The Southerners – Barstool Rodeo
Bandoleros -. Barstool Rodeo -. I Want A Love -. Let The Teardrops Fall -. Reachin For The Bible -. Lonesome Love -. Ripped In Two -. I'm Moving On -. Lovesick Man -. Forget To Remember -. The Dance -. Goodbye '53 -. Little Devil -. Blues Medley
The Southerners are a young new American (California) combo that plays authentic and drumless rockabilly. Female vocalist Celeste Gilstrap is very well supported by the tight rhythm section of Justin Williams (slap bass) and Byron Williams (acoustic guitar) with fine interventions by lead guitarist Hector Mattos. They deliver a good mix of tunes, all originals but two, mostly penned by Byron Williams.,The album opens with the Mexican flavoured instrumental “Bandoleros”. “Barstool Rodeo” is a solid rockabilly where the team rhythm guitar/slap bass is perfect. Miss Gilstrap’s vocal is very personnal and you cant easily compare her to any other female singer but she would sound more like a female Johnny Cash ‘as you can hear on “Ripped In Two”. After a couple of another rockabilly tracks, you find “Lonesome Love” that slows the pace. That does not mean it’s a smooth tune but a very “menacing” rockin’ one with a nice “dirty” guitar. “Lovesick Man” is a “train song” with the adequate rhythm where both Celeste and acoustic guistarist Byron Williams sing. Gilstrap penned two song “Forget To Remember” and the beautiful “The Dance” another slow and haunting tune. “Goodbye 53” shows the acoustic side of the band with just the vocal and a guitar. This good album ends with a rockin medley of “Saint Louis Blues/Basin’ Street” that starts with just the voice, the guitar and a mandolin and then turns into a wild rockin’ tune before slowing a bit for “Basin Street” and then ends even faster. You’ll find this fine platter at
Fred "Virgil" Turgis
  Rockin’ Ryan And The Real Goners - Cry Of Midnight
Golly Gee Records GGR1040
Cry of Midnight - Rainin' In My Heart - I'm The Wolfman - Why Did You Leave Me? - Double Crossin' Daddy - Open Up The Casket -Headstone Rock - Snake In The Grass - Animal Tamer - Cottontail - Rattle Shakin' Mama - Woman Cry - Cry of Midnight (Alt. Country Mix) - Castin' My Pearls Before Swine
Don’t expect Rockin’ Ryan to play traditional rockabilly with clean guitar, light tempo and love songs. This guy is wild and so is his newest record. Helped by his partner in crime Rip Carson, who co-wrote half of the songs, produced, engineneered, played guitar and bass he offers to the listener an album rich in sounds and moods. From dark country tunes to straight ahead rockabilly, from rock’n’roll to almost garage. The melody are not the ones you’re used to and the lyrics are clearly not about kissin’ a blonde babe in the back of a pink cadillac. A song like “Rainin’ In My Heart” is not that far from The Gun Club and “Cry Of Midnight” wouldn’t be out of place on a Nick Cave album with its story of murder and obsession, but always in a rockin' mood. Some are more traditional, like “Double Crossin’ Daddy” (kind of Johnny Burnette meets Hasil Adkins) or “Snake In The Grass” and "I'm The Wolfman" reflects the influence of Sagat-Carson's other band The Hexxers.Sagat’s voice fits all this styles with ease being warm and dark one moment and aggressive the next. My favourites songs are the album title “Cry Of Midnight” (both versions), The Crew’s “Why Did You Leave me Baby” and it’s haunted steel guitar and the wild “Animal Tamer”
Fred "Virgil" Turgis
    Spo-Dee-O-Dee . The Many Sides Of
Rhythm Bomb Records

Crazy For My Baby - Love Struck Baby - Don’t Go Pretty Baby - It Breaks My Heart - Why Did She Have to Go - I Wish You Would - Tell Me Who - Thunderbirds- Let Me In - Miss Blue Eyes - I Ain’t Got You - (i’m Gonna) Paint This Town - Pride and Joy - No More Crying the Blues - Such a Long Way
I must admit that I made a mistake and that I underestimated the "Spo-Dee-O-Dee”german band. Why? Sometimes it’s hard to explain. An average gig years ago, a not that convincing EP I buy once and you kinda “forget” a band and then one day you say to yourself " What hell is that band doin’ today? Why had I lost them from my sight?" A new album was the perfect opportunity to study again the case. And then, it’s the smack! "Why were you so stupid?". This "Many Sides Of" is quite simply impressing, mind-blowing, in a word : brilliant !
The band between their start in 1994 has changed many times his personal and today it’s a brand new four musicians band where remain from the past Andy Warner and Ralf Sommer. (the two others are Ike Stoye from Ike and the Capers and Gregor Cast from Jesse Al Tuscan’s Lumberjacks).
For that album they are helped by other guys (piano, backing vocals, second lead guitar) cause that one is the most diverted the band ever made. The name suits perfectly cause it’s just like a cruise through all the different fifties rockin’ musics : from the rockabilly of “Crazy For My Baby” (a composition perfect as a Johnny Carroll’s) and Alton and Jimmy’s “No More Cryin’ The Blues” and even an hidden bonus track (“Go Little Go Cat” much much wilder and primitive than the Four Teens original on Challenge) to white rockers as “Lovestruck Baby”, “Let Me In”, “Pain’t This Town” and the classic Danny Boy’s “Don’t Go Pretty Baby” with sax, piano and handclappins. You’ll also find some teenage sounding as “Why Did She Have To Go” (Rick Nelson could have sung that one) even italo doo-wop (“Such A Long Way” from Carlo and the Belmonts), Elvis style (“Tell Me Who” with a different take at the end which is for me twice better!), a strollin’ instrumental (“Thunderbird”), a Carl Mann’s Sun soundalike (“Miss Blue Eyes”) and some strong rockin’ blues (Billy Boy Arnold’s “ I Wish You Would”, Jimmy Reed’s “I Ain’t Got You” and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride And Joy” yes you read it right!)
Guys, if one day you read that review would you please forgive me for not having trusted in you! I swear that from now I will listen to all your past and future albums. Cross my heart and hope to die!!
David "Long Tall" Phisel
  The Star Mountain Dreamers - Greetings from El Paso
Uranium Rock Records UR-104
Used To Be My Woman - Hound Like Me - Sippin’ Syrup - Where’ve You Been? - Devil Moon - Can’t Catch & Handle - Texas Rose - She Drives Me High - You Send Me To Heaven - Where’d You Learn Them Things? - Rockin’ Bandit - Tu Corazón.

When you’re recording for a label named Uranium Records, it’s impossible for you to play some easy listening calypso music for elevators in a smooth kind of way. The Star Mountain Dreamers are a californian chicano band who deliver a frantic rockabilly with guts and nuts : A «no time to spare» music that will hit you right in the middle of your stomach like an uppercut and will let you groggy. Tony howls and growls like a beast, Danny hammer his drums like a blacksmith, Fred make his guitar sometimes purr then hiccough and vomit a hellfire spurt of notes while Lloyd (the rockin’ Lloyd Tripp!) copulate like a frenzy with his double bass. I’m over emphasizing? Not at all, my dear; the first title «Used to be my Woman» will give you a brief survey to what I’m saying. Wait a minute, don’t stop listening to your recorder, there’s more to come. «Hound Like Me» is devastating and will take the shit out of you!! To cure your ill, here’s some «Sippin’ Syrup» but it won’t help you at all: you’re definitely an «SMD» junkie wantin’ more and more. And these guys are gonna give you what you’re waitin’for till you’re gasping for breath. Even when you think you’re gonna find some rest («Can’t Catch and Handle») they’re gonna fool you and you’ll find yourself jumpin’ around like a crazy jack- in the- box. They’ll «drive you high» and «send you to heaven» and you’ll ask yourself «Where’d they learn them things?». I tell you, these guys are real «rockin’ bandits»(ten bucks for the bloke who find the trick!). No doubt about it folks: that first album is the real thing!
David "Long Tall" Phisel
  Stompy Jones - Stompy Jones
Jewel Records JR-0403
Oh Marie - Mary Had a Little Lamb - Whistle Stop - A Woman’s Intuition - Close Shave - Without You Here - You Can Depend on Me - That’s Earl, Brother - Mondine - That Wig’s Gotta Go - Boogie Woogie on a Saturday Night - Can’t Find My Baby - Rug Cutter’s Swing - Dream - Knock Me a Kiss - Juke Box Judy - Along the Navajo Trail
Stompy Jones is a sextet (bass, drums, piano, trumpet, saxophone and vocal) known formerly as The Swing Session, and even this cd is not exactly a new one (it’s been released in 2003), as I didn’t know them until recently, I thought that maybe I wasn’t the only one. What kind of stuff do they play? Imagine Louis Jordan’s Timpany Five playing a jam with Fletcher Henderson and Louis Prima as a guest. The «swing» is something not that easy to describe : you have it or you don’t. Saying this boys have it is an understatement, just listen to their rhythm
section?: subtle and efficient. From the second this album opens with «Oh Marie» (a song so much heard you thought it was hard to give it something new but they do) you’re hooked by «Pops» Walsh’s voice, bluesy and warm with a feeling that is very hard to find today. And they don’t just play this music right, they write it too. From the Jordanish «A Woman’s Intuition» to the humourous «That Wig’s Gotta Go» à la early Ray Charles and the beautiful instrumental ballad «Without You Here», Stompy Jones shows once again they have it. I could also mention «Can’t Find My Baby» a superb bluesy number with Pops litterally speaking with the muted trumpet, «Dream» originally a ballad given the Prima/Butera’s treatment and «Along The Navajo Trail» with its Roy Milton meets The Sons of The Pioneers style. And cherry on the pie, this record is wonderfully packaged with informative liner notes about each song. Make yourself a favour, go to and order it.
Fred "Virgil" Turgis
  The Stumbleweeds - Evil On Your Mind
Spinout Records

Evil On Your Mind - Baby I Still Love You - A Girl Dont Have To Drink - Had Enough - Saving My Love - Only Mama - Hard Times Ahead - Running Out Of Money - Look Out Heart Doggone Thing - My Baby Just Walked Right Out On Me - The Trouble With Girls - I Love You Because - Pennsyltucky - Tearin' Up The Town
The Stumbleweeds are back with their second release! Good news isn't it? You bet. I really enjoyed "Pickin' and Sinnin'" their first album. It was everything you could expect from a band that plays 50's rockabilly mixed with a good dose of Honky Tonk (or vice versa). And Lynnette's voice was probably one of the biggest surprise. A real country female singer, influenced by her predecessors (Patsy, Charlene and Wanda) but in no way an imitation. A few years later and after some line up changes (Lynnette is the only member remaining) they issue this 15 songs record on Spinout Records. The sound changed with the line-up and they now tends to play a more 60's influenced country style of music. The album opens with a great rendition (man, that slap bass sound !) of "Evil On Your Mind" (Harlan Howard via Jean Shepard). Six songs you'll find here has been sung one day or another by Wanda Jackson or Jean Shepard. But even the mood of the day is 60's honky tonk with twangy telecaster, you can't take the rockabilly out of that girl and their version of Janis Martin's "Hard Time Ahead" is here to proove it. Guitar player Denis Kelly is probably one of the best kept secret in the country guitar world. He can play straight Honky Tonk riffs, Bakersfield and is not afraid to add a little bit of rock from time to time ("Pennsyltucky") and some blues for good measure. Lenker's own "Baby I Still Love You" and "Doggone Thing" could have been written in the 60's. They both have great music (uptempo beat for "Baby" and classic Honky Tonk for "Doggone...") and fine lyrics and they stand proudly among their elder. John Fuller (remember "Nashville To Nashua" on their previous effort) contributes 2 songs : the unusual (but great) "Running Out Of Money" and "Tearin' Up The Town". Ex-Stumbleweeds Mike Feudale returns to write "Had Enough". This could be "one-more-country-song" but Lenker's voice and Kelly's guitar make all the difference. Another contributor to "Pickin' and Sinnin'", Chris De Barge, returns with "Pennsyltucky" another good one with change of pace for the refrain.What you have here is a great modern country album that didn't sell his soul. Even the covert art is perfect and matchs totally with the music. This album will be out for Viva Las Vegas, so catch 'em live and buy this jewel you won't regret it. Go to the interview section to read more about them or go to
Fred "Virgil" Turgis