Tuesday 31 August 2010

Gene Vincent T-shirts For Sale

My wife's business, Julabelle Fabrics and Crafts has branched out into making t-shirts, mugs, coasters, mouse mats, etc. Whereas in the past she has concentrated on the arty farty, flowers and prety patterns line, I have persuaded her to make a few rockabilly style t-shirts. She has started with a Gene Vincent one and you're welcome to buy one. To purchase, choose the size you require and click on the Paypal link.

The shirts are 100% cotton and professionally printed using top-of-the-range printers and heat presses. It is the aim of Julabelle to post any items within 24 hours of purchase.

The cost of the t-shirts is only £9.99.

Please note that currently we only ship to mainland UK and Europe.

Cost incl. P&P

Saturday 28 August 2010

Dale Watson - Carryin' On

Dale Watson - Carryin' On
E1 Entertainment

I've been a big fan of Dale Watson for years and just about got everything he's done. Hell, I even paid twenty quid for a signed CD one at Narberth. Phil laughed his head off but I didn't have a lot of choice after getting him to sign it before asking him how much it was. I think he was still working in dollars which was about 2-to-1 back then. Never mind, I've played it at least three times since!

There was a spell a few years ago when his personal life went belly up with divorce followed by the death of his new lover. He carried on with his music through this difficult period and to be honest, there was such a sadness and desperateness to it, that made it hard to listen to. It was like watching a train wreck.

Things look a bit better for him now and it reflect on this latest effort. In fact, the opener, Carryin' On This Way is as infectious as he's ever sounded. It has a Gentle On My Mind feel to it, and it has the same timeless quality of much of Glen Campbell's best work. The whole album is written by Watson and is beautifully played by a band that includes no less than Lloyd Green, Hargus "Pig" Robbins and Pete Wade.

There's not a bad track but a couple really stand out. I love the breakneck paced, I'll Show You. Heart Of Stone may be his finest ever vocal performance, and vies with the opener for the albums killer track. The closer, Hello, I’m an Old Country Song is a fine piece of writing that shows that his heart still belongs in the days when country records had fiddles and steels.

A great album that confirms that the old Nashville Rasher is back on track.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Hub Caps - 3rd Base

Hub Caps - 3rd Base
Enviken Records

Track Listing:
1. Betty Lou
2. Little Linn
3. Mary Lou
4. I Want U
5. Cindy
6. Sweetheart
7. Warpaint
8. Island Bop
9. Hot Rod Racing
10. Long Blond Hair
11. Tiger
12. I Like It Like That
13. Pretty Little Baby Love
14. Quicksand Love

The Hubcaps are a Swedish band formed in 2001 by Johnny Valentine (guitar and vocals) and Ricky James (slap bass). Dutch drummer Igor Slootman joined the band in 2005 to form the trio they are today. I haven't been aware of their previous releases but their latest on the excellent Enviken label is a blast.

This is pure rock 'n' roll energy and there isn't a weak track on offer. Most of the fourteen songs are original with a couple of great covers. The opening track is a belting rockabilly number in the Pearly Lee category, and if it's as good live as Billy Lee's was then the band are on a winner. There's a few flat out stompers in the style of Jack Baymoore, particularly Little Linn.

They've obviously spent a couple of terms at the School of Dave Edmunds, as his influence looms large on two superb tracks, I Want U and Pretty Little Baby Love. Cindy kicks off in Warren Smith mode before turning into a mid tempo beauty and Island Bop is just so damn hypnotic. The covers of Quicksand Love, Warpaint and Long Blond Hair are great, although they don't quite match Shaky on Tiger.

A wonderful release that's amongst the best modern CD's of the year. Brilliant.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

The Baseballs new single - Chasing Cars

With their debut album entering the UK album charts at number 4, and their first single, "Umbrella" gaining loads of airplay, German rockers, The Baseballs are strking out again. Their new single gives Snow Patrols "Chasing Cars" a complete kick in the ass. Whilst the orginal is a slow, moody number (which I actually quite liked I'm ashamed to say), the Baseballs give it the pumping piano treatment.

Friday 13 August 2010

Reasons to Love youTube No. 7 - Dion and the Belmonts

Dion and the Belmonts - I Wonder Why (1958)

A massive thanks to the Flip Top Flippar for bringing this beauty my way. This is a brilliant, rare clip from 1958 and shows white boy doo-wop at it's finest. They moves and routine might not be as dynamic as some of their black counterparts, but the choreography is still as tight as the vocals - which is tight. The only down side is the hard looking mama at the 1 min 30 mark who looks like she'd slit your throat with her papa's switchblade without batting an eyelid. Wonderful stuff.

Friday 6 August 2010

Imelda on the Big Screen

Went to the cinema last night to watch the British comedy Wild Target featuring Emily Blunt and Bill Nighy. It's a pretty good comedy, but for two of the film's major scenes, the music used is Imelda May. There's Going Up Country and Mayhem, but the real show stopper is Johnny Got A Boom Boom which sounds so great in this context with the double bass pounding out of the big speakers. It felt wonderful as well to be sat in a packed cinema knowing that the guitar everyone was enjoying, comes courtesy of such a nice guy as Darrel Higham. Long may the success continue (and rise) for Imelda and the boys.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Stray Cats - Ubangi Stomp (youTube)

The graffiti on the wall says "have a wank". After watching this I nearly did.

Please Give Me Something - Roots Of The Stray Cats

Please Give Me Something - Roots Of The Stray Cats
Bullseye/El Toro

Track Listing:
Icky Poo : The Nomands
Tear It Up : Johnny Burnette Trio
Lonely Travelin' : Lonesome Lee
Sweet Love On My Mind : Jimmy & Johnny
Somethin' Else : Eddie Cochran
Bop Bop Ba Doo Bop : Lew Williams
Ubangi Stomp : Warren Smith
Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie : Eddie Cochran
Please Give Me Something : Bill Allen
Double Talkin' Baby : Gene Vincent
My One Desire : Ricky Nelson
That Mellow Saxophone : Roy Montrell
Your Baby Blue Eyes : Johnny Burnette Trio
Wasn't That Good? : Wynonie Harris
Let's Have A Ball : The Wheels
Rock Therapy : Johnny Burnette Trio
Race With The Devil : Gene Vincent
I'm Looking For Someone To Love : The Crickets
Beautiful Delilah : Chuck Berry
One Hand Loose : Charlie Feathers
Everybody's Movin' : Glen Glenn
Slip Slip Slippin' In : Eddie Bond
Your True Love : Carl Perkins
Stood Up : Ricky Nelson
Let It Rock : Chuck Berry
Mystery Train : Elvis Presley
Sleep Walk : Santo & Johnny
Hidden Charms : Chet Atkins

I’ve just had the good fortune of receiving a tasty package from Dave Penny on behalf of El Toro records. Amongst the delights was the new CD, Roots of the Stray Cats which looks at the original songs that they covered or in some cases, borrowed from. To top it all, the set also comes in vinyl format with the much missed gatefold sleeve. It’s easy to forget how much easier it is to read the sleeve notes on this format than the handy, but tiny CD sleeve.

The track list is phenomenal, and in fairness to the Cats, their versions of them all are top quality. In common with thousands of others my age, I became aware of a lot of these songs courtesy of Massapequa’s finest. I heard Ubangi Stomp for the first time on their debut, before I ever heard Warren Smith’s original. I know this’ll bring tutts and moans from one and all, but that’s the way it was. The Stray Cats brought some of this music to a new audience, who like me dug deeper in a quest to discover just where it came from. In the days before the internet that wasn’t easy, and a school kid couldn’t afford to but the wealth of reissues coming out at the time.

Amongst the Stray Cats catalogue there’s some straight covers, such as Tear It Up, Your True Love and Rock Therapy together with a couple of naughtier moments. Changing the odd words, didn’t make the song your own. Crawl Up And Die was Bill Allen’s Please Give Me Something, Wild Saxophone was definitely Roy Montrell’s Mellow Saxophone. Not quite as blatant, but pretty close was their adaptation of Lew Williams’ Bop Bop Ba Doo Bop into Fishnet Stockings and the Wheel’s Let’s Hall A Ball became Gonna Ball.

As well as being a great CD in it’s own right, there’s a couple of numbers that a lot of fans may not be familiar with. What’s amazing is the way that two of them, The Nomands’ Icky Poo and Lonesome Lee’s Lonely Travelin' were both used for the beat to Stray Cat Strut. I find it fascinating to hear them both, as they both provided elements of the Strut, but the contribution that Brian Setzer made to reinvent the number is mind blowing. The two originals are really good, but SCS is brilliant.

A great collection that pays equal homage to the Stray Cats and the guys that inspired them.