Hot Rod Suit, The Taildraggers
Rarity Records C192731

The Taildraggers hail from the south of Holland and started out around August 2001 as a bluegrass and hillbilly band with banjo, steel guitar and upright bass. Later on, when Tim Mercury joined the band as drummer, the band chenged their repertoire to rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. Their first performances was a the famous Caddy's Diner in Purmerend, Holland, where they returned many times after that.

The Taildraggers mostly avoid the so called "standard" rockabilly stuff and try to find originality in playing lesser known songs. Most of their songs are covers from the mid to late fifties, and more recently they added a dozen or so originals from the creative mind of front man Pascal Snijders. These originals can all be found on this debut release.

Pascal, orginally from Heerlen (Limburg, Holland) started out as a drummer with The Thunderbirds, together with Mad Fred & The Maniacs bass player Deon Buck. After a while he thought it was about time to get into something new and he picked up singing and playing rhythm guitar, never to touch his drum sticks again.

The lead Gretsch is handled by Rudy Smeets, who also plays steel guitar and bass on the hillbilly tunes. Rudy is also still playing guitar for a country music band. Bass player Hans Wolters comes from that same country outfit, and he plays the banjo too on the bluegrass songs. Hans and Rudy also sing harmony now and then.

On drums there's the afore mentioned Tim Mercury, who has been friends with Pascal for a long time. On his '39 Leedy, Tim is responsible for a lot romping and stomping in the back. Tim is also the guy who (together with his wife) organizes the annual "Car & Rockabilly Rumble" in Landgraaf, Limburg.

The Taildraggers original tracks on this CD are: Baby Sue / You're A Drag / Feeling Lonesome / Set Me Free / Playmate Bunny / Hey Pretty Baby / High Speed Gearin' Mama / I'm A Bad Case / Feels Like Paradise / Just Love / Hor Rod Suit / She's Flat That Git It. Among the selected covers are great versions of Elvis Presley's "Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry", Cliff Richard's "Mean Streak", Pat Cupp's "I Guess It's Meant That Way" and many more.

Most of the album is pure fifties style rockabilly, varied with some country & bluegrass songs. Personally I like the rockabilly stuff much better, bluegrass songs like "Hitparade Of Love", "Hold What You Got", "Big Spike Hammer" stand in big contrast to the hot raving rockabilly songs, such as "Feels Like Paradise", "Hot Rod Suit" and "She's Flat That Git It". All in all, this a pretty hot debut album. Rock on cats!

The Taildraggers are:
Pascal Snijders - Lead Screams & Gretsch rancher Abuse
Rudy Smeets - Lead Gretsch Pickin' and Lap Steel Howlin'
Hans Wolters - Bull Fiddle and Banjo Pickin'
Tim Mercury - Beatin' the 1939 Ludwig Leady

Contact information:
The Taildraggers
Benzenraderweg 83
6417 SK Heerlen
The Netherlands

Erica den Boesterd
Phone: +31-(0)20-6792780

Rarity Records
P.O. Box 656
2003RR Haarlem
The Netherlands

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2003