Best Rockabilly Bar Phoenix 2013 - Rips Ales & Cocktails
True story: The late outlaw country artist Waylon Jennings once filled the cozy interior of Rips with his dulcet croonings during a performance at the 16th Street bar way back in the day. Ditto for fellow legends Willie Nelson and Charley Pride, both of whom also performed inside the joint when local country singer Jimmy Aims ran it from the '70s through the early '90s. Such footnotes from Rips' storied past, documented in a few photos of the aforementioned superstars gracing the walls, help give the place an O.G. pedigree whenever hosting the down-home sounds of rockabilly. Besides its usual slate of punk bands and New Wave dance nights, weekends at the bar over the past few years have showcased acts from Arizona and elsewhere specializing in the uptempo hybrid of country, rhythm and blues, and old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, which was born in the 1950s, the same decade Rips opened. In just the past year alone, you could've caught the country-influenced grooves of locals like Trailer Queen or The Jamie Waldron Trio, as well as the psychobilly flair of The Limit Club, hellacious sister act The Devil's Daughters, the Latin-tinged swing of Curse of the Pink Hearse, or gigs by such out-of-towners as Utah's Mad Max and the Wild Ones. Local selector DJ Organic also is keen on spinning up retro rockabilly platters during his all-vinyl night Rumble! every Wednesday, which is typically attended by all manner of hepcats and kittens. We're almost certain somewhere, the spirit of Jennings (himself a noted fan of 'billy bands) is looking down on the place and snapping his fingers along with the beat.