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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Retro Rockabilly From Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys

March 29, 1993|JIM WASHBURN

Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys are one forward-looking retro band. Though nothing the Orange County-based country-rockabilly quintet did at Bogart's on Friday would have sounded out of place on Cliffie Stone's Barn Dance show in 1956, singer Robert (Big Sandy) Williams and crew leaped into their songs with a joyful immediacy that bore no hint of mothballs.

Williams' singing has some of the sweetness and urgency of Elvis' Sun recordings. Rather than bludgeon out their rockabilly like most revival outfits, Williams and his band members poured their exuberance into stunning musicianship, influenced by Western swing and the L.A. country music of the '50s. Steel guitarist Lee Jeffriess particularly reminded of the late, great Speedy West with the wild chordal geysers he coaxed from his instrument.

New guitarist Ashley Kingman played articulate, if not always incendiary, leads, while bassist Wally Hersom thumped like a deer heart and drummer Bobby Trimble drove the proceedings with explosive, Krupa-esque fills. With Williams shouting lyrics such as "Oochie coochie" and "Dad gum it, you done it" over the warm tumult, a strong argument was made for the return of innocence and pleated pants.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday March 30, 1993 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 13 Column 1 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
Guitar player--Steel guitar player Speedy West is retired and living in Oklahoma. A reference to him in a review of Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys in Monday's Calendar referred to him as deceased.

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