Rockabilly Hall of FameŽ Archives
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Show Review posted August 11, 1997
TITLE TOWN ROCKS
In the Wisconsin city known best for the World Champion NFL Green Bay Packers, the First Annual Rockabilly Fest was held Saturday, August 9th. The credit goes to young rockabilly promoter, Phil Doran, from Green Bay. Phil put this show together on his own and those who attended were richly rewarded.
First up were the Bad Cats making their debut appearance, featuring a few Ronnie Dawson and Eddie Cochran tunes while mixing in some originals. The Bad Cats are a trio from Appleton, Wisconsin made up of three old seasoned rockers that have now committed mainly to rockabilly. Al Andersen on bass and vocals, Darryl Jaeger on drums and vocals and Bob Timmers on lead guitar. They were well accepted by their peers and pub patrons in attendance.
The Lucky Strikes, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, then provided some excellent rockabilly sounds. When asked now many OTHER rockabilly bands work of out of Milwaukee, they said NONE...but the scene is changing. They may team up with the Bad Cats for some future Wisconsin gigs.
The Sting Rays from Bloomington, Indiana were next up. They have a drivin' sound. They got the crowd moving and dancing in no time. Good slap bass work and an excellent lightnin'-fast lead guitarist.
Next...Close your eyes and pretend it's 1956 and the Blue Caps are wailing...and you've got the Racketeers from Boston. Uncanny sound including Tom Umberger's Cliff Gallup licks and the drummer recreating Dickie Harrell'sstriped down drum kit, playing the entire set while standing and singing. Their encore version of "Who Slapped John" rocked the building.
Minneapolis, Minnesota has one heck a one tight group with the Vibro Champs. You can set your watch to this band. Great sound of swing, jazz, rockabilly all rolled into one. The Vibro Champs closed out the evening a long rocking set.
Promoter Phil Doran has big plans for next year. He's very serious about putting a Weekender together with headliners like Ronnie Dawson, Ray Condo, High Noon, Big Sandy, etc. and is already laying the ground work. It would be nice to have another Weekender on the national annual schedule for the folks to visit in the upper Midwest. Phil can be reached at 920-494-4500, ext. 3376 til 4:30 days