Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys
On the Fly-Rite Boys’ website is this story which aptly sums up the vibe and the appeal of this band:
Big Sandy tells the story of driving [the band’s converted tour schoolbus] to one particular thrift store: “There was a kid out in front, and he was just like in awe when we pulled up. He looked a little bit confused, and then we come walking up, and he wasn’t sure if he should approach us or not. Then he asked us, ‘Are you guys from the past?’” Big Sandy laughs. “As if we were traveling in a time machine or something.”
This band may not travel in a time machine, but with their absolutely genuine approach to western swing, rockabilly, and traditional country, they provide a time machine for the rest of us. While most rockabilly bands take a mid-late 50s (or 80s-revivalist) approach, strong on nervous, driving up-tempo numbers and an air of danger and rebellion, Big Sandy and boys groove along with a mellower overall sound, smooth and supple.
There’s plenty of twang, and they rock – but they’re a little like Hank Williams crossed with Bob Wills, with a smooth, classy crooner out front. They sound something like Elvis might have imagined for himself, if he’d had any conscious notion he, Scotty, Bill, and Sam Phillips were going to “invent” rock & roll.
Pure listening pleasure, smart songwriting, country with brains, pre-rockabilly with a debonair air: Big Sandy anchors the band on acoustic guitar, while the incomparable Ashley Kingman on his Magnatone guitar, with a tone like no other, provides counterpoint and foil, while the supple rhythm section keeps it chooglin’.
If you don’t know this band, look them up here: http://www.bigsandy.net/ .
Just a taste of them here, from a less than optimal location too far from the stage during their 2:30 set at the Car Show. If the taste tantalizes, buy the records!