The Best Of Western Electric
Studio 56, ST56 332

Western Electric is a three piece band from the U.K. - They play Rockabilly music in an authentic style. The idea for Western Electric came about in 2004, when Dave Clark, Steve Davey and Mark Carrington decided they could record a CD on Dave's old reel to reel recorder. The name "Western Electric" comes from the sound systems that were used in the old days by filmmakers. These guys are big fans of Laurel and Hardy, and that's where they saw this name. Mark, Dave and Steve have all played in bands before, Dave in the Hi-Flyers, Mark and Steve in the Rattlers back in the 80's. Steve wrote the first songs "Won't Be Your Dog" and "Hollister Ball" and the songs were released on a CD single in 2005. This recording session took quite a long time, because they were always messing around, and having way too much fun! After a couple of songs Mark unfortunatly decided not to record anymore, so that left the boys with no singer. Steve and Dave decided to carry on with their plans.

Steve wrote more songs and sung them himself. Dave also sung "Doing My Time" and wrote and sung "Lazy Bones". All the tracks, apart from "I'll Be Your Dog", "Lazy Bones" and "Big Babe" have over-dubs, due to the fact they didn't have the staff! Steve played all of the guitar, lap steel and banjo parts, Dave played bass and drums. David Maclaughlin came in at the end and helped Dave and Steve on the last couple of tracks. Throughout this whole project the guys never considered playing live on stage, they just wanted to have fun in the studio. That studio was Dave's front room!! If you listen to this album, you come to the conclusion that there is no need for a new-fashion top off the bill studio. All these tracks were recorded in Dave's frontroom with authentic instruments and gear. It shows what can be done without a big outlay in your frontroom and in your own spare time.

Enginering was done by Pete Last, and Darrel Higham (we all know him!) did the CD mastering and artwork. Steve Davey has written all the tracks, except for track 4, "Lazy Bones", which is written by Dave Clark. Because I couldn't find anything about the boys on the internet I've been in contact with Steve. He has told me that they are doing a gig here and there, so maybe we will see them live on stage somewhere on the festivals or the rockin' clubs! Their CD is available from Studio 56 Records.

The Best Of Western Electric starts off with "Hard Lovin' Woman". I must say that I am a big, very big fan of the sound of a Slap Bass, so when I heared the first four notes I knew this got to be a CD with the right style of music for me! This good feeling goes on with "Mailman Boogie" and "Hollister Ball". The addition of the lap-steel gives it a nice extra sound. Especially On "Hollister Ball" it gives it a very good Swing sound. That was not the fact at the real "Hollister Incident" back in 1947, as the motorcyclists among us will know...

Then "Lazy Bones", I sure hope I never become such a lazy guy as in this song, listen to it with two ears! If you ever been to a big Rockabilly festival, I'll bet that everybody is singing along with this nice and funny Hillbilly tune "Mr. Two Slick Feet". The next two songs "I'm Tellin' You" and "Won't Be Your Dog" are more in my own style of Rockabilly music again, just a bit more uptempo, like the songs of Johnny Burnette, I like these two very much. If you like to dance then you'll like "Rockin' Too Much". Another song I like is "Big Babe", just a nice Honky Tonk Boogie. It swings! Carl Perkins could have written "Doin' My Time", I'm glad that Dave sung this song, well done! With "I'll Be Your Dog" the guys didn't use over-dubs, it shows again what can be done without a big studio, I have great respect for these guys.

"Deep River" is the last song on this album, jet again of great quality, the voice of Steve is perfectly fitting in this song, just as the rest of the songs, good voice, great songs! Real authentic 50's music, that, I think, would be liked by the Rockabilly people as well as the Hillbilly and Country folks, if I may say so.

Hard Lovin' Woman / Mailman Boogie / Hollister Ball / Lazy Bones / Mr. Two Slick Feet / I'm Tellin' You / Won't Be Your Dog / Rockin' Too Much / Big Babe / Doin' My Time / I'll Be Your Dog / Deep River

Western Electric are:
Steve Davey - Vocals, Guitars, Lap-steel
Dave Clark - Vocals, Bass
David Maclaughlin - Drums
Mark Carrington did Vocals, guitars and drums on tracks 3, 7 & 11.

Contact information:
Studio 56
5 Fieldway
HP236EF U.K.
Tel: +44 (0) 7749217190

Thank to Steve Davey for providing the info.
Reviewed by Rockin' Kees, 2008