|Kevin Fennell, The Rollin' Rock Connection
Photographs: Kevin Fennell (left) and Ray Campi (right)
The name Kevin Fennell might not immediatly ring a bell, but most of you rock 'n' roll and rockabilly fans must have heard him play his wild guitar on several occasions, because Kevin played the strings with rockabilly heavy-weights Ray Campi and Mac Curtis. I got in touch with Kevin through the internet and I was very pleased he said 'yes' when I asked him to write down his live story to be published on BlackCat Rockabilly. So, here it is, the life and times of Kevin Fennell in his own words. Thanks Kevin!
I was born in Los Angeles, California, got my first guitar at 10 years old and taught myself to play. My influences were the Beatles and Stones and the 60's rock bands, surf music, Motown and Chuck Berry. My playing was influenced by the British and San Francisco bands. I was later influenced by the Southern Blues/Rock players. I learned about blues through these bands. Played in party/wedding/garage/school dance type bands pretty much all through school doing whatever we liked (The hard rock of the day and token 50's and blues songs, Johnny B. Goode etc.)
In 1976 we formed the Wild Turkeys, a bluegrass band. This group lasted several years until members scattered around the globe.
In 1977 I joined Ray Campi And His Rockabilly Rebels. Ray turned me on to a lot of good guitar music, Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and they have influenced my playing. I learned a lot about Rockabilly through Rockin’ Ronny Weiser’s Rollin’ Rock Records where we recorded.
Played the L.A. scene and often traveled to the S.F. area and did the clubs there. There were no other Rockabilly bands then. In Dec '77 we did the U.K. Rollin Rock Road Show with Mac Curtis performing all over England. Our band played shows with George Thorogood, John Prine, Elvis Costello, Blasters, Billy Burnette, Robert Gordon w/ Link Wray, Rockpile w/Dave Edmunds, etc.
Feb. '79 back to UK for the Great Yarmouth festival. Our show was filmed for the movie "Blue Suede Shoes" with Bill Haley And His Comets. Did shows with Thorogood and capped off the tour with a show at The Lyceum in London with Bo Diddley.
Starting in 1979 Ray Campi And His Rockabilly Rebels underwent many personnel changes over the next decades.
In 1981 I formed The Jazz Connection mixing New Orleans Jazz with Rock and Roll. We gigged around L.A. for a couple years.
In 1984 I started Gun Shy (rockabilly/country/rock). Our great moment was opening for George Jones in Beverly Hills CA. Played locally for a year or so.
In 1986 back to England with Ray for a few shows then mostly So. Cal. bar and club gigs until drifting apart in 1988.
Since the 80’s I have played in several different bands, some great and some not so hot. In 2000 I re-connected with Ray Campi. BlackCat Rockabilly is partially responsible for that. I hooked up with The BlackCat (Mr. Marijn Raaijmakers) while searching for Rockabilly lyrics on the web, specifically the song "Rockin' and Rollin' with Grandmaw" by Carson Robison. We got to know each other via emails back and forth. Marijn then started cleaning up old tapes I had of The Rockabilly Rebels and others, putting them on compact disc. The Rockabilly Rebels stuff turned out so good I had to send a copy to Ray. We started playing together again and still perform and record together to this day.
When technology went up and prices went down I set up my own home studio and crank out my own solo albums. Thanks BlackCat!
Kevin Fennell contact information:
Kevin's music is available for download/purchase from the major web downloading services. Choose from over 100 of his songs or choose a complete album from either Amazon, i-Tunes, Napster, Rhapsody, e-Music and more. You'll be glad you did!
Click here to download many albums and songs from Amazon.com!
Copyright ©2000-2013, Kevin Fennell for BlackCat Rockabilly Europe
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