Platter Pinata, The Bonneville Barons
Western Star WSRC023

Just last year we introduced you to this two-men stronghold The Bonneville Barons when they released their debut CD "The Guitar & Bull Fiddle of The Bonneville Barons". These guys, Ramblin' Yann Mahdjoub (bullfiddle, vocals) and Chris Wilkinson (guitar, vocals), make pure rockabilly & roots music using only their voices, a slapping bass and a guitar. The pair met in the summer of 2005 through a musicians ad and soon began writing their own original material.

Now we write 2008 and the duo released their second album "Platter Pinata" on Alan Wilson's Western Star label. Not a rockabilly album per se, because Chris & Yann create their own style of music by mixing rockabilly, western swing and gypsy jazz (and then some). They tell beautiful stories too, some of their tales even remind me of other great story tellers like Marty Robbins and Frankie Laine. That makes this album more of a listening album, rather than a hot boppin' dance album, although there's plenty of rockin' going on with the steady beat of Yann's doghouse bass.

Special guest star on this platter is Lynette Morgan, a fabulous female country & rockabilly singer, well known of her recordings with The Blackwater Valley Boys. She sings the wonderful closing track titled "Ain't That Too Much".

This is not the kind of album that I would review stepping through every song, you will just have to listen to the music and stories yourself. All lyrics are included in the 12 page booklet that comes with the CD, so you don't have to miss anything. And for the recordings and production, what can I say? Western Star always delivers Top Notch quality!

Lynette Morgan & Chris Wilkinson in the studio

The Bonneville Barons are:
Chris Wilkinson - Pickin' & Preachin'
Yann Mahdjoub - Slappin' & Singin'

Guest musicians:
Lynette Morgan - Vocals on "Ain't That Too Much"
Dave Madgewick & Gary Boller - Additional Vocals

Baron Boogie / The Ol' Fishin' Hole / Baby If You Only Knew / Come What May / Fortune Tellin' Baby / Drunken Sailor / I Can't Wait / Heave Ho! / Who Are You Lovin' Tonite / Husband Number Four / Moonlight Indian Rest / Is This The End / Ain't That Too Much

Contact information: 

Western Star Recording Company
P.O. Box 1441
Bristol BS39 7ZN
United Kingdom 

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2008