“Johnny Dark (Robbie Grice) and Sputter Jones (George Fulton) have been holding up the banner of rockabilly in Columbia[South Carolina] longer than many local musicians have been eligible to vote, or even drive. Once known as The Losers, their weekly shows at the Art Bar were often talked about and were instrumental in introducing the idea of the Art Bar as a possible music venue. They’ve also had some other interesting successes, such as a video shot with SCETV of their song "Pyramid Rock", and guitarist/vocalist Johnny Dark has had songs on established European rockabilly labels.
Experience has its advantages, as the Flat Out Strangers’ new CD Live at Jake’s Fill’ Er Up (Sycamore Records) attests. Recorded live with no overdubs, Live at Jake’s is a record of sparse immediacy with a rustic, romantic feel to it, where liquor, broken hearts, shotguns and tombstones take on mythic proportions. When the Flat Out Strangers sing "drinkin’ bottles of snake oil gin/trying to forg”
"Great Job!" Not only does it sound great, it looks great!!! That really is the way to record too, just live and rockin'. Also, great songwriting on your CD. Real Cool!
“Since rockabilly music nationwide has been on an upswing in recent years, it is only appropriate that Columbia’s claim to that genre’s fame is back in action. Flat Our Strangers feature members of the legendary locals The 88’s and The Losers, swinging combos that concentrated on the "rock" more than the "billy". This time around, it is a stripped down duo sound, just guitar and bass, that makes up the "band", but the music is just as full of swagger as ever. If you remember Brian Setzer before he had an orchestra-sized horn section at his disposal you’ll like this band.
"It's said there's only two kinds of music and this here is the good kind!"
“Holy plantation tie, Batman, if it isn’t another hot-s#!t group of acclaimed pickers to hit the Soda City! Though they’ve been around for a decade and have shared the stage with the likes of such country greats as Dwight Yoakam, Jason and the Scorchers and Tim O’Brien, tonight the Flat Out Strangers get their due for their brand of raw, hillbilly Americana, which stresses themes of sin, drinkin’ and redemption as much as their flatpicking prowess. The four-piece outfit, which features banjos, dobros, a sparse drumbeat and an upright bass, might be a trad-oriented outfit, but its rockabilly roots continue to resonate with Southeast audiences to this day.
“...timeless energy from the roots of rock ‘n’ roll. Tunes such as “Lonesome Road,” “Smokin’Pistol” and “Drag the River” are pure, undiluted slices of Americana sung with gusto....”
The State Newsaper
“What's this? A Rockabilly duo that looks like they stepped out of a down-market version of 'The Waltons' ? No drums? Well, stranger, these boys certainly kick up a whole mess of down-home Rockabilly and Country in the style of a raunchy Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Two. It's stripped down about as far as it can get, real 'backwoods' stuff. Now that 'roots music' has become another commercially viable marketing term, these guys take it right down to the bone, with NO concessions or frills. This is as raw as it gets, and serves as a timely reminder to all today's acts that have '-billy' as a description of where they should be comin' from.
Nervous Records Website
“Local rockabilly stalwart Robbie Grice of Flat Out Strangers has persevered over the years through the occasional spikes in popularity that his chosen genre seems to have. He began playing in Rockabilly 88 in the early 1980s, alongside future Brian Setzer and Emmylou Harris bassist Mark W. Winchester. Grice soldiered on with The Losers in the 1990s before going a more traditional route with his current act. The one constant has been the music, which has always hewn to the standard combination of country, rock ‘n’ roll and early rhythm ‘n’ blues that defines it.”