Rockabilly Memories - 20 Rockin' Years, The White Lines
Rebel Music Records RM 5003

A German combo, called The White Lines, dropped their latest CD in the mailbox of BlackCat Rockabilly Europe. So we did give it a spin. Off course we did!

This band hauls from Neumünster, Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. In 1988 they were a bunch of young men, had no knowledge of playing an instrument, and decided to form a band. A Rock n Roll / Rockabilly band that is. The reason is quite obvious: they all have a great passion for 1950's Rock n Roll music with all it's different styles. The four gentlemen had first learn to play their instruments, and also had to learn to play together as a team! After a few months they managed to play quite well and did some small gigs for family, friends and relatives. Sure they got better and better and as time went by the gigs they played grew bigger and bigger! And The White Lines became more professional.

In 1993 their first extended play record was released and that was follwed by eleven more releases, of which ten are selfrecorded and selfproduced in their own recording homestudio "Laura Records".

Nowadays The White Lines play all over Germany and wherever they are invited to come to play. Influenced by great names such as Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly and off course Elvis, they play Rock n Roll in a way that isn't just a copy of those heroes of old times, but a mixture of them and their own Rockin' music. The White Lines have a live repertoire that consist a lot self penned songs together with some timeless favourites from that great 50's era. A nice question that some people may have regarding the band's name is where that name comes from... Well it is not from that freaky stuff called cocaine (that some madmen snuff from white lines) but it's from the white lines that lay on the highway's as roadmarkings... those roadmarkings are usually white lines, that's it!

Okay, let's talk about this 20 years of Rockin' album.
We start this CD with an old time favourite of Carl Perkins, "Blue Suede Shoes". The leaflet that comes with the CD says: 'Obviously a Killer'... I have nothing to argue with that statement. "Is It Love" is a self penned rockin' ballad about an unfullfilled love, well, I love this one for sure! Bassplayer Bernd Tesch' "Rockabilly Mama", is an original written for the EP 'Rockabilly Showdown' from 1998, great song. Over to a cover from the Delmore Brothers: "Blues Stay Away From Me" This is a well known song, a bit weak played if I may say so. The saxophone in this song is of great quality! Original written for the late Elvis Presley, but first released by Little Richard is "Rip It Up", The White Lines can now stand with all the other great Rockers who recorded this song, perfect!

For all the Bluegrass and Hillbilly lovers a traditional song is next on the menu: "Wild Side Of Life". Another great song by Bernd: "Rock 'n' Roll Is Back". Yeah, I agree!! Ever heard of Crazy Cavan? Well listen to "Train Of Love", this early 80's song is again perfectly played, I'm sure Cavan Grogan likes it too. You give Bernd Tesch a pen and he writes really great songs, this time a balad about a lost love: "Had A Little Baby". Next they throw in a Johnny Cash song from 1956 "Rock 'n' Roll Ruby" nice, but it could be a little rougher in my opinion. "One Too Many Mornings" by Bob Dylan, Hillbilly, don't like it too much... Originally sung by Charly Feathers in 1956, The White Lines deliver a good cover with "Tongue Tied Jill". "Tutti Frutti" by Little Richard Penniman is next on this CD, followed by "Mystery Train". Written by Junior Parker as a blues song, and made a real Rockabilly tune by Elvis, Scotty and Bill, now played real well by The White Lines.

Number fifteen and the last one on this album: "So Long Baby Goodbye" by Dave Alvin and sung by Shakin'Stevens in 1985 is a great song, but there aren't too many bands who play this with the right stance, this one also stays a little behind. You see, twenty years of Rockin' by these gentlemen has come to a good, if not really good album. I had fun listening to it!

Blue Suede Shoes / Is It Love / Rockabilly Mama / Blues Stay Away From Me / Rip It Up / Wild Side Of Life / Rock 'n' Roll Is Back / Train Of Love / Had A Little Baby / Rock 'n' Roll Ruby / One Too Many Mornings / Tongue Tied Jill / Tutti Frutti / Mystery Train / So Long Baby Goodbye

The White Lines are:
Bernd Tesch - Vocals, Double Bass
Carsten Tesch - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Olaf Tesch - Rhythm Guitar
Rolf Asmussen - Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Stefan "Der Graf" Schroeder - Drums on tracks 4, 11 and 13
Karsten "Kanne" Geiger - Saxophone on tracks 4, 11 and 15

Contact information: 

Rebel Music Records 

Reviewed by Rockin' Kees, 2009