Great gods of gravy, where would the hep world be without the subtle machinations of the Cramps and Stray Cats? Why, there wouldn't hardly be any rock-a-billy music 'round at all! Not to trash those combos (who've had their moments, especially their earliest singles), but there were (and are) truer, less cartoonish, more passionate purveyors of rockabilly around. Take locals the Heymakers — they remember you got to have the "billy" aspect down if'n it's real rockabilly you're after. Says guitarist/singer Pat Roberts, "I grew up listening to all the great singers: Roy Orbison, Faron Young, Elvis, Marty Robbins." Two things all those vocal cats have in common (aside from stellar pipes) are rural roots and heart, neither of which can be adequately simulated by pomaded posers who wouldn't know Charlie Feathers from Billy Idol. "I'm always amused by 'purists,' as no music is really 'pure,'" Roberts elucidates. "Rock 'n' roll would absolutely not exist without the blues, country, swing, and gospel all coming together the way it did." These Heymakers (let's not forget Jimmy Dorholt and Mickey McAdams) don't play rockabilly style, they play rockabilly music, hick cool and country soul intact.
Sun., Feb. 6, 4 p.m., 2011
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