|Ray Condo & His Ricochets, Swing That Rockabilly Thing
Ray Condo and the Ricochets have been together since 1994, their members coming from two bands: the rockabilly-country oriented Ray Condo and his Hardrock Goners, together from 1984 until 1993 and Jimmy Roy's retro-country band the Five Star Hillbillies. Vocalist-guitarist-alto saxophonist Condo and Goners bassist Clive Jackson joined ex-Five Stars steel guitarist Jimmy Roy, lead guitarist Stephen Nikleva, formerly with the Vancouver rock band Red Herring and drummer Steve Taylor.
In 1995, the band released Swing! Brother, Swing! on Vancouver's East Side Records. Joaquin's Jeff Richardson heard the album and the band, who'd devoured some of the old reissues Jeff had produced on the Rambler and Western labels. Jeff reconfigured the album with new packaging and material, releasing it on Joaquin in 1996. The album gained substantial critical acclaim for the band's individualistic blend of Western Swing, R & B, rockabilly, small-group 1930s and 40s jazz and straight-ahead honky tonk. While they don't write songs, their gift for digging in long-forgotten musical attics for material they can revamp and revitalize gives them a unique gift. Stephen's fierce original instrumentals, including "Strathcona" (named for the section of Vancouver where most band members live) also gained attention.
Steve Taylor left in 1997 after touring Europe with the band and recording several tracks for their second Joaquin album, Door to Door Maniac. His replacement was John Cody. The album earned more laudatory reviews. Ralph Power replaced Cody in 1998, the same year Rich Kienzle's major profile of the band ran in Country Music Magazine. After a brief hiatus in early 1999, changes were made in the band. With Power and Jackson departing, Steve Taylor returned along with new bassist Pete Turland. Rested and refreshed, Ray premiered the new band, calling them "the definitive lineup," on a May 8, 1999 live broadcast over the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp.) from Vancouver. Back on the road in Canada and the U.S. through the summer, in August, they recorded tracks for their third Joaquin album, titled High & Wild.
Courtesy of The Official Ray Condo Website
With great sadness and regret we report that Canadian rockabilly legend Ray Condo has unexpectedly died at the age of 53 on April 15, 2004. We will miss him sooooo much!
Click here now: http://www.raycondo.ca
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