Looking For Some Happiness, Bill Fadden & The Mostly Losers
Western Star, WSRC 020

Bill Fadden, known as the frontman for Bill Fadden & The Silvertone Flyers, had recorded two albums before on the Western Star Studio label, of which his debut album Bop Party is my personal favourite. This album "Looking For Some Happiness" is without the Silvertone Flyers, but with The Mostly Losers. The story of The Mostly Losers is one you gotta hear! Alan Wilson, owner of Western Star Studio, always fancied collaborating on some songs with Bill. He invited Bill over to stay in his house for a long Easter weekend in 2004. The plan was to write some Rockabilly songs over the first few days, then invite a few friends over to record them on the remaining days. Bill arrived with two huge sombreros in one hand and a bottle of Tequilla in the other! Alan had just returned from a trip to Tijuana, so there was a definite Mexican spirit in the air, which printed through into some of the tracks they wrote. At one point, early in the morning after too much Tequilla, they had written the basics of a song which told the life in a Mexican prison. They now have to had a name for such an establishment. On to the internet they went, seeking the name of a notorious Mexican prison. This was prooving not to be an easy task, and in desperation they found a chatroom dedicated to Mexico. Alan and Bill cautiously entered and greeted the room with:"Hi, who's in here?".... A random wiseguy with a microphone instantly replied: "Mostly Losers!" In the drunken state of Alan and Bill it seemed hilarious and the name stuck. Eventually they dicovered that the name of one the worst prisons on the south border was "La Mesa" and so their new song was duly completed. Over the following days they recorded the songs they had written, along with some covers. The band included ace Rockabilly bassist and ex-Silvertone Flyer Jack Boxwell and seasoned drummer Ben Turner, Alan Wilson on guitar and Bill Fadden sang. A few other friends dropped by to guest on a track here and there. They had a really great time to recording these tracks and they talked about further sessions of the Mostly Losers. But as always, with everyones busy schedules it wasn't going to be. Except for one song, "Little Baby" which was recorded in 2005 for one of Alan's Joe Meek CD's. On this occasion Jack Boxwell was away with the RAF, so they employed Upton Lovell on bass. These days Bill Fadden is still gigging out there and blowing the roof off rockin' clubs. Alan Wilson is still recording Bill with his new band, and with a bit of luck they should release a new album on Western Star in the future. Bill and Alan decided in the meantime it's time to release the full Mostly Losers recordings from the Western Star vaults.

So let's talk about music now!
The opener "Just a Waiting" is a well made Western Hillbilly ballad, different from the rest of the songs. "La Mesa Prison Blues" sounds as Mexican Rockabilly Blues should be, it's a sad story there in Mesa Prison. In "Mission Bell" I hear influences from Roy Orbison, good song! Then on to some Western Rockabilly with "Tell Me Why". On the dancefloor with "Gil's Place" a nice Hillbilly Bop sound. "Hold On Tight" has a very straight Rumba beat, Mexican sound at last. I personaly don't know what to think of "Mexicalli Bound", it's just not my style, sorry. A quiet ballad in the form of "The Dead Balladeer" is followed by a Western Hillbilly/Rockabilly song "North Wind". A track to sit and listen to is the instrumental "Dia De Los Muertos". "Little Baby" is an uptempo song, this is my personal favourite song. "Little Green Bag" we all know as Dutchmen, as it was a worldwide hit in 1969 by the George Baker Selection from Holland, I've never heard a Rockabilly version before! Good shot! If you like Hillbilly/Rockabilly in the style of Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash, this might be the CD for you.

Just A Waiting / La Mesa Prison Blues / Mission Bell / Tell Me Why / Gil's Place / Hold On Tight / Mexicalli Bound / The Dead Balladeer / North Wind / Dia De Los Muertos / Little Baby / Little Green Bag

Bill Fadden & The Mostly Losers are:
Bill Fadden - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Alan Wilson - Lead Guitar, Keyboards
Jack Boxwell - Bass (except "Little Baby" which was Upton Lovell)
Ben Turner - Drums
Bob Dixon - Pedal Steel
Graham C. Reynolds - Trumpet
Moses - Accordion
Steve Holbrook - Piano
Bill Fadden, Alan Wilson and Liz Avent - Backing Vocals

Contact information:

The Western Star Recording Company
P.O.Box 1441
BS39 7ZN, UK


Reviewed by Rockin' Kees, 2008