The Marauders – Midnight Rhythm
Rock’n’Roll Purgatory RRP-010
Last Call - Dead Of Night - Lonely Road - She Put A Curse On Me - Tow The Line - Kill Pop Radio - Refuge - Midnight Rhythm - My Revolver - Satisfied
The marauders are a neo/modern – rockabilly trio coming from Pennsylvania. To describe them I’d say they’re a cross between The Quakes in their Voice Of America period, as Ben Dum’s voice sometimes reminds me of Paul Roman, and some Setzer solo stuff like Ignition. But of course, they’re more than just imitation or followers. The ten songs of this record are all Marauders originals and they know how to write solid stuff in a wide range of mood. The opening song goes “straight in your face” with heavy slap bass, rocking guitar and lyrics like “gotta drink my cash”, how can you be wrong? “Dead Of Night” don’t give the time to rest as it plays on a similar tempo and you have to wait “Lonesome Road” and its country feel to take a breath but it soon followed by “She Put A Curse On Me” a song with fine lyrics you can’t help but sing along. “Tow The Line” is a swingin’ rockabilly tune with a punk feel on the chorus and could easily be found on a comp’ of the legendary Nervous Records label, if you see what I mean. Chris Lawson is a hell of a slap bass player, but, one good point that needs to be mentionned, he also knows when he don’t have to slap and don’t interfere with the drums. “Midnight Rhythm”, the title tracks, starts with just the voice and the acoustic guitar in a country mood and then come the drums and slap bass for another great rockabilly moment. A dark song like “Revolver” has a bit of Psychobilly in it, but don’t let the term confuses you. I mean what they now call “old school psychobilly” when it was just nervous rockabilly not heavy metal with a slap bass. The last song “Satisfied” is a classic rockabilly with a stop/start structure, and let you wanting more. And more will soon come as it seems that a new album is on its way with a song written for them by no less than Brian Setzer. Check their website to read more
Fred "Virgil" Turgis
  Mars Attacks - Circle Of Love
Blue Lake Records BLR-CD 07
I'm Gonna Get Ya - Rome Wasn't Build In A Day - In My Dreams - I Care - Lush - Leavin' It All Behind - If I Could Be True - Misunderstood - Nothing To Write Home About - Rebound - She's Gone - King Of Fools - I Just Feel So Sad. Circle Of Love - I'm Gonna Get Ya - Rome Wasn't Build In A Day - In My Dreams - I Care - Lush - Leavin' It All Behind - If I Could Be True - Misunderstood - Nothing To Write Home About - Rebound - She's Gone - King Of Fools - I Just Feel So Sad.
If you were at the 10th rockabilly rave you’ve probably have seen this austro-swiss band. I managed to see them playing with the great Sonny Burgess and they really impressed me. Sadly I missed their own show and listening to this cd I really regret that. This is a kind of thematic-concept album made of love (as the title suggests) songs (10 originals and 4 covers). The lyrics are exploring every steps of a relationship from the desire (I’m Gonna Get Ya) to the rupture (I Just Feel So Sad) via the happiness (In My Dreams) and every feelings in between. In term of authentic recording JCR recording service is one of the 2 best place in Europe (with Berlin Lightning Recording Service). Combine a good studio, the knowledge to use it and most of all a killer band with good songs of their own and the result is explosive. Mostly a pure rockabilly album (“She’s Gone” one of the best here had a hell of rhythm section on it) you find some “traditional” rock’n’roll too like “Rome Wasn’t Build In A Day”, “Misunderstood” in a very Presley-esque style, a bit of country ala Johnny Cash (the cover of “King Of Fool”) and “Leavin’ It All Behind” shows the influence of Sonny Burgess with its trumpet part played by singer Roland Riedberger. Charlie Rich’s “Rebound” is for some obscure reasons one of my favourite song and let me tell ya that their cover is just perfect. To be short this album is probably one of the best European relase I had the chance – yes this is the word - to listen to this year, even the cover, a beautiful digipack, is perfect. As an extra bonus you have a short movie of Mars Attacks in the studio or to be honest a movie of the band drinkin’ in the studio .
Fred "Virgil" Turgis
  Jessie Lee Miller - Now You're Gonna Be Loved
Now You're Gonna Be Loved - Pennies On the Railroad Track - You Told Me a Lie - Invitation to the Blues - All or Nuthin' Gal - Honey, Honey - Because of a Lie - Cryin' Alone - Not For Nothing - Haunted by the Memory - It's a Lonely World - Ten Tons of Love - You Are My Sunshine
For her debut album Jessie Lee Miller gathered a bunch of fine musicians. Take a look at this casting that’d make jealous more than one. Tom Umberger (Kim Lenz, The Racketeers, The Stumbleweeds, Gina Lee and the Brisket Boys) on guitar, Cindy Cashdollar on steel, Paul Ward (Cave Catt Sammy) on drums, Ryan Gould on bass and Basil McJagger (The Derailers) on piano and accordion. Not to forget the producer : Sean Mencher. Eight of the songs included here are originals but two has been previously played by High Noon. “Now You’re Gonna be Loved” opens the album with a furious western swing rhythm and guest guitar player Olivier Giraud (81/2 Souvenis, Paris 49) provides a fine chorus in a great gipsy jazz style. The second one, “Not For Nothing” has been slightly sped up and completely rearranged with an accordion. This one is probably one of my favourites as I like accordion and most of all the little falsetto (ala “Lovesick Blues”) in Jessie’s voice when she sings “beyond measure”. She also penned three songs that show her versatility : Honky Tonk ala Patsy Cline that suits her bass voice very well (Pennies On The Railroad Track), jazzy ballad (“Cryin Alone” with a nice muted trumpet) and “It’s A Lonely World” a good uptempo tune. The third contributors is Tom Umberger and if you liked the songs he wrote for the first Stumbleweeds album, you’ll love the three he penned for Jessie Lee. I really love “Honey, Honey” and its Honky Tonk piano part. The other songs are taken from the catalog of Cindy Walker, Roger Miller and Jimmy Davis (I must admit I’m not too keen of “You Are My Sunshine” and I don’t think it ends the album on a high point. But I’ve never been a big fan of this song.). What you have here is a solid mix of honky tonk, western swing, hillbilly boogie and jazz. Not a bad recipe don’t you think? Miss Miller says she has the next one already written, now we just have to wait. You can order these fine album at
Fred "Virgil" Turgis
  Miss Lauren Marie - Introducing
Texas Jamboree TexJam 0061
Just Like Two Drops of Water - Sweet and Easy to Love - A Heart That Isn't True - As My Heart Breaks - Who Cares - Moody River - One Sided Heart - How Long is Forever – Everytime - Three Little Words - Please Take a Picture - The Last Kiss is the Sweetest - Believe What You Say
Short version : Perfect & essential !
Extended version : Not only Billy Horton is a great producer and knows how to record music, but he and his brother Bobby have gathered some of the finest musicians around to build what could be called the “Fort Horton team”. With Billy on bass, Bobby on guitar and lap steel, you find Dave Biller, probably one of the most inventive guitar player in town, Buck Johnson on drums and T Bonta on piano. Together they made some masterpieces like The Horton Brothers albums and Shaun Young's “Wiggle Walk”. That’s the same band that plays on this great platter, Miss Lauren Marie’s debut album. Imagine something like a cross between Kay Starr and Patsy Cline recording at Owen Bradley’s studio in the early 60’s. The album opens on a great version of Wynonie Harris’ "Just Like Two Drops Of Water" which is followed by Roy Orbison’s Sun period song : Sweet And Easy To Love. The arrangement is not that far from the original except for the backing vocals arrangement, a good idea in my opinion as I think it's a low point on the original. Next comes "A Heart That Isn't True" one of the three Bobby Horton’s own, first heard on “Bobby Horton vs Derek Peterson”. “As My Heart Breaks” is another nice tune written by Horton and shows some reminiscences of the Biller & Horton album with vibes and an exotic beat. His third effort, “Everytime” is a pure Horton song and is my new “I-feel-blue-what-song-could-I-play-to-feel-better” tune. An old theme given a fresh treatment. The Two Timin’ Three appear on two songs : the jazzy “Three Little Words” with a nice guitar more in the Chet Atkins vein rather than Les Paul and the Ricky Nelson / Burnette smooth rockabilly “Believe What You Say”, the perfect song to end this album which shows her ability to rock. Before that you’ll find some honky tonk with Don Gibson’s “Who Cares” and Willie Nelson’s “How Long Is Forever”, and a beautiful waltz written by Eric Laufer. Don’t forget her version of “Moody River” where Miss Lauren Marie is perfectly supplied by Buck Johnson’ drums rolls. I could go on with the musicians skill or try to describe her voice both subtle or warm but I’m afraid that short or extended, you’ll always come to the same conclusion : a perfect album with no filler. One last note : another essential element of this team is photographer George Brainard. Check his website to see his beautiful photographies.
Fred "Virgil" Turgis