The Rockats “Rockin’ Together”
As founders of the modern Rockabilly scene, most post 70s rockabilly bands were inspired 0ne way or the othe by the Rockats. Numerous appearances on Network TV shows like the Midnight Special, American Bandstand, Merv Griffin and a feature musical performance in the major motion picture, “Where the Boys Are 84”, cemented the Rockats place in Rock N’ Roll history.
Having toured with the Clash, Kiss, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Tina Turner, Thin Lizzy and The Pretenders along with impressive achievements like being photographed by Andy Warhol, interviewed by Deborah Harry and recording the RCA hit single, “Make That Move” (an early MTV favorite) have combined to make the Rockats true rock icons.
Now the Rockats have reunited to record the impressive album, “Rockin’ Together”, packed with 12 new original songs. “Rockin’ Together” features the soulful vocals of Dibbs Preston, the innovative upright bass playing of Smutty Smith, the rebel rousing guitar work of Danny B. Harvey and Barry Ryan, and the solid backbeat of drummers Mike Osborne and Lewis King. The album was recorded at Lanark studios for that great Lanark sound which is reminiscent of yesterday and relevant today.
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Why Do You Love Me?
Road To Hell
Pink and Black Cadillac
Tear The Roof Off
Now Dig ThisJune 01, 2013
The Rockats are a well-travelled combo with an impressive track record, originally emerging from the late ’70s UK rockin’ Teds scene to take their music to the States to remind the Americans about where it came from. Stateside, they found a kindred spirit in Brian Setzer, who confirms this in his praiseworthy sleeve notes. Out in the States and following a line-up change, the band also caught the ears of such ‘illustrious’ names as Tina Turner, Iggy Pop, Kiss and David Bowie (well, not that illustrious) who were all equally impressed and rocked with the band. They’ve also appeared on several prime US TV music shows and even had a hit single to boot with ‘Make That Move’. All this experience has contributed towards a tight and powerful combo as shown on this latest and excellent set by the boys, namely vocalist Dibbs Preston, guitarists Barry Ryan and Danny B. Harvey, slap-bassist Smutty Smiff and drummers Lewis King and Mike Osborn. All the songs are original and Quentin Jones’ strong production really compliments the band’s delivery, kicked off by the moody opening rocker, ‘The Doubt’. With Dibbs’ authoritative vocals and some hot playing from the band, the songs also benefit from some great hooks such as the title track, which could be their anthem. The brooding rocker ‘Why Do You Love Me (If I Don’t Treat You Right)’ is a real standout and, dare I say it, very ‘commercial’. The delightfully titled ‘Kitten With A Whip’ is a surfin’ instrumental twang-fest featuring Danny and Barry battling it out, while ‘The Road To Hell’ is a lengthy rockabilly jump tune with the two guitar pickers again playing off each other most admirably. Changing the mood from menacing rock n roll, ‘Olde Hickory Road’ demonstrates the band’s leanings towards hillbilly music, embellished with some neat harmonies, honky tonk piano and backing vocals, although the guitar solo is a bit messy. On ‘Pink And Black Cadillac’, the drummer sounds like he’s comin’ through the bass-drum on a storming rocker. ‘Red Headed Rockin’ Gal’ is a slinky bluesy number with cool fingersnaps to help the song along and comes complete with another great hook. Slowing things right down, ‘Sweet Sweet Charlotte’ is an echo-laden Vincent-styled ballad and for me the weakest cut on the album. ‘Tear The Roof Off’ picks the tempo up again and features another snappy arrangement with tough guitar and drums pounding away, plus some effective harmonies. ‘Bad Love’ is another straightahead rocker with more subtle harmonies. With a title like ‘Reckless Rebel’, it’s another rampant rocker with a catchy chorus and a wild guitar solo to close the set. With some dynamic playing and singing, together with some great arrangements, this is a solid, powerful and, more importantly; rockin’ set - musically akin to that of The Stray Cats and Robert Gordon. Get the picture? John Firminger
Shakin Katz Slam ReviewsMay 15, 2013
It's been almost 10 years since the legendary Rockats have put out an album.So when news hit that Lanark Records and The Rockats were joining forces for a new release it was and is a big deal.For some folks this is one of the premiere bands of 80's rockabilly so you just know expectations are high for this release.
That said " Rockin Together" more than holds it's own, this is a damn killer album. Clocking in with 12 new originals of mostly rockabilly with some country, blues and even a little shade of surf added to the mix. No dogs here, this is well crafted, sounds great and has a really good flow to it. Highlights include: "The Doubt", " Road To Hell", " Tear The Roof Off" and "Bad Love". Even after all these years The Rockats still sound fresh and vital but then again would you really expect anything less. Recommended
Torontorockabilly.comDecember 12, 2013
THE ROCKATS ARE BACK I think it’s safe to say that everyone remembers, or at least knows of the rockabilly act The Rockats, featuring Dibbs Preston, Smutty Smith, Danny B. Harvey, Barry Ryan, and the solid backbeat of drummers Mike Osborne and Louis King. Well, don’t count these cats out just yet, as they have all gotten back into the studio and are about to release a brand new album entitled “Rockin’ Together”. Lanark Records are the label behind this great release and they sent us a copy to feature on the site, and we are glad they did.
Twelve tracks of rollercoaster-riding-rockabilly is what you get when you throw this disc on and there is no doubt that when track one starts to play that you have got yourself a fresh sound of rockabilly history. The title track “Rockin’ Together” has a great up-beat tempo that will definitely have the dance floor shaking and the following tracks “Why Do You Love Me” and “Road To Hell” keep you on that path. Track five “Kitten With a Whip” takes a welcomed change as the band deliver a California-styled surf number just in time for summer, and then track six slows it back in time with a real country number. Although I am no “country” fan or expert, the track does feel a bit safe and run of the mill, but then again, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is how the saying goes. The album bounces back with the next rockin number entitled “Pink And Black Cadillac” and “Red Headed Rockin Gal”, as “Sweet Sweet Charlotte” slows you down to a lovers pace. The album ends just the way every album should end with some great up-tempo rockin numbers from “Tear The Roof Off”, “Bad Love” and “Reckless Rebel”. If you’re an old fan of The Rockats then you will not go wrong with this new release and if you’re new to the rockabilly scene and looking for some authentic American rockabilly in the style of The Stray Cats, 13 Cats and The Polecats then this will be a great addition to your collection.
What They're Saying
From the liner notes of the new Rockats Cd, “Rockin’ Together”
The Rockats burst onto the music scene in the late 70’s like a breath of fresh air. Rockabilly music had laid dormant since the 1950’s, until a group of young brash Brits brought back a revitalized and reenergized version to the US.
The Rockats were no mere revival act or retread, they were putting a modern spin on the classic rockabilly sound, much like Stevie Ray Vaughn or the Fabulous Thunderbirds were putting their modern spin on the blues. No one had seen a standup bass in 1978 being played the way Smutty Smith played it! Slapping it! Spinning it and dancing with it! With Dibbs Preston’s great rockin’ vocals, Barry Ryan and Danny Harvey twin rockabilly guitar attack, The Rockats were poised to Make That Move into the US.
I remember seeing The Rockats first show in New York. I couldn’t believe there were other people like me. The spirit of the Rockats captivated the audience that night and left a great impression on me. I guess we were swept away to our different paths in life and never really got to know each other well until later.
Here are twelve great new tracks from the original Rockats. Still with the same spirit and savvy as they had back in 1981!
Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits
“I just listened to the new Rockats Cd, “Rockin’ Together” and I am loving it! This is great stuff.
It is loaded up with enthusiasm like music is supposed to be. Sign me up to the Rockats fan club right now, when can I buy this stuff????”
" I first met The Rockats in 1980...Washington, DC The Psychedelly Niteclub. I was playing with Tex Rubinowitz and The Bad Boys...I remember we loved their show, it was so exciting and fun, Smutty running around the stage with his upright bass, his arms covered in tattoos, Dibbs dancing the bop and charming the girls with his Billy Fury looks ....it was all new to
us then, nobody had seen anything like it. What I didn't know till years later was how much they had influenced The Stray Cats
Over thelast 20 years as I've played rockabilly festivals around the world, I wondered why The Rockcats weren't on the bill...so it made me extremely happy to find out they played this year's Viva Las Vegas and then to find out they had a new recording coming out! And here it is 12 new songs and The Rockats sounding fresher and better than ever....Thanks to Lanark Records and producer Quentin Jones for getting these guys back out to be heard again...rockabilly fans around the world need to take notice!"