My Baby's Like A Rocketship, The Cordwood Draggers
El Toro Records ETCD4010

The scene is idyllic Cordwood, California. Like lazy Saturday nights across America, various youth social clubs gather to test their mettle. V8s straight eights and crazy eights meet at the pole position for one thing - thrills, spills and doctor bills. But this Saturday night is different - this night sees two new gearheads at the strip. Mick Cocksedge is rollin in a custom ride built on a T-bird frame. Ed Potter glides in on a Model A slammed and glammed for speed. These gearsmashers are from the old world. The have come stateside to relive the fight for independence on the dragstrip, but only this time they plan to keep the colony.

The local king of the strip, Jose Espinosa plans to make sure the only George on a greenback is as in Washington. Almost as one they check their pressure and tack, gun their blocks and when the flag drops pop their clutch and go man go. From the gate it looks as if the Union Jack will be flying over the hangout, but with his pride on the line Jose drops to fifth and manages to pull neck to neck. Itís a photo finish and one that will go down in infamy. The first three-way tie the Cordwood Strip has ever seen. [Read more on The Cordwood Draggers Website]

Sometimes an album, or a band, is just good because of it's simplicity. I guess that goes for this brand new El Toro release too. The Cordwood Draggers make rockabilly music the way it was originally meant to be. A rhythm guitar, a lead guitar, and an upright bass. Wasn't this how Elvis started off long long time ago? Yep, you got that right!! But just plain an' simple doesn't mean that this is a boring album, oh no! The album rocks like no other. The sound is awesome and very well mixed too. Mick Cocksedge acoustic rhythm guitar plays a major role, and not like with many other bands where you can hardly hear it. The rhythm section is just that acoustic guitar and Jose Espinosa's slapping bass, no drums, but what a sound! Big Ed's clean and clear sounding Telecaster, and plenty of echo on Mick's vocals make it all complete, the authentic 50s sound of The Cordwood Draggers.

Besides all that, the band also wrote 8 out of 11 tracks themselves, one of which is the title track "My Baby's Like a Rocketship", which I'm pretty sure will rock your socks off. And there's more of the same caliber, just listen to "Eight Valves of Fire", "Might As Well Howl" and "Bet She's Mad". Among the few covers is Charlie Feathers' "Rain, Rain, Rain". Credits on the cover just mention "public domain". Well, that might be true, but wouldn't it be a lot nicer to give credit to who it is due? Originally titled just "Rain", this has always been one of my Charlie Feathers favourites, and I must admit that the The Cordwood Draggers' rendition does honour the original, a great sound, (still) a great song, and a great album!

Note from Wanda Feathers (daughter of...)
You know, I always thought that "Rain" was a song my dad wrote. But, I found out later that it's an old song that was recorded earlier. I am not sure if it was from the 20's, 30's or 40's but I do know someone else had it out first. I am thinking I have seen the word "Head" by this song on some LP's or CD's, I am not sure about this though, I don't know if this is the publisher or maybe the writer of the song. On the "Uh Huh Honey" LP my Father states that he doesn't remember the first time he heard "Rain" or who did it but he changed the words and the music and put a rockabilly arrangement on it. My Dad also said "whoever it was that had it out back then didn't know what they had, but I heard somethin' in it." Well, that was my Dad, whenever he did a song he made it his own.

The Cordwood Draggers are:
Mick Cocksedge - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Big Ed Potter - Lead Guitar
Jose Espinosa - Upright Bass

Bookings & information:
Phone +44 (0)208 444 3471 

El Toro Records
P.O. Box 220
Pineda 08397
Tel & Fax +34 937 660 117

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2003