Monday, October 13, 2008

Rockabilly Rave USA +

Hi, everyone.

First the "plus" part. Once again I want to thank J.P. McDermott and Western Bop for stopping by WMFO on 9/26 to perform live on my show. If you missed it, the archive MP3 is available for download at

I'll be DJing at the Beehive again this coming Wednesday as part of Cow Island Music's latest Honky Tonk night. Two great bands are on the bill: The Coachmen (a.k.a., the mini Spurs) and the Sacred Shakers. The music starts at 8:00. The first band goes on at 9:00. Hope to see you there!

Now, the Rave USA (in brief): Overall it was a great festival. The list of bands and DJs was impressive (and they did not disappoint).

Bands and performers:

Jack Earls
Carl Mann
Billy Lee Riley
Hayden Thompson
Sonny Burgess
Jack Rabbit Slim
Big Sandy And The Fly Rite Boys
Hi Q's
Luis And The Wildfires
Wildfire Willie And The Ramblers
Deke Dickerson And The Eccofonics
Buck Stevens
The Barnstompers
Charlie Thompson
Miss Mary Ann & The Ragtime Wranglers
Omar & The Stringpoppers
The Horton Brothers


Jerry Chatabox
Cosmic Keith
Little Carl
Tom Ingram
Boppin Bud

We arrived on 10/1 in the middle of the day. Even with the direct flight, we were a bit beat from the long journey; we missed the Wild Records showcase down at the Ice House. On Friday, though, we were ready to go. The Orleans is a pretty good choice for this event. It has more room than the Gold Coast and people (attendance was about five hundred people I'd guess) were able to move around the hotel pretty easily. (Things could be a bit tight for Viva Las Vegas if they use the same set up though.)

The good parts:

  • Great bands! Great weekend all around.

  • DJ Cosmic Keith's sets were excellent. He mixed in less-well-known stuff with the classics. I also thought Tom Ingram's set stood out.

  • Emcee Del Villarreal was a surprise, last-minute addition.

  • Excellent sound, lighting, scheduling, ticket check in, etc. It's easy to take that stuff for granted, but the organizers did a very professional job all around.

  • Not getting whacked by a beer-soaked stuffed penguin during the Hi-Q's set.

The few negatives:

  • Audience support for the bands should have been stronger: half-hearted applause, people hanging around outside the ballroom talking while the bands were on--all very bad. A lot of folks didn't seem to realize how great the musical feast before them was. (The Foghorn Leghorn line "You gotta be a magician to hold a kid's attention for more than ten seconds these days" kept popping into my head.)

  • Smoke: Walking through the smoking area (or, as Deke Dickerson referred to it, the "Philip Morris research facility") outside the ballroom probably took six months off my life (but hopefully the music had a restorative effect).

Charlie Thompson is a class act! In addition to putting on a great set, he started off by dedicating his entire performance to the memory of Eric Laufer of the Two-Timin' Three (and Four). I picked up his new 45 (below). Charlie said a new album is in the works.

I'll have more to add to this later.

As always, thanks for your interest.

--Easy Ed!