|Dizzy Elmer, This Bad Dog |
Texas Squid Music, 2000
I'm not easily impressed anymore these days. Maybe that is because every new band seems to think that rockabilly is a subdivision of heavy metal or hardrock. Well it's not! And although I like some raw rough rock 'n' roll some times, I still believe that rockabilly should be pure and clear and free of new age and garage influences. Why am I writing this? because I did get impressed today, when I listened to Dizzy Elmer's debut CD "This Bad Dog". Clear, like Buddy Holly. Pure, like Carl Perkins. With a greasy slappin' bass like Dorsey Burnette's. To speak with Colin Pryce Jones' timeless words: "This has got to be what rock 'n' roll is all about". Eight self penned tracks, words to music, like only Hank Williams could write them, and 6 more fabulous covers, among which Merle Travis' ever great "16 Tons". This is one classic rockabilly platter, that you can't miss out on.
Looking at the cover, you would expect a wild, rebelious neo rockabilly band. Dressed up like street punks in black leather jackets, Dizzy Elmer reminds of the young Stray Cats, but their music is much more authentic. A classic rockabilly line-up of lead guitar, dog house bass and elementary drums. Very refreshing.
Dizzy Elmer is Portland, Oregon's dynamic Rockabilly trio. With confidence, individuality, and an innate drive they give what audiences crave - wild and revved-up, good ol' American rockabilly performance and leave them begging for more. With the release of their hot well-recorded debut, "This Bad Dog", Dizzy Elmer has captured on disc the magic of their live performances, which have become legendary around the Northwest club scene. The record is produced and engineered by Wally Hersom (of Big Sandy's Fly-Rite Boys) in Los Angeles on vintage equipment, with Ashley Kingman, guitarist for Big Sandy, stepping in and laying down some extremely tasty pickin' on "Fannie Mae".
Featuring the infamous, savage, young female upright bass player, Spud Lee Murphy - who's wild acrobatics on (and mostly off) stage have won her the respect of bassists up and down the west coast, swinging charismatic Skeeter "Boy" Joplin driving the band like a locomotive, and Jethro Grady's throat-grabbing guitar, drive audiences wild. This rockabilly band is a rare visual and audio treat for audiences of all ages and tastes.
The band consists of three strongly individual members:
Originally from Tennessee, Spud and Skeeter left their homes at an early age. Passing through Buckeye, they met up with the young trouble-maker Jethro. Finding themselves pursued by the local authorities, the three jumped a train for Portland, Oregon. Determined once and for all to put their evil pasts behind them, they swiped two saxaphones and a trumpet, and began their new career as jazz musicians, gaining local success under the name 'The Tush-hogs'. After stumbling across the movie "Rock Baby Rock It," Spud quit the band to live the life of a lonely rockabilly - followed soon after by Jethro and Skeeter.
Dizzy Elmer has had the opportunity to perform with Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, the Half-A-Horton all-star band, Deke Dickerson and The Ecco-Fonics, Smith's Ranch Boys, and Kim Lenz and her Jaguars, to name a few.
The BlackCat, 2000