Smokestack Lightnin', Girl On The Billboard

Rhythm 'n' blues so pounding it's frightening, feeding the coals of the soul fire of Country - noone's pumpin' out the goods like Smokestack Lightnin'. Evolving from the rockabilly trio "Blue Jays" and the well known "Brewsters" (and perhaps even the from flames of hell), the German combo Smokestack Lightnin' was founded in 1995. After more than nine years of musical evolution, these four guys share the deepest love and utmost appreciation of midsixties Country Rock. They are also no strangers to rough and tough rhythm 'n' blues, following in the footsteps and footstomps of Carl Perkins, Del Reeves, Charlie Rich and others. Add to these classics Smokestack Lightnin's own tracks, and the band captivates and elevates audiences as they roll into their rockin (but oh so soulful) country 'n' western versions of songs by Jerry Reed, Joe Maphis, Johnny Cash and Junior Brown.

This volatile mixture of various musical influences, live routine and good-hearted fun, formed a band that is surely to be reckoned with in the rockabilly scene. Smokestack Lightnin' already hit the stage at rockin' events all over Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, toured all across Scandinavia, just got back from the "Rockin' around Turnhout" festival in Belgium (Wildfire Willie, Sureshots, Rimshots) and will be twangin' their guitars in Hemsby October 2000. They also successfully supported live-acts from the US like Neal Casal, Hazeldine, Turbo AC'S... and more.

And now they have their first record out. On a 45 vinyl, just the way I like it. Witchcraft Records presents an extraordinary piece of showdown rhythm rockin' country music, recorded in May 1998 at the Musicwerkstudios in Nürnberg (Germany) and released in December of that same year. The tracks were mixed by Boz Boorer. Quality quaranteed! The record earned good critics in different mags, including the German "Rolling Stone Magazine".

The records hits off with the title song "Girl On The Billboard". A pretty good Del Reeves' cover in an up-tempo country way followed by Charlie Rich's "Mohair Sam". On side B, a song I remember best being performed by Larry Bright, "Mojo Workout". Although I'm not sure if Larry's 1960 song was the original. I must add that I really dig this speeded-up interpretation by Smokestack Lightnin', real gone! And last but not least, a more recent song; Junior Brown's "Too Many Nights In The Roadhouse", a real cool up-tempo country & western song. Too bad there are no self penned songs on this EP, but all tracks sound real good with great dynamics, but hey, we're talking vinyl here, mixed by the Boz. Try beating that on a digital CD...

Smokestack Lightnin' are:
Bernd "Bernie" Batke - Lead vocals, bass
Frieder "Friedo" Gräf - Guitar, backing vocals
Wolfgang "Bubl" Bub - Guitar
Michael "Mike" Kargel - Drums

Guest appearance on the EP:
Jochen Pfister - Piano

Michael Kargel
Pinzenberg 4
91126 Schwabach
Tel: +49-(0)9122-833294


Witchcraft Records
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603 20 Frankfurt A.M.

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