|Wanderin' Mind, The Roy Kay Trio
Lur Liner LL001, 2002
With a rockin' rhythm, smooth vocals and melodic harmonies, The Roy Kay Trio has been doing their best to get people on the dance floor for over a year now. Influenced by many types of early music like Bob Wills, Hank Penny, Johnny Burnette, Carl Perkins and Johnny Horton, the trio works hard to write songs that embrace the heart of early country while retaining the shear energy of mid-fifties rockabilly.
On rhythm, Robin on upright bass and Roy on acoustic, belt out rhythms that have left many wondering "I can hear the drums, but where's the drummer?" Why no drummer? There's already so much rhythm going on between the slapping of Robin's bass and the percussive sound of Roy's playing, that a drummer would just get in the way! On top of all that Mike's electric guitar playing is melodic and energetic. During the verses and choruses, his playing adds another dimension to the rhythm and during the solos he retells the main themes of the songs. The vocal arrangements stay true to the mid fifties with themes of love, heartbreak, hope and betrayal. Roy sings lead on all the songs and is joined by Mike when ever a song calls for a great harmony. And if the song gets real wild you can hear a shout from Robin too!
And here's the trio's debut CD "Wanderin' Mind". Done live in the studio with all vintage tube gear and produced by Deke Dickerson, a full length effort with fourteen originals and just one cover. All the above info, of course, was provided by The Roy Kay Trio, so now let's see how much of it is true LOL, just kidding of course. I quite agree with their list of originators who influenced their music, but I would like to add one more name, 'cause I hear clearly hear the legacy of the late great Charlie Feathers. It pleases me a lot to hear that this trio makes original 50s style rockabilly, without the addition of steel guitar. Not that I dislike steel guitar, but it always gives more of a hillbilly feeling to the sound, while the Roy Kay Trio is all rockabilly. And rockabilly is what we like best!
They're right about the rhythm, there's plenty of it. Even without drums, this platter is very "boppable". The sound of Mike's Telecaster is beautiful and very "fifties", and Roy's got a neat countrified voice and when Mike does his vocal harmonies, it gets even better. The only cover on this album is Eddie Bond's "Boppin' Bonnie". It's great to hear it revived in it's original form (great slapping bass too!). Such a beautiful song, I wonder why it hasn't been covered much more often. Anyway, it's obvious that these guys have a huge love and respect for fifties roots music, you can hear it, and feel it too, in all of their songs. Real gone! The trio has played all over the west coast of the United States and is scheduled to appear at next year's Viva Las Vegas, 2003. Well, it wouldn't surprise me if, one of these days soon, they'd just hop over the big pond and surprise us at some famous weekender in Europe.
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Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2002