Gonna rock a little bit. Gonna have a little fun."
For the past ten years I have had the opportunity to meet and perform with countless musical artists. Although I have been involved with bands from punk to western swing, there is no style of music that moves me quite like rockabilly.
It is my honor to officially announce a mid-summer tour with legendary rockabilly guitarist Sleepy Labeef. Along with Richy Jay Marcos.
June 19: Bull Run Shirley, MA
June 20: Johnny D's Sommerville, MA
June 22: Time Out Pub Rockland, ME
June 23: Cafe Nine New Haven CT
June 24: One Longfellow Square Portland, ME
June 25: Narrows Art Center Harrisburg, PA
June 26: Mid-Town Arts Center Harrisburg, PA
Adding a stop in Columbus, OH on the way home.
A long time before the Holy year for rockers, people were all ready playing rock ‘n’ roll. However, The 58 Delays stepped out of the shadows one dark and hot night, united by destiny, doomsday was announced. It had nothing more to do with a nice happy song, as today’s stereotypes would consider rock ‘n’ roll. It was all about something real. Where love songs were turned into declarations of war. The alchemy of a raw and untamed voice, the elastic slapping of an upright bass, screaming guitar and the rhythm of pounding drums. The fusion was irreversible.
Rockabilly, Americana, Roots Rock…call it what you want to. To The 58 Delrays it’s all Rock 'n' roll. Hailing from parts unknown The 58 Delrays delivers on all six cylinders, all the time. Performing heart pumping, 100 percent high-octane rockabilly sounds. The 58 Delrays provide their own brand of rockabilly that keeps'em wanting more.
But this ain’t your dad’s rockabilly. Their stripped down sound of four on the floor isn’t some 50’s cover band or sock hop act. The 58 Delrays takes jet-fueled originals and obscure modern covers and mix them into a rockabilly knock-down-drag-out. All you Kustom Kulture fans out and around if you want to absolutely set your venue on fire give The 58 Delrays a call.
From the outside looking in there are a lot of assumptions about the Rockabilly scene. We hold to a style from a period of segregation, use the Confederate rebel flag for logos and patches, and the vast majority of our bands are made up of white men. While the population of the scene is often majoritively white, it is not entirely what it appears.
Rockabilly is a scene based largely around rebellion from the societal standards and challenging what we have all been told to do. The flag is one of the greatest symbols of rebellion in American history, and that is what most of us think of when we use it.
Our fashion does come from that same time, but it comes from what was taboo in that time rather than just what was trendy. While some people in the scene are racist, it isn’t a pillar of the community and in fact it is often frowned upon or called out by the outspoken leaders in the scene.
It is true that the scene is predominantly White though there is a fair representation of Asian American and Hispanic individuals in the scene. I’ll admit I’ve only met a handful of African American people in the scene and the music does appropriate from the largely African American roots of Rock’n’Roll, I’ve never seen any actual behavior from the scene that would shun anyone of any background based on their race.
Tattoos are a major part of the scene. We identify ourselves with our ink as much as our clothing. A lot of us are more skeptical of people who show up to a show without visible tattoos like yourself.
There’s definitely a class divide in a lot of the Rockabilly scene. Some have every day jobs, but if that news went public in the scene it would make them an outcast. It’s not true of everyone, but I’ve seen it in the majority.
It's time we shake free of the overtones of our lifestyle.
Over the years, as we have traveled, we have met many people. It can not be said enough how important our fans our to us. Without all of you we would not be where we are today. You have become more like family over the years and we wouldn't have it any other way. You, our fans, our friends, are what makes every show worth playing. Thank you for all your support. Here's to you!
This was the fiirst song I had ever written for a dame. One day I'll marry that girl. It's all about the way she makes me feel. Gettin' my blood boilin' and my heart racin', she wont need a key cause I'm already turned on. Writin' this little diddy let me understand just how different it was to write about someone you loved and just how powerful the words were when you read or sang them.
"...with her foot on the gas she revs it up and then she's gone... Eight years ago in some small town diner, on the back of a menu I wrote out Hot Rod Betty. I remember a couple of guys talking about some dame and her hot rod. They were carrying on about how she was a real hard chick. Don't remember much more than that. Tony and I were talking about how cool it would be to write a song about some hell on wheels dame that just wanted to even the score. That's how most songs start I figure. Some idea that sounds really cool just never comes to be. It was early, everyone's hungry...so we pull over to grab a breakfast. I don't recollect the name of the place, but it was the real deal. We pull up a chair, the waitress takes our order, but all I can think about is that damn song. I started to write a few words, just to keep the tune fresh, the next thing I know Hot Rod Betty was penned and ready for airplay...well no quite...in the end, it's a real scorcher."
I can't remember a time when I wasn't asked..."So why do you play rockabilly?" To be honest I had never given it much thought. I grew up surrounded by the music...Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Ray Campi, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins and others, the vintage cars, the style. So I ask, why not rockabilly? A style that's real, honest, pure, a music that speaks to your soul, cars that were works of art...just the thought of tuck and roll upholstery, and men and women that ooze cool and the most amazing style to walk the earth.
Rockabilly music came along at a time when teenagers where getting restless. They'd had enough of "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" and the rest of the vanilla-flavored, play-it-safe, polite-enough-to-please-your-parents pop music diet they'd been forced to exist on. Country music could be cool, but it wasn't quite right for the young crowd. Blues music--although wonderful --wasn't danceable. Rhythm and Blues was great, but as "race" music, it didn't get wide airplay and the suburban white kids with their growing freedoms and growing buying power didn't hear much of R&B. Then rockabilly came along and broke all the barriers at once. Rockabilly set those kids free!
It's this sense of freedom that I think is behind the persistent popularity of rockabilly. When we listen to rockabilly music, we're transported back to a time when formulas didn't matter. Or, more accurately, they did matter in that musical formulas existed to be modified, rewritten, or erased and recreated from scratch.
The rockabilly lifestyle is simply an extension of that expression of freedom. The people living the rockabilly lifestyle--call them rockabillies--find joy and comfort in the styles of the 50s. It frees them to imagine a simpler, more innocent time when the music was fresh, bold, and innovative. And the music seems even more meaningful for them when they're surrounded by things that help foster the illusion of that wild and brash time in musical history.
The rockabillies are also an accepting lot. The original rockabilly cats back in the real 50s often broke color barriers because of the heavy influence that the great black blues players had on them and their music. Several black musicians made a name for themselves as part of the rockabilly scene. In the same way, skin color doesn't matter to today's modern rockabillies either. Nor does nationality matter. In fact, it's the very diversity of the modern rockabilly crowd worldwide that makes it so exciting. You can be a rockabilly to whatever extent you want to be and most other rockabillies will accept your decision. The common thread that holds the rockabilly-lifestyle fabric together is the music. If you simply enjoy the music, you're as accepted into the rockabilly world as someone who goes whole hog with the cars, clothes, hair, furniture and all the rest. After all; rockabilly has always been about the music. It still is about the music. And it always will be about the music.
So, what is the "rockabilly lifestyle?" Let the music guide you to the answer!
"Rockabilly music has recently been revived by a new generation of young musicians who love the rough-edged, countrified rock sounds that were last heard in 1954, primarily on Sun Records in Memphis. The fact that radio won't play the music and record companies won't sign the artists doesn't seem to dissuade the artist who are picking up on the sound today. Many rockabilly bands are playing for gas money at non-traditional venues, such as bowling alleys and roller rinks just to get on stage and entertain."
Listening to old tracks from years ago I started to wonder what I found wrong wtih the songs. Was it the music, the lyrics...I wasn't sure. Perhaps it was on a personal level. "Fooling Around" was written based on true life events...I couldn't have imagined that I would live the words. I guess all there is left to do is tell my story the only way I know how."