Sunday 24 April 2011

Brian Setzer t-shirt

This Brian Setzer t-shirt is available for just £9.99.

It is an original design that you won't see in shops.

ShakyShirts ship daily, and strive to have all items dispatched within 24 hours of purchase.

Price incl P&P

Saturday 23 April 2011

Roy Orbison - 75

The great Roy Orbison would have been 75 today. What a voice - if it was good enough for Elvis, it's good enough for me.

My Big O top 5 is.

1. Blue Angel
2. Blue Bayou
3. Only The Lonely
4. Candy Man
5. Sweet And Easy To Love.

Monday 18 April 2011

Brian Setzer returns to UK

After being denied the chance to see the Stray cats during their farewell tour, due to Slim Jim falling off the stage the previous night, I'm happy to say that two-thirds of them are back this summer.

Billed as Brian Setzer's Rockabilly Riot, the new tour will feature two drummers and two bass players! I'm not sure how that'll work out but hopefully it won't be a mess. Setzer is joined by Johnny Hatton and Chris D'Rozario on bass, Kevin McKendree on piano and drummers Noah Levy and the legendary Slim Jim Phantom.

Check out to see the dates and venues.

Sunday 17 April 2011

Hillbilly Hootenanny - Mid Wales, April 2011

The Hillbilly Hootenanny is a throwback to the travelling troupe shows that used to be the norm in small towns across 40s and 50s America. This particular band of hillbillies featured Ian Cal-Ford and the Railmen, Chuck Micallef and former Darts from man Bob Fish. The glue that held them all together and played with all three acts was the highly talented Dave Luke. Despite being based in mid Wales, he's the guitarist for Nashville stalwart Gail Davies, who also showed his prowess on mandolin and steel guitar. To be able to carry off those black and red cowboy boots he has to be good!

The night kicked off with a set from Canadian Micallef, who sang a mixture of some classics and a few self written tunes. He was joined throughout by Dave Luke on mandolin and duet vocals. I thought that Chuck had a Waylon Jennings feel to his voice and would have loved him to have done some Waylon. The highlight of his set for me were the one he wrote about his dad and Hank's Mind Your Own Business. Dave Luke remained on stage to back Bob Fish, whose plaintative vocals were the perfect foil for his autoharp. The crowd seemed to really enjoy his performance.

The final act was Wales' very own Man in Black Ian Cal-Ford and the Railmen. I first saw them in the 90's at an all-dayer in Bristol when Mac Curtis headed the bill, and was blown away by their authentic sound, with Sitdown Steve Tompsett playing great Scotty Moore and Chet Atkins licks. Nowadays they lean more heavily on the Johnny Cash songbook but still play the odd rockabilly track, as outlined by a stirring cover of Johnny Talley's Wild Wild Mind. The Sun classic Luther Played The Boogie was spot on and another highlight for me was I Still Miss Someone. The crowd were on their feat for a double bill of Ring of Fire and Walk The Line. Milkcow Blues Boogie complete with the "hold it fellas, that don't move me" start allowed Tompsett and Dave Grieves to show their skills. Their great set was rounded off with all the others joining them for a rousing sing-along of Hank's I Saw The Light. Somehow the night ended with Leavin' On A Jet Plane, which although at odds with the Eisenhower era feel of the night, again pleased the crowd and send everyone home in great spirits. If the Hillbilly Hootenanny comes your way, make sure you check it out. It's the real deal.

(Photo courtesy of Ian Cal-Ford).

Monday 11 April 2011

Rockin' Song of the Week No. 103 - Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton - Kiss My Country Ass

Blake Shelton isn't one of my favourite artists, but he's done a couple of things I quite like. I'm not keen on his sentimental radio friendly tack like the massive hit, Austin but like his ballsier stuff like Playboys of the Southwestern World, Hillbilly Bone and The More I Drink. For some reason I'm a sucker for the flag waving, redneck anthems country songs and I think it's fair to classify Kiss My Country Ass as such. The song was released as part of last year's EP Hillbilly Bone and went to number 2 on the country charts. The song was written by Rhett Atkins (who released a version himself), Dallas Davidson and Jon Stone.

If the title hasn't given you a clue as to the song's sentiments, the first verse should clarify. "Well I'm a front-porch sittin', Guitar pickin', moonshine sippin', Backer juice spittin' country boy from the woods, And I love fried chicken & blue gill fishin', And outlaw women, an' I wouldn't change if I could." Still not sure? "I said if you got a problem with any of that, You can kiss my natural born, Redneck to the bone, Ever-lovin' country ass." Amen.