So, how long have you been doing
Since 1991. So.. 14 years now.
My first band was a 60s
garage style band called The
Washouts. After that, I
started doing rockabilly in 1996
did you get started ?
The first band I just fell
into. These girlsin my school had
a 60s band and neededa
singer. So i tried out, and got
the job. When i decided to do
rockabilly, I put an ad in the
local paper to find musiscians.And
from then on it was easy to meet
you grow up in a musical family ?
Yes, my uncle was Bill
Matthews. He had a group from the
40s through the 60scalled
Bill Matthews & the
Rhythmeers. They played country
and rockabilly. Henever had a
hit, but he did have a stringof
rockabilly 45s that came
out on DotRecords in the mid 50s.
But I reckon its hard to
make a living playing music in
rural West Virginia.... which is
why I movedout here!
you remember the first record you
bought and/or the one that made
you think Woahhh, thats
what I want to do !
Probably the early Buddy
Holly stuff done at Bradleys.
I got a cassette tape for
christmas one year that had all
the stuff like Midnight
Come Back Knockin etc.
And that stuff just floored me.
It was so agressive and soulful,
and I would get halfway through a
song before I even noticed there
werent any drums on it
you remember the first show you
Sure do ! I was so nervous, I
overcompensated by getting real
crazy on stage. I was so winded
after the show, I passed out!
is the most memorable gigs you
played and/or went to ?
Thats a tough one. Ive
played and have been to so many
great and memorable gigs. But I
would probably have to say that
seeing Jerry Lee Lewis on a good
night, was onof the highlights of
my life. When hes good....
are your influences as a singer
and a songwriter ?
My biggest influences are
Charlie Feathers, Johnny Horton,
and Sam Cooke.Strange
combination, I know. But they
were all great singers and
songwritersin their own way.
about your band, where do they
come from, were they in other
bands before ?
My live band these days is
made up of some really great
players from around the world...
who all ended up in southern
California for some odd reason,
as did I.Paul Diffin from England
plays bass,you may know him from
The Blue Cats, Sugar Ray Ford
& the Hot Shots, andThe Big 6.
Joel Morin is on lead guitar.In
recent years he has played with
numerous rocknroll acts
here in California.And on drums
is Michael Faughnan. Hes
new to this city as well, and were
gladto have him. He was one of
the toprockabilly drummers in
Boston for the past 10 years.How
did you met Paul Diffin and how
is it to work with himI met Paul
here in San Diego. He was playing
with a 50s «top 40» cover
band just to pay his bills.....
rent here is EXPENSIVE
your albums,how many are they?
Theres 4 in total. The
first one was self-released and
called laundromat boogie.I
was only 16 when we cut that
oneWere they all done live in
studio?For the most part, yes. I
prefer it to be done that way
because more feeling can be put
into things when everyone is in
the same room at the same time.
Overdubbing can be necessary at
times, but I avoid itat all costs!Tell
us more about The Singles
collection...This was my
first solo album. I
did this one differently than all
the others. With my previous
albums I had a set band (the
Twilight Trio). And I decided to
move on and try something new. So
we did the singles
collection ablum real 50s
style. With studio musiscians and
all 50s equpiment. If you
think about it, all the great
rockabillyrecords in the 50s
were done with studio musiscians
and with top notch equipment and
record producers. Namely...
musicians like Grady Martin, Bob
Moore, and Bud Harmon. So we
really tried to recreate that
feeling on this last album. The
musiscians are really top notch
at what they do.And this was also
my frist time working with record
producer and guitarist Mark Neill.
You may know his name... he
produced Big Sandys On
The Go, and many other
great records. So i think this
new formula really works, and its
completely different than
anything anyone else is doing at
the moment. So im going to
stick with this format for my
next record as well, people seem
to really like it! And if it aint
broke... dont fix it!
did sessions too (Deke Dickerson,
Josie Kreuzer, James Hunter, etc.)
How did you manage that job with
your own career and the fact that
youre a multi-instrumentist
playin guitar, bass, piano,
saxophone, drums (and maybe more!!).
Ive been close friends
with a fantastic record producer
named Mark Neill for about 5
years now. And he often needs
studio musicians for his
recording gigs. Im the
usually the first guy he calls if
he needs upright bass or guitar
on a record. its alot of
fun, Ive gotten to play
with some real greats in there.
And nothing will sharpen your
playing like performing in a
studio setting where every note
is under the microscope.This job
doesnt interfere with my
night work as a singer, because
all the studio gigs are over by 8pm.
have this side-project called
The Jaxon 4, the band
with Big Sandy and Paul Diffin
The Jaxon 4 is essentially my
backing band, minus the guitar
player. So its Paul Diffin
on bass, Michael Faughnan on
drums, Big Sandy on vocals and
acoustic, and myself on lead
guitar. Basically.... Ive
known Sandy for years, and about
a year ago he came to one of my
shows and was very impressed with
the rhythm section. And he has
liked my guitar playing for a
while (I play lead guitar for
various other acts from time to
time) So he contacted me about
putting together a side project
with him, and the Jaxon 4 was
born. its nice to hear Big
Sandy doing hardcore rockabilly
again.... not that the Fly-rite
boys are any less than brilliant
Hexxers, your 60s garage
rock and punk band you made with
Rockin Ryan Sagat. Its
a different style; still rockn
roll but far from your rockabilly
and country trademark style. Is
it the same audience? Was it
applaused the same way?
Suprisingly enough, the
rockabilly scene has really taken
to it. And its nice to know
that we can play for a rockabilly
crowd and a 60s garage
crowd, and theyll both
are your future plans
To keep touring, and making
records im proud of. I have
the new album coming out in a few
months, and several US and
European tours this year.
do you think about the new US
The US rockabilly scene is
different in every state and city.
Where I currently live, Southern
California, its over-saturated.
Theres too many bands and
not enough clubs to play at. But
in other places its the
opposite... plenty of fans and
clubs, but dang near no bands!
But i think overall the
enthusiasm for rockabilly and
rocknRoll is much better
now in the states then it was a
few years back. And as far as the
quality of the bands in
concerened, there are alot of
great acts here right now. Ya
just gotta weed through all the
bad ones! haha
you know some european
bands?Yeah, i know many!
The Tin Stars from Holland
back me up usually when I tour
Europe. Theyre great
musiscians and good friends of
mine as well. I also know other
bands like Wildfire Willie, Ike
&the Capers, Jack Baymoore,
The Sure Shots, etc, etc. I think
the european bands are really top
notch these days. They put alot
of effort into getting things
last word ?
If ya want to make collard
greens right.... ya gotta boil
em down at least 12 hours!!