the name of this album, believe me ! This guy has a great voice. Presley is not the only obvious influence as you can hear a lot of Roy Orbison in "Bad Dreams". But don't think The Rivertown Ramblers gave up traditionnal rockabilly, songs like "Party Line" and "Big Door" are real rockin' tunes and "Speed Limit" wouldn't be out of place Rip Carson's My Simple Life. You even have a hillbilly boogie song, the well named "Honky Tonk Bop".The records ends with "The Price Of Love" which is as good as "I Miss The Ring" from their previous album. Very good production work, amazing song,and once again, what a voice. A very good album indeed and in its own way very original. Go and check their website to buy it.
Fred "Virgil" Turgis
  Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys - Living In Sin
Coeur De Jeanette Productions
Hollywood Party - Good Little Bad Little You - Living In Sin - How Could Little Red Riding Hood? - My Blue Bird’s Singing The Blues - Don’t Take That Black Bottom Away - Ce Disque Vous Dira - Baby O’ Mine - I Love My Baby - Jersey Walk - If You Do What You Do - Ballin’ The Jack - Big Time Woman - The Sheik Of Ave B - Some Little Bug Is Going To Find You - True Blue Lou - Everyone Says I Love You - Unrequited - Night Wind - Jacksonville Blues - Sunday - Sing Me A Baby Song
This is the fourth recording from this delicious lady and if you’re into a beginning of the century (not this one, the previous one) and a jazz mood this album is definitely for you. Obscure, naughty and lovely songs of the 1910’s, 20’s & 30’s is what you read on the cover (beautifully designed as usual with Janet’s album) and this is the best description man can give. Janet’s vocal is fine and if you’ve never heard her, imagine a cross between Annette Hanshaw’s class, Ruth Etting’s exprissivity and Betty Boop/Helen Kane’s sex appeal. The sound is not that far from Robert Crumb’s Cheap Suits Serenaders, and it’s no surprise to find here ex-Serenaders Tom Marion, Randy Woltz and Robert Armstrong, along with Russ Blake (guitar player for The Lucky Stars) here on Hawaiian steel guitar and other fine musicians. Among them, Ian Whithcomb, ukulele, accordion and piano player, sings a few duets that are mini-vaudeville shows («How Could Red Riding Hood?»). I know that with this stuff we are far from wild rockabilly and other rockin’ things, but if you’re curious take a trip with Janet, you won’t regret it.
Fred "Virgil" Turgis
  Lil’ Bit & The Customatics - Whiskey Nights
Tomcattin’ Around
Whiskey Nights - Little Bit More - No More - Red Hen Hop - Old Hot Rod - Been Gone So Long - Train, Train - One Too Many - Free & Fairly Sober - Mr. Crazy Legs - Country Boy Rock n’ Roll - Stampede - The Best Thing
Brand new album (the third) from this Texas quartet. Jen aka Lil’ Bit must have one of the best voice on the rockabilly scene today. It’s powerful and clear in the same time. She’s also a remarkable songwriter and writes songs that make you rock (“Little Bit More” or the agressive “Mr Crazy Legs” that could have been recorded by Wanda jackson) or cry like “Free & Fairly Sober” (as good as any Wayne Hancock song) or “The Best Thing”. The Customatics give her the best support you can dream for this type of band. The way Tomcat Miller gives the beat and the swing with his bass gains him a place near Kevin Smith or Ric Ramirez in the great bass players’pantheon. And he can sing and write songs too ! “No More” has a strong “south of the border” feel with nice steel and flamenco guitar breaks. “Train Train” is a funny “spoken song”, just like “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke” or “Hot Rod Lincoln” to give you an idea, with guest Dennis Fallon from Two Tons of Steel on baritone. Miller also wrote “Old Hot rod”, a rocking song Lil’ Bit delivers with aggressivity, surely one of her best moment. We haven’t talk about Brian Duarte although his talent shines throughout this album and culminates on his own “Stampede”. This instrumental is a real “tour de force” and would delight every fan of pickin mixed with a good dose of rock’n’roll. A few covers complete this cd. I really enjoyed “One Too Many” (also covered by The Horton Brothers on their latest release) with Jen and Tomcat singing harmonies together and Reno & Smiley’s “Country Boy Rock’n’Roll”. Follow my advice, catch them the next time they’ll come to your town (just imagine how they could sound live) and buy the cd after the show.
Fred "Virgil" Turgis
  Lil Luis Y Los Wild Teens - Rip It Up
Wild Teen Records. WTCD 0001
Rip It, Rip It Up - Delincuente - Crazy Feet - Mean Streak
Baby, Baby, Baby - Mucho Amor Rick’s Rock - Crazy Daisy - Presumida Wild One - Oye Mi Chiquita - Solo No Quiero Estar - Honey Mae Porque Soy Rebelde - Crazy Daisy (Alt. Version)

When one day in the middle of the breakfast your kid will ask you «Dad, what is... Rock’ Roll», well do not thank me, but I got the perfect answer to this existential question. You will say «Well, It’s simple my son, listen to that!»and then you will play lery loudly the first «Lil’ Luis Y Los Wild Teens» album called «Rip It Up!» (does it ring a bell?). It’s radical; either your brat becomes junkie immediately and starts to dance frantically or he flees while running and becomes priest?!
Because this album it is true dynamite, TNT; no waste of time, not of useless notes only some efficient and tough rockin’ music. As the first piece started you’re caught in a trap : «Rip It, Rip It Up» a wild rocker from F. Monday pick you up with his guitar, his sax and his devastating yell and you get free until the last one of the fifteen pieces which is a alternate take of a homemade song «Crazy Daisy» (and I tell you, she IS crazy!). The guys, some chicanos greasers that do not look like altar boys (even if they thank good in the liner notes) are pictured on the cover behind jail bars and their album is subtitled «wild juvenile rock’ roll» and the label is «Wild Teen Records» if one would not have it well understood yet?! The band of Luis Arriaga assumes its mexican culture and several titles are in spanish of which the Gene Vincent «Lotta Lovin» cover who has become «Mucho Amor». Even Omar Romero (you know the one from the Stringpoppers) takes part on two pieces. This album, I take the bet of it, will leave you heaving, twitching, breathless (does that ring another bell?)... well in one word this is gonna rip you up?!
David "Long Tall" Phisel
  Little Boy Arnold & His Western Oakies - Pretty Bad Blues
Blue Lake Records. BLR-CD 05
I Gotta Go - Boxcar Boogie - Pretty Baby Blues - Bye Bye Blues - Beale Street Boogie - Broken Heart - Travellin’ To Nowhere - Me And The Blues - Rock Bop Tonight - Ridin’ This Old Train - The Wild Guitar - Long GOne Baby - I’m Diggin’ A Hole - End Of The Road - Takin’ It Easy.
Since his beginnings in the middle of the Nineties, the one which the English DJ Cosmic Keith calls the «Spanish Matador of rockabilly» i.e. Hector Guerrero more known under the nickname of Little Boy Arnold has cut himself a solid reputation of purism. An album-compilation gathering his 10 years of wander («10 years ridin’ this old Train») with various musicians appeared at Sleazy Records into 2004 had revealed it to us but this «Pretty Bad Blues», his first «real» album, released on the Swiss label Blue Lake Records hammers it in. With the assistance of the Western Oakies , Hector delivers to us rockabilly without any concession : in turn primitive with an acoustic trio (Hector sings and plays guitar, Juan Busquier is lead guitar and Humberto Corrales holds the upright bass) in a country-boogie vein («Boxcar Boogie», «I’ m digging a hole») then electrified and in smoothness (the jazzy picking «Bye Bye Blues», «Ridin’ This Old Train», «Wild Guitar») and finally powerful with the tough knocking drums of Paul Burkhalter («I Gotta Go», the Indian feelin’ «Travelin’ To Nowhere», «End Of The Road» ‘s cover and especially the terrific and burlison stylin’» Rock’n’roll Bop Tonight»).
David "Long Tall" Phisel
  Lloyd Tripp And The Zipguns - Who’s That Fool
Rhythm Bomb Records
Do Me Like She’s Done - You Should’a Said From the Start - That Train - Hold Back - Who’s the Fool? - Holdin’ You - I Want Your Love - When Your Baby Wants to Rock - Sittin’ Here Waitin’ - One Way Daddy - So Sad, So Lonely ‘n So Blue - Why’d You Tell Me
Concerning the first album of the Star Mountain Dreamers, I already spoke you about the Uranium Records label and also in the same issue of your favourite webzine (humble, isn’t it?) I mention the artist in question now in the first Arsen Roulette’s album review. Lloyd Tripp, to name him, is an Arsen friend and one of his Drugstore Romeos (he holds the killin guitar gun).
But first of all, Lloyd is a leader of a fuckin’ good which has already released two rockabilly masterpiece albums. As for the SMD here is not question of half-measure, of lukewarm water! Rockabilly wears proudly its name and is suited as underwears: close to the bollocks! "Who' s the Fool "is the title of this album, well, I can give an answer : It won’t be you! Because with this twelve tracks album you won’t be ripped off (who said an album must have twenty fillers? Twelve killers are enough!) The trio based in San Francisco and composed of Lloyd to the double bass and vocal, Tom Haymen with the guitar and Biff O' Hara with the drums (not the “RinTinTin” one but the same drummer as on the first class "Gone Fishin" the previous album on same the label which definitely really suit his name) will give you rockabilly worth of the money you spent to buy it.
This combo is not a “already heard thousand times before” average rockabilly trio cause in addition to the overflowing and vitalizing energy these guys has forged a sound, a style what is the prerogative of the best ones. Which is their secret? In fact behind the great lyrics, the music hides (not at all, he doesn’t hide himself!) a single man : Lloyd Tripp, a strong fellow who is a fabulous craftsman and who can craves you some small efficient rockabilly jewels which take you off (the first album “Ride That Rocket” immediately made me go up aboard that rocket drived by Lloyd). So don’t be a fool, get on board of that new homemade rockin’ ship and be ready to take off!
David "Long Tall" Phisel
  The Lucky Stars - Stay out late with
Fate LP5002
Rarin’ To Go - Real Good Lookin’ - Teacher’s Pet - Am I In Love (Or Am I Just Hungover)? - Out Of Your Mind - The Tattooed Lady - (Mama’s Got) The Rundown Daddy Blues - Used To Be - My Poor Old Haunted Heart - Don’t Count Your Chickens - One Man’s Blues - One Of These Days - Stay Out Late
This new album was highly anticipated. Imagine Sage Guyton’s hability to sing and write songs combined with Jeremy Wakefield on steel and the support of Dave Stuckey on drums, Wally Hersom on bass and Russ Blake on guitar. Well, if you’re into western swing this is the combination that would make your heart flip?!
And it does. The album opens with «Rarin’ to Go», the kind of song that takes no prisoner and you know you’re not just listenin’ to another album but a recording that could stand proudly near Hank Penny, Tex Williams or Bob Wills in your collection. This band swings, I mean REALLY swings, they don’t play country songs with steel on a rock beat, you see what I mean? Next song «Real Good Lookin’» gives us the occasion to salute the work done by guest musician Mike Bolger on trumpet, accordion and piano on this album. While we’re talking about the musicians I must praise the quality of guitar player Russ Blake and his jazzy licks. A few month ago this guy was totally unknown to me (shame on me) and in the same time I got 3 fantastic records where his talent shines : this one, Jeremy Wakefield’s Steel Guitar Caviar and the latest Janet Klein. All this album is a proof that Sage Guyton is not only a fantastic singer but a genius in term of writing songs. Of course you can expect clever lyrics (Teacher’s pet, Mama’s got the rundown dady blues to name but two) but Sage is more than a guy who writes funny tunes. Just listen to «Out of your mind» and «My poor old haunted heart» (and if you don’t cry on these one, you’re not realy human). JW sings the two covers of this album «the Tattooed lady» and Cindy Walker’s «Don’t count your chicken» and the records ends on the instrumental «Stay out late» that could have been recorded by the Western Caravan. But enough said, this record is an absolute must ! I just hope we won’t have to wait 5 years to hear the next one.
Fred "Virgil" Turgis