Since its inaugural run last year, So Cal Hoedown was designed to fill a vital niche in OC festival season—the weekend rockabilly party in downtown Santa Ana. This event will include 4 indoor venues including The Yost Theater, Diego’s Rock-n-Roll Bar & Eats, The Underground DTSA, Festival Hall, an outdoor stage, and 4 city blocks.
After the demise of some time honored fests like Ink-n-Iron and the Hootenanny, Sellout Productions stepped in to give us their interpretation of a classic weekend full of old school punk, rockabilly and Americana combined with Kustom Kulture car shows and pin-up girl contests.
It will be held from noon to 10 p.m. with the entrance on Fourth and French Streets. General admission is $30.
This year’s lineup filling up three stages on the corner of 4th and French includes Rocket From the Crypt, Lee Rocker (of the Stray Cats), Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Zeke, Cash’d Out, Guana Bats and plenty more.
The event will feature tons of local and national rockabilly, outlaw country and psychobilly bands, dozens of food trucks, burlesque, a pin-up contest, a classic carshow with tons of pre 1970 cars, 3 stages, a full bar with lots of craft beers, tons of vendors for shopping and so much more!
Southern Culture On The Skids has been spreading the rock and roll gospel since since they formed in Chapel Hill, NC in 1983. Guitarist/singer Rick Miller, drummer Dave Hartman and bassist/singer/heartbreaker Mary Huff, play a greasy mix of surf, rockabilly, R&B and country-fried garage with a side of psych, all the while driving fans into ecstatic, sweat-drenched paroxysms of joy. It’s a musical gumbo Miller calls, “Americana from the wrong side of the tracks.“ The band has been prolific and ubiquitous for over thirty years, touring everywhere from the North Carolina Prison System to Mt. Fuji, Japan and delivering what Rolling Stone calls “a hell raising rock and roll party.“
In 2014 the band was honored by the Southern Folk Life Collection at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with an exhibition featuring their music and cultural contributions. The flame-adorned La-Z-Boy from the cover of their Plastic Seat Sweat LP now resides at UNC-CH!
THE ELECTRIC PINECONES
Southern Culture On The Skids’ newest album, The Electric Pinecones, will be released on September 16, 2016. It’s the band’s fifth album on their own label, Kudzu Records. The album features 12 original SCOTS tunes – 11 brand new songs and a whole-lotta NOLA remake of the SCOTS classic, “Swamp Fox – The Original.“ All the tunes were produced and recorded at Rick’s studio in NC, The Kudzu Ranch.
The Electric Pinecones is a bit of a departure for the band conceptually and sonically. The inspiration for the record was born in an alter-ego side project from the early years of the band. “The Pinecones was folk-a-hill-a-billy garage band we used to put together just for kicks,“ Miller relates. “We loved the sound of ’60s west coast folk rock and psych bands. The Pinecones was our outlet for material that was not in the SCOTS vein. We even opened for ourselves occasionally. The Pinecones set list was the jumping off point for this latest collection of songs.“
The first single off the album, “Grey Skies,“ is a minor key mood piece with that folk-a-billy, psychedelic sound. Listen to how the acoustic 12-string riff slides into the band’s hypnotic rhythms that propel Mary Huff’s reflective vocal into the mind’s eye of times past and love lost. “Check out the Mellotron on the chorus – that is a first for us,“ Miller says.
The lead off track, “Freak Flag,“ is more upbeat, but no less tweaked, with modulating guitars riding on pounding drums after the first verse. The song’s message is a good one – it is okay to be different and always respect yourself. The band debuted the song to an auditorium full of rowdy students at Carrboro Elementary School. “I was nervous,“ Miller says “if the kids don’t like something they let you know, but when they started singing along with the second chorus and waving their imaginary freak flags in the air, I knew it was a hit!“
“Dirt Road“ is Mary’s three-minute ode to sances, thunderstorms and good lovin’ long gone. The song is a backwoods southern gothic ghost story that opens with a big tom fill then twists and turns around a folky strum and a fuzz guitar. Mary’s spooky-good vocal takes it down that dirt road way back into the piney woods.
The album also has some country rock songs that highlight the melodic side of SCOTS, with “Baby I Like You,“ “I Ain’t Gonna Hang Around“ and “Given To Me“ featuring some of the best harmonies Rick and Mary have ever recorded.“Waiting On You“ is the longest song on the album, coming in at 4:22; it’s a folk-garage-rocker with a sing-a-long chorus that segues into a surf raga breakdown before heading back to the big riff and out.
The album has traditional Southern Culture flavor too. Check out the remake of “Swamp Fox – The Original“. This take goes back to the beginnings of the song and is much closer to capturing the essence of the many all-nighters the band pulled in NOLA with friends and colleagues. The country funk of “Rice and Beans,“ is a good humored tale of a cash strapped southern courtship, and “Midnight Caller“ is Mary’s slinky R’n’B flavored woman-to-woman warning about bad men looking for good times.
Song for song, on The Electric Pinecones, Southern Culture On The Skids continues to blow minds and blur the lines between genres delivering a stellar album. From their 1985 debut Voodoo Beach Party, to their 1988 international smash, Dirt Track Date (featuring the hit single “Camel Walk“), and now to the SCOTS-ified tunes of The Electric Pinecones, 30 years, 200 songs and 1,000,000 road miles in, Southern Culture On The Skids just continues to get better with time.
“Ride With Zeke” has quickly become the mantra for the people who have accepted the invitation brought by on Heckler Magazine when they said, “Welcome the new monsters of rock.” And believe me, they are monsters. Ever since their very first gig at the Rock City in Seattle in 1993, people have had no choice but to pay attention. Their records will assault you, and their live show will batter you.
“Dirty Sanchez” is Zeke’s second Epitaph release, and it rocks like a motherfucker. From the very beginning quote that says (and foreshadows) “Hey, he’s acting weird, it must be drugs!” to the last roar of the Fleetwood Mac cover “Rhiannon”, you’ll be bludgeoned with tireless energy. It’s an album of 16 songs that clocks in at 21 minutes that was produced by Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks).
Before becoming a member of the Epitaph family, Zeke put out many singles on various little punk labels. Their first two releases were the “West Seattle Acid Party” on Wrecking Ball Records, and the “Holley 750″ 7” on IFA Records. Several singles later, and two full-length records on Scooch Pooch (“Super Sound Racing” & “Flat Tracker”), the infamous Fletcher from Pennywise threatened to quit PW if they didn’t get signed to the big E. And that’s exactly what happened (yeah right), and so “Kicked In The Teeth” is now in the history books.
Throughout the time that Zeke have been on Epitaph (since April ’98) they have toured relentlessly. They have literally been on 10 different tours, including tours with Jerry Cantrell (from Alice In Chains), ALL, Voodoo Glow Skulls, DOA, Supersuckers, and a few dates with Pearl Jam…they even toured Europe, Japan and Australia. But it’s the good ‘ol US of A that the band calls home, and Marky Felchtone said, “Austin, TX is my favorite place to tour…cuz it kicks ass!”
When you’re a punk band that is eternally touring, strange things are bound to happen that will have as much of an influence on the band as the music that got them started. Kiss, Black Flag, The Ramones & Black Sabbath would all get a run for the money when it comes to Zeke antics. When asked about some specifics, Marky Felchtone rattled off a brief list that went like this: “Drum sticks in eyes, broken bones, incidents involving cake, drugs and under-aged females, Black Metal homicides, etc…you name it”…I hope he was joking. But why does Zeke love touring so much? “All the thousands and thousands of dollars, chicks & booze…and it’s the best reason to avoid real responsibility.”
I asked Marky where he saw himself in 1 year, and in 5 years, he said “In one year, at the liquor store, outside with no money. In five years, at the right hand side of my Master.” Now that, my friends, is ROCK!
With the arrival of Three Bad Jack’s new CD Pictures & Memories From Home, the band forcefully asserts themselves as true, renegade rock & roll prophets. From the propulsive, high octane opening track “I’ve Been Around” to the brooding closer “Pricks & Thorns” the album never falters, charting fresh new territory with ebullient authority. Their hard hitting aggression, anchored by a throbbing gutbucket bottom end and topped off with bandleader Elvis Suissa’s passionate vocals, unfailingly pulls the listener in. High impact, soul deep, thoroughly original, this is uncut rock & roll expression that goes upside the head with stunning force.
Such a dynamic achievement is the result of a hard earned perspective. One of Los Angeles’ hardest working bands–and biggest club draws–Three Bad Jacks have been pounding it out, non-stop, since the late 20th century. Typically averaging over 250 shows a year, selling out rooms from Hollywood to New York City and headlining on numerous European festivals, the groups’ dedication and rebel spirit have long since been honed to perfection. It rings true in every note that singer-guitarist Suissa, bassist Dave Eckles and drummer John Palmer strike, each of whom display a mastery and understanding of the underground American big beat heritage. Variously labeled in the media as both rockabilly and psychobilly, with Pictures & Memories From Home the band has delivered a genuine rock & roll statement, one that not only expands on previous releases Made of Stone and Crazy in the Head but also rates as an important step forward in the artistic exploration of an increasingly bastardized art form.
“I’m really excited about this record.” Suissa said. “It’s a straight-up rock & roll record that draws from that transitional period of the late ’50s-early 60s, but it’s also as modern and original sounding as we could make it.” The album echoes with trace influences from garage primitivism to stomping Deep Southern rockabilly, yet all of it is filtered through the bands own unique prism, resulting in a sound that “original” scarcely begins to cover. Produced by Suissa, mixed by studio veteran Dave Schiffman (Nine Inch Nails, System of a Down), mastered by Howie Weinberg (Clash, Iggy, Ramones) and featuring key contributions, on keyboards and strings, from Rami Jaffe (Wallflowers, Foo Fighters), the disc has a gloriously full, unruly tone, yet shifts to tender balladry with effortless, fully realized ease (striking examples here are the bluesy “Beautiful” and the heartfelt family-themed “Noah & Jacob’s Song”).
While use of the word “mature” may seem the contradictory to Three Bad Jacks international reputation as rock & roll wild-men, their mix of the sensitive and savage is impressive, and the ability to navigate such a broad musical spectrum is even more so.
Again, it’s all about experience, and with records sales topping 150,000 to date, numerous songs placed on television and video game soundtracks and having long since graduated from selling out hometown venues like the Troubadour, House of Blues, Galaxy Theater, Fonda-Music Box and Key Club to sharing bills and touring with the likes of Joe Strummer, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dwight Yoakam, Social Distortion and Bouncing Souls, Three Bad Jacks are nothing less than a force of nature. All of that wild bandstand action–and after-hours philosophy–brings them an almost supernatural insight that has critically enhanced the band’s indisputable natural talent. Just one listen to Pictures & Memories From Home will drive that fact home–loud and clear.
Over the past couple of decades, tribute bands have become big business in the world of concert promotion. And, not surprisingly, the more popular ones are the acts that are most authentic. Such is the case with Cash’d Out (Douglas Benson vocals, Kevin Manuel guitar, George Bernardo drums, and Stephen Rey bass), a San Diego based band, that channels Johnny Cash in about as close a manner to the real thing as it gets. How can you tell? Well, beyond critics having anointed Cash’d Out the “next best thing to Johnny Cash,” and the group having won six San Diego Music Awards for Best Tribute Band, and being the only tribute band endorsed by the official Johnny Cash web page, JohnnyCash.com, the real proof lies in what members of Cash’s inner circle have said. “Cindy Cash came to a show, we made her cry and she gave me a necklace with Johnny’s hair in a glass locket,” explains front man Douglas Benson. Benson added that Cash producer Lou Robin has also been to several Cash’d Out shows, and claimed that if he closed it eyes it was like “going back in time.” After eleven years, hundreds of thousands of miles on the road and many more fans, those fans continually tell the group how grateful they are that Cash’d Out continues to bring back memories of loved ones who once raised them on the music of Johnny Cash. Cash’d Out’s highlights have been many, W.S. Holland, Cash’s longtime drummer, sat in with Cash’d Out at a birthday celebration for Johnny Cash hosted by Bill and Shannon Miller of JohnnyCash.com at the Fender Museum in Corona, California. “And Bill let me play Johnny’s cherry sunburst Guild guitar,” added Benson. Cash’d Out has over 150 of JC’s songs in their repertoire, including the June Carter Cash duets brought back to fame in the Oscar winning film, Walk the Line. Cash’d Out also tailors performances to suit any venue or function — from clubs, theatres, fairs and casinos to museums and corporate events. The band’s live shows respectfully reference the late, great Man in Black’s Sun Records and early Columbia era sound, combined with the energy of the classic multi-platinum live recordings from Folsom Prison and San Quentin. The group’s genuine love (and authentic recreation) of Johnny Cash’s music and its universal appeal fans of all ages and of virtually all musical genres makes each Cash’d Out show a must-see event. Or as Miller says, “Some people are impressionists. These guys leave an impression.”
Legendary UK psychobilly icons the Guana Batz were formed in 1982 and are recognized as one of the first psychobilly bands. Fronted by the charismatic Pip Hancox, the Guana Batz are considered heavily influential to psychobilly as a genre and scene as they are most well known for frequent headlining appearances at the Klub Foot, an early club which birthed the Psychobilly genre. Although breaking up in 1990 and reforming in 1996, the band has numerous Top 10 hits on UK Indie Charts spanning from the early 80s through the early 2000s.
After a long hard run, down the roads across this land. Bob Wayne gathered up some outlaws, and they formed themselves a band. Now every day is different, every player every show. Will you see a bearded lady? Unless you go, you’ll never know. So come one, yeah, come all. When this ho down comes around. Who know’s, you could be an outlaw too! Lettin’ out that carnie sound.
Twenty-five years, fourteen albums & hundreds of thousands of miles. What a dream it’s been.
When I first got together for a garage rehearsal with a group of musician friends in the spring of 1988 in Anaheim, California, I never dreamed that I would someday be celebrating the silver anniversary of the rocking little band that formed that afternoon.. Yet here I am, looking back over a wild ride that has taken us around the world countless times, that has put us in front of national television audiences, and – most importantly – that has given me the opportunity to play the music that I grew up having such a passion for – Rockabilly, Rock & Roll, Honky-Tonk, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Doo-Wop… and now with the release of our new all-acoustic album “What A Dream It’s Been”, even a touch of Jamaican Rocksteady. Putting together the new record for Cow Island Music has brought back a flood of memories; we went through our entire catalogue of LP’s, picked out some of our favorite original numbers, and gave them fresh new arrangements, rhythms, and instrumentations. In many ways , it was our way of looking back at everything that has led us to where we are now, while looking forward towards new musical horizons.
Deke Dickerson grew up on a farm in Missouri, where he soaked up the area’s rich heritage of bluegrass and country music. At the same time, his father was turning him on to rhythm and blues and early rock and roll. “The first two concerts I ever saw were Bill Monroe and Willie Dixon,” remembers Deke, “and that just about says it all. Formative experiences? You bet!”
Since he was 13 years old, Deke began leading bands. His first professional group was the Untamed Youth, a surf-garage band that released several albums and toured constantly in the late ’80s and early ’90s, breaking up right before the “Pulp Fiction” surf revival happened. His next big project was the Dave & Deke Combo, a rockabilly-hillbilly band he formed with partner Dave Stuckey that became huge among the legions of roots music fans in the U.S. and Europe. The Dave & Deke Combo released several highly-acclaimed singles and records before finally breaking up to allow both Dave and Deke to pursue their own musical visions.
That vision for Deke has concretized with his new group, Deke Dickerson and the Ecco-Fonics, formed in 1998 and signed to HighTone soon thereafter. Although Deke has often been tagged “rockabilly” or “hillbilly,” his musical focus runs the gamut from both of these styles to R&B, jump blues, honky-tonk country, hard-edged ’50s rock and roll, surf, garage rock and all points in between. His first album for HighTone, Number One Hit Record, was a highly-successful release, endearing the group to rockabillies, punk rockers, folkies and guitar geeks worldwide.
Deke and the Ecco-Fonics have been doing non-stop cross-country touring since that album’s release in October, 1998. This past summer, the group spent three months as the opening act for Mike Ness (of Social Distortion). This sojourn exposed them to thousands of new fans who embraced the boys like lost family members (and bought CDs like they were going out of style!).
Upon returning home from the Mike Ness tour, Deke and the boys hopped right into the studio to record their newest effort, More Million Sellers. Yes, the title is tongue-in-cheek, but the hitmaking potential of the group is not. Anybody who doubted the chart possibilities of acts like Chris Isaak, the Squirrel Nut Zippers or the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies would do well to lend a serious ear to the music of Deke Dickerson.
With an even more schizophrenic balance of musical genres, More Million Sellers finds Deke singing rockabilly numbers (“I’m a Wreck,” “Red-Headed Woman”), jump blues (“The Hatchet Man,” “Mean Son of a Gun”), flat-out rockers (“Nightmare of a Woman,” “Let the Good Times Roll”), country and honky-tonk (“Broken Down and Broken Hearted,” “So Long I’m Gone”), a ballad that would make Roy Orbison cry (“I Gave My Heart Before”), crazy guitar instrumentals (“The Rockin’ Gypsy” — a staple of their live set — and “Tropical Island Boogie Serenade”) and even a beatnik poetry rap set to a Link Wray-meets Bo Diddley backing (“My Name is Deke!”).
As was the case with the first album, Deke has brought several of his idols into the studio to round out his artistic vision. Introducing the album is “the world’s most famous little person,” Billy Barty, whose immediately recognizable voice comes from seeing him in countless movie and television roles from The Wizard of Oz to The Dukes of Hazzard. Rockabilly guitar legend Billy Zoom (of X fame) contributes flashy leads on “Nightmare of a Woman.” 82-year-old Hadda Brooks, “the queen of boogie,” joins Deke on a vocal duet entitled “You’re My Cadillac.” Hadda’s 60-year career includes playing boogie-woogie piano and acting alongside Humphrey Bogart. The closing theme of the album is sung by none other than Jerry Scoggins, the voice of the original Beverly Hillbillies theme song.
Returning from the last record are three musicians for whom Deke holds ultimate respect: sax maestro Joey D’Ambrosia from Bill Haley’s Comets (the man who played the solo on “Rock Around the Clock”), Carl Sonny Leyland (boogie-woogie piano player extraordinaire, who also sings a duet with Deke on “I Think You Gotta Pay For That”) and steel guitar wizard Jeremy Wakefield (moonlighting from Wayne Hancock’s band).
The Ecco-Fonics are:
Brent Harding – Acoustic Bass, backing Vocals
Johnny Noble – 2nd Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Maracas
Brian Nevill – Drums & Cymbals
They sound like Bo Diddley, CCR, Joe South, and the Yardbirds shoved into a food processor, stuffed into a shotgun shell, and blasted into a beer keg at three in the morning in Faron Young’s rumpus room. It all started with Jerry Raney’s desperate youth as a hellion, blowin’ ’round El Centro, California. Jerry started hanging out in various hobo camps, learning the guitar. He moved west in search of Rebels, Rogues, and Renegades. He found ’em. It was San Diego. and the Beat Farmers were born! The Beat Farmers turned into the Farmers, and lost a couple of fixtures along the way. Country Dick Montana in ’95 and Buddy Blue in ’06. With guitars in hand and ghosts ridin’ with ’em, the Farmers ROCK ON and they are now allowed back in most states!
“Listening to new albums while eating breakfast can sometimes be risky, as I discovered with “Fulmination,” the new, dozen-song release by San Diego roots-rock pioneers The Farmers Barely 40 seconds into the Mariachi-tinged “Mexicali Nights,” a very deep-voiced man began a recitation that…” George Varga – The San Diego Union-Tribune
Abby Girl & The Real Deal is an up and coming band loved for its lively, soulful renditions of early R’n’B, blues, gospel, & roots rock rarities.