What draws you to rockabilly music?
Most Rockabilly kids are ex-punks that just aren't angry anymore.
I'm still a punk, I just got tired of only hearing 3 chords in a song. There is an attitude about it that goes hand in hand with punk rock to me. That's part of what drew me in. I love the beat, the style, the whole culture, but it's all about great music at the end of the day.
Mustafa Stefan Dill
there's a lot in it thats common to other musical genres ive worked in, and rockabilly has elements of them all: the high energy , jazz inflected guitar work; the way it swings; the raw immediacy; the necessity to be good enough musicians to play it live and listen to each other (this is not an overdubbed , overproduced music). Its not quite open group improv, but it demands that same kind of group sensitivity and listening. Its not about your part, its about making the whole thing kick ass.
Timbrally, I think the clean -to- grit guitar tone + upright bass + fat present drums is a perfect mix, and the almost unholy marriage of this clean , almost spare tone palette with the high energy music it delivers is sooo effective because of that subliminal contrast.
Above all, what I love is it's commitment. Music for me has to have a sense of fearlessness, of absolute conviction and integrity and an undying connection to its own truth -- I get that from free jazz, Indian classical, certain Arabic music settings, Tagore's work...
Sure, you can find artists who can rise to that level in any genre, but the genres I'm most drawn to are the ones that require that from you at the start, just by their very nature, and rockabilly is one of them.
The one thing music can never be is lazy or complacent. Play every note like it was both the first and last of your life.
Just that raw stripped back sound, that train rythm, the care-free feel of it and it's basic sound that is the complete opposite of mainstream today. Yeah the cars, chicks, tatts are all well and good...but for me I only need the music. ..and my Gretsch.
When you can hear the same simple song, literally 1000's of times and still get just as excited and lost in the energy, just like the first time you heard it.......that's something special.
Some nice responses there! I'll be going through them tonight on the show.
It's a date on a Saturday night. A dance with a girl that you thought was unapproachable. A cool car. A jukebox and a hand full of nickels. It's a Mystery Train, and a gal that's Red Hot. It's Elvis, Scotty, Carl, Gene and Eddie, and anyone that can play an E-A-B7 progression with a little cool, a feeling, and a flat out joy.
It is the original punk rock.
It's just so raw and energetic. I can't listen to sappy slow music. And music about fast hot rods and loud guitars just hits the spot. I think Setzer says it all in "Rebels Rule". I mean, I'm a teen and can connect to this music. It's timeless. Every boy gets the Summertime Blues, or has a girl he can't get. It's all right there. And It's not just the music itself so much as it is the culture. It connects deep to American traditions, i.e. hot rodding, (but none of that 100 grand street rod stuff, it's gotta be real, scrounged for parts, human element hot rodding) pinstriping, and being the most in-your-face off all roots music. And it's also what you can do with minimal instrumentation. I gotta buddy who slaps the bass, and I'll pick out Hot Rod Lincoln on my jumbo acoustic, and everybody loves it. It dosen't matter if we go crazy and get sloppy sometimes. b/c when it's so simple, it easy to walk around and connect with your audience. You can't really do that with grindcore music....
For me, rockabilly has always been the intersection of a bunch of genres I love. It is a smorgasbord of hillbilly, country and blues and traditional dance hall music. All of those genres have their own contributing roots too - making it a universal genre, more than just a American melting/melding pot.
One time I was listening to the Everly Brothers at my workplace - a colleague asked me if my connection to the music was some kind of nostalgia. He seemed surprised when I told him I had not even been born when this music was popular. I felt pretty old at that moment.
Watching my kids and grandkids singing, dancing and playing this music is all the proof I need that rockabilly is ingrained in music culture. Music has its own cycles, but rockabilly will always be rediscovered, reinvented, and re-marketed. In sum, we're richer for it.
I love it for two reasons:
It's like a positive version of the blues (I.e., most of it's on a major scale instead of minor, so it's happier and fun). Here's one of my tunes that captures this: http://www.youtube.com/watc...
Not that many people know it, so when you roll out some sweet licks, people don't say, "Well that's good but it's no Hendrix or Stevie Ray."
What crowbone said. I was real into hardcore punk back in the day and almost all the punkers I knew at least respected rockabilly. I don't consider myself "rockabilly" but just like surf music and old rock 'n roll, the rockabilly influence in undeniable. It actually sticks out like a sore dick now that I play a GreTscH!
Jeff O(Gunter glieben glauben globen)
I grew up with punk music
rockabilly is the ORIGINAL punk music
the cool cowboy boots...
Cowboy boots are pretty awesome.
Oh yeah, and don't forget the bolo ties.