|13 Times, The Black Crabs
A lot of people say the same thing about The Black Crabs. "You guys don't sound like anybody else." Sure, there's some rockabilly in there, and some rock and roll too. But there's also swing, jazz, and even a taste of spaghetti western. It's a refreshing update to the "authentic reproduction" approach of the rockabiliy genre.
Their second release, 13 Times, is a case in point. The band moves smoothly from the straight-ahead rockabilly sound of Say Mama to the swinging duet Messin' Around. They deftly navigate the Les Paul-eqsue instrumental Caravan. There's even the tune best heard under the Big Top, both because of its country-circus beat and subject matter (quite possibly the first ever song about corndogs). And when's the last time you heard a washing machine as a kick drum? Check out the hidden track.
This mix of genres comes naturally to The Black Crabs. Jonathan Stuart, Tom Forster Jr., and Kirsten Ballweg are experienced musicians and have played with a variety of groups come-60s girl garage (The Hot Rollers), power punk (The Heels), roots (Footstompin' Trio), melodic pop (Nobody Home), and of course swing and rockabilly (The Donettes, New York Jimmy and the Jive Five). Originally formed to back Rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson, the band was supposed to be only a summer fling. Instead, it transformed into a full-time proposition.
Major Milestones for The Black Crabs
"The whole album is played with a positive "don't look back" attitude (very nice production work) which is a good way to take a fifty year old musical tradition into the new century."
"The Black Crabs might not sound like something you'd want to catch - especially after we add that they'll make you feel like you have ants in your pants - but trust us, the Seattle rockabilly ensemble with the prickly moniker are worth checking out. Featuring guitarist Jonathan Stuart, drummer Tom Forster and former Donettes slap bassist par excellence Kirsten Ballweg, the trio have now released their excellent 2nd album."
The Black Crabs are:
Press Release, 2008