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Big-T & the Bada-Bings


The Slingshots - Feel So Right
The Drugstore Cowboys -

You gotta marvel at the durability of rockabilly. Most other popular genres—jazz, Motown, R&B, rock and roll, et al.—have mutated and cross-pollinated so much that they often barely recall their origins. But rockabilly just keeps chugging along. That there are still bands who play exuberant, adventurous rockabilly to a dedicated (some might say slavish) fan base is a testament to how great the music is.

Of course, rockabilly hasn’t remained entirely unchanged since it first exploded back at the dawn of rock and roll, when white boys with guitars began mixing R&B’s raucous elements with their hillbilly stylings. Of all the developments in popular music, punk has had the most influence. In many ways, early punk resembles early RAB: hyper, energetic music played for and by kids with a distinct fashion sense who scared the bejeezus out of their parents. Consequently, rockabilly bands these days by and large fall into one of two categories: post-punk and pre-punk. Two new releases on Raucous Records out of England typify each camp. In one corner, represented by The Slingshots, is the traditional form of rockabilly, all Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent. In the other is rockabilly’s bastard brother, psychobilly—faster, darker, and demented (think early Reverend Horton Heat)—as exemplified by The Drugstore Cowboys. Both are excellent discs.

The Slingshots adhere more closely to rockabilly’s country roots. You can distinctly hear the blues and boogie in almost all their songs. Even sans a drummer, they have a propulsive rhythm that makes them easily as lively as The Drugstore Cowboys’ power RAB. The Cowboys play fast and hard, slowing down only to amp up their more sinister aspects.  Both bands feature excellent guitar playing, and each recording offers a fine example of why rockabilly isn’t going anywhere soon.

- Christian Puffer

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B.B. King—Let The Good Times Roll
Bellevue Cadillac—Take Out Out Takes
The Blue Dahlia—The Blue Dahlia
Bryan Ferry—As Time Goes By
Candye Kane—The Toughest Girl Alive
City Rhythm—Strikes Again
Dave's True Story—Unauthorized
Dmitri Resnik—It Ain't Rocket Science
Duke Ellington—The Essential Collection
Ernie Krivda—The Band That Swings
Etta James—The Chess Box
Fat Daddy Pussycat—Swing 2000
Flying Neutrinos—Hotel Child
George Gee & The Jump Jive and Wailers—Buddha Boogie
Hollywood Swing & Jazz
Hula Joe & The Hutjumpers—
Hula Joe & The Hutjumpers
Jimmy Nations Combo—Tarheel Boogie
Jimmy Vargas—The Tease, The Torch...
Josh Max's Outfit—Make It Snappy
Keely Smith—Swing Swing Swing
Kim Lenz—The One and Only
Midnight Cool—Jazz Classics Collection
Mora's Modern Rhythmists—
Call of the Freaks
Nat King Cole—Golden Years 1943-1946
The Original Band—
Still Rockin' Around The Clock
Peggy Cone—Bad Girl Shoes
Quinn Lemley—Dance or Die!
Red & The Red Hots—Gettin' Around
Red Peters—The Deacon Moves In
Sammy Davis Jr.—Sammy & Friends
Scrappy Hamilton—At Rock Bottom
Tom Maxwell—Samsara
The Slingshots—Feels So Right
  Retro Reading Reviews
Swing Style
Swing It!-The Andrew Sisters Story
1940s Hairstyles

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