Rockabilly Blues, Billy C. Farlow
TKO Magnum CDMF 106

Rough, hip shakin', harp wailin', barely on the edge of control, Farlow continues to boogie, shout and testify his way through rousing programs of his own material, showing the world that neither the years nor the miles have dimmed his fire and passion for performing, but rather have merely served to enhance it. From his early days as lead singer/songwriter of the seminal alternative country group, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Billy has never wavered from his musical convictions to "get 'em up and keep 'em jumpin'!"

The above is the introduction on Billy C. Farlow's website, just so you know who we are talking about here, when we discuss an album released by TKO Magnum in the UK, licenced from Blueland Productions. We don't usually review blues stuff, but this album contains as much rockabilly as it does rhyhtm & blues. Further more, D.J. Fontana (yes, Elvis' drummer) and Lonnie Mack took part on it, which of course makes it the more interesting for the rock 'n' roll and rockabilly fans.

The album title "Rockabilly Blues" speaks for itself, the 12 tracks are a mix of good old rockabilly and shakin' rhythm & blues, starting with a grandeur rendition of Moon Mullican's "Old Pipeliner". With Lonnie on guitar, and D.J. Fontana hitting the skins like wild. It is not mentioned in the liner notes who's playing the piano, but whoever he is, he's doing a great job. Second track is the pumping "Back On The Street", still with Lonnie scorching the lead strings, still rocking like mad to the rhythm of Joe B. Mauldin's slapping bass.

Next are two songs orginal written en recorded by Carl Perkins for Sun Records "Restless" and "Dixie Fried", a whole new sound, not in the last place due to Fred James' awesome lead guitar. Johnny Cash's "Get Rhythm" got the blues treatment at a somewhat slower rhythm, but with an awful lot of power. "River City's Jumpin'" is Billy C. Farlow original, and this is where he picks up the harmonica, still rockin' wild.

The second half of the album is dedicated to the blues only, with songs written by Billy C. Farlow and Fred James and some covers too, but I'm not an expert on blues. I must admit though that it sounds pretty cool, but I prefer the rocking first half of the album a lot better.

The following musicians take turns on this album:
Billy C. Farlow - Vocals, Harmonica
Lonnie Mack - Guitar
D.J. Fontana - Drums
Joe B. Mauldin - Accoustic Bass
Fred James - Guitar, Bass, Organ
Sam Lay - Drums
Richard Carpenter - Drums
Mike Doster - Bass
Chris James - Guitar
Patrick Rynn - Bass

Contact information: 

TKO Magnum Music Ltd.
Magnum House, High Street, Lane End
Buckinghamshire, HP14 3JG U.K.
Phone: +44 1494 882858
Fax: +44 1494 882631

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2003