|It Came From Cropseyville, Rocky Velvet
RVM Records, RVM CD 001
Call it a resurrection if you will, but they never went away, and now they are prepared to unleash their raw, spirited, BS-free brand of rockabilly on a wider audience. Rocky Velvet is the real deal, tapping into the analog spirit of Sun Records and the ghosts of dusty '50s roadhouses. They've spent a long time acquiring and mastering their language and this has been a long time coming. Rocky Velvet are revved, fit and ready.
They released a rare seven-inch for Cacophone in 1997 that was lauded by Blue Suede News, among others. They also opened for folks such as Link Wray, Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Boys, Wayne Hancock, Sleepy LaBeef, Rosie Flores, and Los Straitjackets. They endured a few dormant periods while members spread out across the country and the world, playing with Wanda Jackson, Robert Gordon, Commander Cody, and Eddie Angel, to name a few. That long-awaited, mythical Rocky Velvet album seemed like it would never come - until now, that is!
There are 14 tracks here, and only 3 are Rocky Velvet originals. The remaining 11 songs are covers of well and lesser known classics. So it's a cover band I hear you say? Well, yes I guess so, but there's nothing wrong with playing great songs from the past, as long as you can do it with your heart and soul. And that's just what Rocky Velvet does.
The opener is Big 'T' Tyler's "King Kong" and from the first slap on the doghouse bass, you know you are in for a treat. The song just explodes with energy. "Poor Poor Lonely Me" was written by bass player Jim Haggerty and it has some great Les Paul style guitar riffs, fabulous song, very well sung as well.
Wayne Walker's "All I Can Do Is Cry" has been played a lot, just because it's such a great song of course, and Rocky Velvet does an excellent rendition. "Built Like A Rock" is another one of Haggerty's songs, superb stomping rockabilly. Wynn Stewart's "Come On" thunder's through my office like a 40's Harley and the original "Can't Stop" proves once more that this band, although they play a lot of covers, can definitely write great songs of their own.
Groovey Joe Poovey's "Move Around" sounds just like it should, great 50's style, and Mickey Hawks' "Screamin' Mimi Jeanie" will set the hairs in your neck straight. And the rockin' goes on... "Cheat On Me Baby" (Rockin' Saints), "Rock And Roll Guitar" (Johnny Knight), "Oh Oh" (Eddie Bo), "Rock Rock" (Johnny Powers), "I'm Gonna Move" (Benny Joy), "Little More Lovin'" (Chuck Comer).
Graham Tichy is a master of the 6 strings, just listen to "Rock And Roll Guitar", with a lot of history behind him playing with The Lustre Kings, Bones Maki & The Sun Dodgers, Jeff Potter & The Rhythm Agents, Betsy-Dawn Williams, Matt Mirabile & Alison Jacobs and Ian & the Aztecs. Check out his website: http://www.grahamtichy.com. The Rockabilly Hall of Fame has deemed Graham one the "hottest, most capable guitarists" in the field, while Metroland, the newsweekly of NY's Capital Region (Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga), crowned him Best Guitarist in 2003.
Lead singer and degenerate wild man Ian Carlton has a garage-rock seven-inch coming out on the legendary Spinout Records, featuring Eddie Angel (Los Straitjackets) on guitar, Jason Smay (Los Straitjackets) on drums and Graham on bass.
Rocky Velvet left2right:
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2007