Stop Twelve On The Rockabilly Roadtrip

What Happens Now?


It appears that we are fast approaching the end of The Rockabilly Roadtrip which means that it’s time to ask a very important question: after so many years of rockabilly, psychobilly, and the various other incarnations, where do we do from here?

Well let me tell you, rockabilly is certainly not dead. In fact, the music and culture are going just as strong now as they were back in the mid-fifties with a plethora of bands and artists still embracing the wild sound. These are the artists about which we will be talking today.

First off, there are those artists who are keeping well with the traditions and still making out and out rockabilly rhythms. Bands like Ghost Highway, Altar Billies, and Jim Jeffries have been slapping the bass and picking the hollowbody guitar loudly and proudly in recent days, looking back to the roots of rockabilly and recapturing the sound for the twenty-first centure.

Here’s a little look at the kind of music these modern rockabilly traditionalists have been playing:

That’s What Daddy Wants – Ghost Highway

I’m Still Standing – Altar Billies

Fire – Jim Jeffries

Then, of course, there are a whole raft of bands who have been playing with the basic elements of rockabilly and creating new and interesting sounds with the premise. The ever-evolving style known as ‘psychobilly’, for example, still has its die-hards and there, but lately more and more influences have been creeping into the music. The Phenomenauts, for instance, have incorporated a large country sound into their repertoire and blended it with b-movie science fiction themes to create a very distinct brand of psychobilly music.

Science And Honor – The Phenomenauts

Bands like HorrorPops and The Creepshow are also still hanging around, changing their sound constantly while still remaining true to their rockabilly roots. Adding touches from goth music, ska, and many other sources these bands help to keep the flame of rockabilly alive in a world where many people find it old fashioned and boring.

Where You Can’t Follow – HorrorPops

The Garden – The Creepshow

One of the most exciting directions that rockabilly music has been taking in recent days, however, is, in my opinion, the inclusion of rockabilly into other brands of pop music. Guitarist, song-writer, and singer, Jack White, for instance, is a noted fan of the rockabilly genre and often incorporates elements of the older sound into his particular brand of rock and roll music.

Love Interruption – Jack White

Even grunge band Pearl Jam have taken their lead from the rockabilly tradition on a few tracks from their latest album.

Let The Records Play – Pearl Jam

It is clear from all of this that rockabilly is by no means a dying genre, and in fact it lives on today in many guises and forms. You may hear it in its purest unadulterated form, or perhaps as a punk reincarnation, or maybe even hear it on mainstream radio as it subtely inflects upon the top forty hits, but however you hear it you can always tell what it is you’re listening to.

And so I ask of you all, now that The Rockabilly Roadtrip has come to an end, to go out and spread the word of rockabilly: one of the original forms of rock and roll music. Get out there and let everybody know that rockabilly is not dead, and that it is not old and uncool. Let them know that rockabilly is here to stay and that it is still, sixty or so years after its inception into the popular consciousness, one of the most exciting and interesting styles of music that is out there.

Play the records and dance the dances. Sing the songs and play along, but whatever you do, don’t let the rockabilly spirit die!


One thought on “Stop Twelve On The Rockabilly Roadtrip

  1. Pingback: Big Beat from Badsville – The Cramps | Lachlan J. Faces The Music

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