Joe Clay 1939-2016

Heaven must be having one hell of a weekender. September 26, 2016. It was announced that legendary original rockabilly artist, Joe Clay (born Claiborne Joseph Cheramie ) passed away. Weeks after his daughter posted on his Facebook that he was dealing with a terminal illness. His 50s recordings (all 9!) were rockabilly perfection. As well as mandatory listening. Sadly he didn’t become a huge success during that time period. Luckily during the later rockabilly revival he was hunted down by some European fans who found out he had been working as a bus driver. There he learned that unbeknownst to him. He had gained a rabid following. It shows more now than it did than.

It shows more now than it did than. As you are reading this, Facebook is overflowing with beautiful tributes and fan stories that I wish I could share. Unfortunately I’ve only been able to admire the man from afar. Even including him on the post Random Rockabilly Factoids!. He was the first name that popped up when I went searching for rockabilly outside of Sun Records or Johnny Burnette. To hear that another great is gone pulls on my heartstrings. I’m happy that he got a chance to know that he has fans and that he left knowing he was loved through the planet (all thanks to the wonders of the internet). I’m hoping that anyone reading this knows I’m posting this, not because I’m taking advantage for click bait. But because I feel that I would insulting him and his fans if a page called Rockabilly Nerd did not acknowledge our loss. Below is a collection of videos I’ve gathered off YouTube for your enjoyment. Enjoy and remember to make sure that the surviving rockers out there know that we appreciate what they’ve done musically. I also encourage you to leave any moments you’ve had, either seeing him live or meeting him in the comments. I’d love to read them.

I’ve made so many jokes about doing this. It finally happened. Some lady threw her panties on stage.

Lovely interview. I wish I could’ve hung out with him.

A staple in the rockin world. Rockabilly 101.

He kept rockin. Was one of the best cuts off a recent comeback rerelease off El Toro Records. The Legend is Now.

Do I really have to give an explanation?

I’ll leave you with this one. Rest in peace Joe Clay.

Feel free to share on social media! Go Like the official Rockabilly Nerd page. Link is on top of the page.

And as always, please stop talking about your car!


(video) My favorite vinyl records

The computer gods do not want me to type anything for Friday’s post. Doing this all on my cell phone. Not a big fan of that. Figured I would take this opportunity to do something a little different. Below is a slide show I made and narrated. Give it a look and tell me what you think!

Feel free to share on Facebook or any social media. Go Like the official Rockabilly Nerd page ( link on the top menu).

Just a reminder, you can stop talking about your car.

Viva Las Vegas 20 band list is looking good!

Its that time of the year again. Announcement time! I remember one year ago I was salivating at the Viva Las Vegas website. This year is no different. The ever so handsome Tom Ingram once again has an amazing line up for the 20th anniversary of the rockabilly staple. The event I went to this year that inspire this blogs first entry (found HERE). I’m particularly excited due to how may artists are playing that get routinely get mentioned and praised here at Rockabilly Nerd.

First lets talk about one band I should’ve mentioned before. I jumped up and down when I realized The Spunyboys from France was making their American debut! I’m always excited when Teddy boy type bands make their way here (like Furious and Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers). I really want to ask how strong their lead singers adams apple is after seeing him play his stand up (bass bicycle) on his neck!

One problem with traveling to another country to perform is that some bands can’t afford to bring the entire band. Rockabilly and rockabilly-esque type music doesn’t pay the bills. So in a lot of cases they just send out their lead singer and he’ll play with another band. So we’re treated two band mashed together like your kid’s play dough. This year from Cherry Casino and the Gamblers we have…Cherry Casino! And from the Round Up Boys, we have……The Round Up Boys. Though I believe the Gamblers already have a couple members of The Round Up Boys. Bare with me here. I’m a huge fan of both bands. To see them together is something anyone could remember no matter how wasted  they are after drinking from a fake cowboy boot!

Just going to make a quick note, I remember last year I was happy to check out all the great Wild Records acts. I totally went thinking the Desperados were playing. They weren’t listed any where. But it completely made sense if they played. Well fear not. They will be playing at VLV 20. Along with other killer Wild Acts: Luis and the Wildfires, Alex Vargas will be doing the The Alex Vargas Show, Jimmy Dale and the Beltline,  Eddie and the Scorpions and Texas Steve.

The Original Stars of Rockabilly got me lactating! Larry Collins will be there. Along with my fellow Arkansan and original Sun recording artist Sonny Burgess ( I’ve mentioned him in How rockabilly made me proud of where I’m from). I really wanna meet him this time around ask if he has ever played in Toad Suck (yep that is an actual town). At Viva, there will be other original legends including Wanda Jackson (hope she is doing better)! Freddy Cannon will be performing and you all better start strolling once Tallahasse Lassie starts playing.

Jack Baymoore will be playing with the Round Up Boys (WE GET TO SEE THEM MORE THAN ONCE!). Dave and Deke Hillbilly Fest, that I have only heard about and it sounds like something I would steal a car to check out. The lovely Ruby Ann and Mary Ann will perform together. I got to see their collaborative show on YouTube from the Rockabilly Rave, that is definitely not something to miss.

How in the hell do you top last year’s Viva Car Show. Remember when Metallica did the Big 4 with Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer. Well at VLV 19 we got the 80s Rockabilly version of that with a Big 3. The Jets, The Polecats, and Brian Setzer (later on that night I got to see Restless so technically 4). This year it is a some veteran acts, The Blasters, James Intveld (the guy that sang all the songs on Cry Baby…just making sure that you didn’t think that Johnny Depp sung all those songs), Los Straight Jackets (surf guitar just seems essential when you’re outside…I need to do a surf guitar special). and finally the recently announced Brenda Lee. This is a special occasion! From what I know, she supposedly retired from performing a while back. To see her make a return is worthy of headlining the 20th Viva Car Show! (not one mention of “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” I’m so proud of myself….oh crap).

There are loads and loads of other bands some may have never heard of until this announcement. Which is good. You can’t just go to a weekender just to see artists you like. You need to venture and discover acts you’ve never heard of. Broaden your horizons. The Bembol Rockers from the Philipines will be there. Coral Lee, Shonda and the Howlers, Kim Lenz (haha made you look, everyone knows Kim Lenz),Los Rhythm Rockets, and a ton of other acts (like Babe Miller, The Rip Em Ups, Lance Lapinsky, The Original Planet Rockers!!, Pat Capocci, Lew Lewis, The Sydewinders, Gino and the Lone Gunmen). Read the full list HERE!

Rockabilly Nerd is in no way affiliated with Viva Las Vegas outside of loving Rockabilly music. I encourage you to go. If I’m able to go I expect everyone to say HI. While you’re here you can share this on social media. You can follow this site to keep completely updated on my new posts. Feel free to LIKE the official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE.

Come back next time when I’ll do a review on High Rockabilly based purely on Instagram photos!

Psychobilly Nerd: 10 of the Best Bass Slapping Psychobilly Songs

You basically threw your under pants at me with 10 of the best bass slappin rockabilly songs. You screamed with delight that I may have done 10 too many with 10 Of The Best Bass Slapping Rockabilly Songs Part 2. You felt I was running out of ideas with Rockabilly Songs That Should Be in a Tarantino movie Now your prayers have been answered! This months Psychobilly Nerd special is another list! This time on the Psycho side of things. Yes, Psychobilly. Rockabilly’s cool female friend with the big butt, crazy hair, that always brings pizza to the party. Today I will give you 10 of the best songs that showcase that sexy wooden instrument (bass bicycle!). All I’ve picked personally. If you disagree, then you can sign up to WordPress. Start your own blog. When can then settle things with a Blog off! Enjoy!

As Diabatz “Psycho Mad Mary”

I always joke about people hearing that clicking sound in my headphones. And wondering if you were carrying a bomb. Well this is the band that was playing when I got asked that. Fortunately these Brazilian devil girls did not cause me to arrested.

Batmobile “Bat Attack”

“And my screams were very loud” click click click click. It was either this song or “Killers Crew”. I picked this one. We can all agree that Batmobile was one of our first psychobilly bands right? If you’re not a fan I have to wonder why you’re even reading this blog!

Meantraitors “Titanic”

My hand hurts just imagining trying to copy that slapping in the song. It is almost not human!

Mad Sin “2,3,4,”

Early mad sin is very underrated. Especially this diddy! This is some of the best wood abuse from 80s! (scratch that, wood abuse just sounds terrible. Wood Abuse isn’t even a thing!)

Demented Are Go “Cripple In the Woods”

Anyone who 100% believes that every DAG song sounds exactly the same can kiss my ass. Thought I’d say that out loud.With that said, I could have picked just about any of their songs for this. But the slappin stuck out to me. So I choose this (like the lady of the lake decided to hand Excalibur to king Arthur, only difference is that instead of King Arthur we have a face painted mad man and I’m aquaphobic).

Squidbillys “Metro”

You thought I was just going to post nothing but old school guys. Part of the newest breed of psychos. Hailing from Moscow, I’m very happy this was not a Berlin cover. You could easily convince me this was mad in the 80s. I nearly fainted when I realized these guys were younger than me!

Batmobile “Killers Crew”

Screw it. Went ahead and added it to the list. Oh god! Do you hear that? It’s so damn sexy. I had to stop typing for a minute to just soak in the multiple different speeds that bass was going.

The Meteors “Aint Gonna Bring Me Down”

For a band that used an electric bass for the first half portion of their existence, they do have some sexy bass slappin. Most songs I feel try to show off P Paul’s guitar playing. Everything else is pretty secondary. But this is some of the best the band has to offer. A steady beat that without, wouldn’t make this the psycho classic it is.

The Brains “Screaming”

For some reason whenever I think of bass slapping, my brain instantly goes to the last 5 seconds of this song. While I’m talking about them. I feel these guys should have been the next Tiger Army or Nekromantix. Oh well, there is still time.

Torment “Death Trail”

Finally of course I picked one of my favorite 80s psychobilly bands Torment. Fast paced 80s psychobilly. Brings me back to the days of Klub Foot….that I watched on YouTube… know I had to have been a baby during that time…and I’ve never left the U.S….I’m talking not even visited Mexico…What was I talking about? Oh yes. All of Torment’s discography is essential listening no matter what you listen to!

Like this list? Hate it? Let me know in the comments. I encourage you to share this on social media. While you’re here go LIKE the Official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE!

Come back next time. When I’ll go to a show with a ruler and measure everyone’s cuffs.




Best Sci Fi Rockabilly and Psychobilly songs!

Space the final frontier. These are the voyages of the blog known as Rockabilly Nerd. Our 5 year journey. To explore all that is rockin. To seek out new ways to not post about your car or hair. To boldly go where no Rockabilly blog has gone before (I immediately start singing the orginal theme in a high pitched voice). I’m currently writing this Sept 8th 2016. The 50th anniversary of Star Trek. As some of you may know. I’m a trekkie! I even own a classic Trek vinyl. To celebrate this I’m going to dedicate this post to rockabilly and psychobilly songs that are sci fi themed. Enjoy!

Mars Attacks “Man From Mars”

Before anyone points it out. Yes I know its a Butch Paulson cover. But it has been scientifically proven that this is a superior version. This one brings up images of a short green man surrounded by ladies at club. I’m sure there is an adult film based on this some where.

Space Cadets “In Space”

Ok I could have picked a bunch of songs for this list. Based purely on Space Cadets songs. They are one of my favorite live acts out there. And that statement is not completely based on their sweet space suit gear the band wears on stage (my girlfriend saw them for the first time with me at this year’s Viva, turned to me and said “you’re in heaven aren’t you?”)

The Space Cadets “I’m a Space Cadet

Told you!

Dirk Robinson “Boppin Martian”

You would be a fool to assume that I wasn’t going to include at least one obscure novelty song. At least I didn’t put up any Phenomenauts songs here. Its a cute little diddy that is good to play once a year.

Batmobile “S.P.O.C.K.”

Definitely might be a cop out here. This song is only here because Spock in the title. Someone hurry up and make a YouTube Video of Leonard Nimoy dancing to this song! Factoid: I played this the day he died.

Klingonz “The Doctor Who Theme”

I could have posted “Up Uranus” in full here you know. Yes, I know we’re celebrating Star Trek. But Doctor Who first came 3 years earlier.

Frantic Vermin “Daleks”

Honestly I can find so many more Doctor Who stuff than Star Trek!

Guitar Slingers “Rise of the Cybermen”


Stray Cats “Blast off”

Brian Setzer allegedly gave Mr Spock a pompadour! This is one of my favorite of the Cats. Its kinda sad that I decided to do this after this was posted online. Oh well, enjoy your meteor shower!

Billy Lee Riley “Flying Saucer Rock N Roll”

We got the mother of them all here. The Sun Records classic! Little green men coming down from space to rock out with a rockin Arkansan (that is a word!) Billy Lee Riley. This is no novelty song. This is a real true gem in the history of Rock N Roll. How this was never featured in a Star Trek movie, I’ll never know! (see Rockabilly in movie soundtracks Part 1: It Happens)

Like this list? Hated it? Let me know in the comments. Feel free to share this on social media! While you are here go Like the Official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook HERE.

Come back next time when I’ll show you how to get your bettie bangs just like spocks!

The Countryside of Harmonica Sam Q&A: Swedish band will boogie in Nashville

There is a key element to Rockabilly music. It is in the name. BILLY! Back in the 50s it was created by hillbilly cats (yep I just said hillybilly cats) making rock n roll. Fast forward to 2010s and once again the world has shifted and out in Sweden they got some hillbilly cats (said it again!) themselves. This band called themselves the Countryside of Harmonica Sam. I was blown away when I heard them. Ridiculously American sounding music that sounds more American than most Americans! Consists of Patrik on drums, Ulrik on the double bass (bass bicyle), Peter on pedal steel guitar, Harmonica Sam on acoustic guitar and vocals, and Johan supplying the electric guitar. I wanted to learn more about the band after they were included on the stellar line up for next years Nashville Boogie. I got to exchange some words with Johan. The following is what went down.


Rockabilly Nerd: Thank you very much for agreeing to answer some questions. I absolutely love your music. Being from Sweden, how did you discover country music? 

Johan: Ever since the 50s American pop culture has been quite big in Sweden. Especially the rockabilly scene has been strong and there are many great bands over here doing the authentic rockabilly/hillbilly style. In The Country Side of Harmonica Sam we all came from playing different American styles. Me and Sam are from the same town where the blues scene was strong and Sam started out as a blues harmonica player and he released an album at Enviken Records under the name of Harmonica Sam. He had quite a following and that’s why we decided to use his already worked in name when we put this band together. I was in a bluegrass band when we started and Peter, Patrik and Ulrik still play together in a western swing band called Swinging Hayriders. But it turned out we all shared an interest and love for traditional country music.

RN: Was it hard getting musicians to get the sound you wanted out there?

Johan: We all live in the south of Sweden around a town called Malmö and after a while you get to know all the people who share the same interest I guess. I knew Sam from before but I didn’t know he was into country music then but Peter and Ulrik had done a couple of gigs together with Boppin Steve & The Playtones and had started to talk about putting a country band together. Peter asked Patrik and Ulrik from the western swing band to join and they knew me from filling in for Peter on pedal steel in another country band they used to play in. In the beginning we did a little broader style and played country from the 40s, 50s and 60s but pretty soon we agreed on doing that late 50s early 60s style that we all loved. When the time came for recording ”Open letter to the blues” we decided to give the vintage studio Lightning Recorders in Berlin a try. The Swinging Hayriders had been there twice and it’s a great studio for rockabilly, swing and early country music. So that was a six tracks straight to tape recording. On our upcoming album we’re gonna try explore the sounds from the early 60s a little bit more and have started to record some at Gula Studion, in Malmö, who also have a great selection of vintage gear.

I was just told I got it a little bit wrong. It was actually Peter and Patrik who had planned to start a country band but they had a hard time finding a really good male singer and it was after a show Peter and Sam did with Boppin Steve that got Peter thinking about asking Sam if he wanted to join them.    (Rockabilly Nerd here. I wasn’t sure how to fix this up so I decided just to include the correction. Hi Johan!)

RN: You’re playing the Nashville Boogie next year! Have you visited the country music capital before?

Johan: I have been there three times before but I think I’m the only one in the band actually. I met Jason Galaz who runs the Nashville Boogie and Muddy Roots when I was with my bluegrass band in Raleigh, NC, last year. I mentioned The Country Side of Harmonica Sam to him and then we met again in Austin, TX, this year while we were at the Ameripolitan Music Awards. We’re really looking forward to the Boogie and hopefully we get to meet some of our old heroes!

RN: Deke Dickerson once said that your band sounded like you were raised in Arkansas, eating biscuits and gravy every morning, As a person from Arkansas, who did eat biscuits n gravy I can totally agree. Have you eaten biscuits n gravy before? (I know that was a silly one)

J:  Ha ha, I know some of us tried it earlier this year in Austin, TX, and as I recall Patrik liked it a lot but on the other hand he eats everything!

RN: What artists of the genre did you guys look to for inspiration? I can pick up some George Jones in there.

J: Of course we have listened a lot to George Jones but maybe even more Ray Price and Faron Young. We love the country shuffle style that Ray Price made famous and Faron did some great recordings between 1959-1961 with a lot of pedal steel guitar and tic tac bass. We have also listened a lot to Skeets McDonald from that same era when he had Ray Price on harmony singing and Jimmy Day on pedal steel. For us that’s the golden era of country music.


RN: Finally, is there anything you would like to say to anyone reading this?

J: Yeah, if you like us, love country music from the golden years 1959-1961 check us out on Itunes, Spotify or you can order the cd or vinyl directly from El Toro records. We’re also on Facebook if you want to follow us there. And please come up and say hi at the Nashville Boogie! We love to talk about some good ole country music! Best regards, Johan.

Thanks once again to Johan! You can learn more aobut the Countryside of Harmonica Sam on their Official Website HERE. Their Facebook page HERE. One of my favorite labels El Toro’s page HERE

Feel free to share this on social media. Also feel free to go to the official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE.

Come back next time when I’ll attempt to make victory rolls with my chest hairs!

Rockin Album Reviews #4: Rhythm Bomb’s Get Up and Dance Box Edition

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A box set of epic proportions landed on my lap recently. One of my favorite labels Rhythm Bomb Records released a limited edition, 5 disc set called Get Up and Dance. 5 DISCS!! 125 SONGS! That is a lot. Now I’ve done reviews of a 3 disc set, but never a 5 album one. After four it is officially a box set (that is my humble opinion). In this months edition of Rockin Album Reviews, I’m going to review each individual album. Cause I don’t think one goofy paragraph is enough to talk about this release (from the lovely people at Rhythm Bomb who are oh so handsome).

Perfect For Parties


I have one complaint here. That It doesn’t specifically say on the package that this is the fourth edition of the Perfect for Parties series….it is a petty one and that is basically all the complaints I have. This is a great follow up and great way to begin this set. Starts off strong with Prague’s Twisted Rod with “Come On”. I’m introduced to and super impressed by Joakim Tinderhold (who the hell is this guy I want a CD immediately). I was also reminded why I bought the Starjay’s album here. This collection is great for checking out artist I haven’t been able to hear yet (though come on who hasn’t heard of Lil Mo’s Unholy 4 or Marc and the Wild Ones). A.J. and The Rockin Trio also caught my attention. I officially have this fantasy in my head. Where there is a show and the DJ is late or his car is broke down. But fortunately for everyone I have this album in my pocket and I save the day. Everyone is dancing and applauding me. I turn to the camera and say “Thanks Rhythm Bomb” (insert sparkling tooth).



I get to hear another Strollers comp this year (first being from Western Star), it is Christmas for me! Here is where I start to really love this GUAD (Get Up and Dance….GUAD is not the capitol of any latin american country). As you can guess, I love strollers. They’re sexy. They make the ladies dance. They even make me wannna…..


AAAAgh you again!? Carol Lee begins the album with “The Weather Vane” (it almost sounds like part of the song was recorded in the shower….that has me intrigued). This begins the four Dance themed discs. Rhythm Bomb vets like Star Mountain Dreamers are here, as well as Ruby Ann, Nico Duportal,  B and the Bops appear here. Joakim Tinderholt pops up and I immediately throw a wad of cash at my stereo. Carolina and Her Rhythm Rockets do a killer cover of “Rock the Bop”.I’m being super biased when I say this is my favorite part of the whole collection. The “Strollers” disc is the equivalent of buying a bag of Luck Charms and its filled to the top with only marshmallows (mallow to the UK types). This is like buying giant bag of Starburst and it is only the red ones! Trust me on this one, I’m fat. I know what I’m talking about (Dough Wilshire’s “Bossman” is bitching tune…..thought I’d make that clear before I finish this section…continue reading)

Slow Down


I was super excited to receive this box set. Only one problem. I was not at all looking forward to the Slow Down part….Boy was I wrong. Shame shame shame on me. This isn’t full of ballads. This isn’t an album full of songs just for girls. We got honky-tonk like Rob Ryans Roadshow’s “Still On My Mind”, Cherry Casino “Just One Look”, sweet rnb with The Starjay’s “Sin Comin On”. These are sweaty numbers that you move with your lady (or guy…I’m not prejudice towards anyone reading this). This takes me to those days you don’t skip the slow song on a Eddie Cochran compilation. “Those Lonely Lonely Nights” is an excellent down and dirty bluesy track from….Joakim Tinderholt.  Ezra Lee and the Havoc brings the boogie woogie (read my interview Ezra Lee Q&A: down under piano pounding rock n roll!). Mike Penny and His Moonshiners and Aj and the Rockin Trio finish off the album perfectly. Once again, shame on me!



Grab your woman or grab your man….grab someone. This disc summons one of my favorite form of people watching. The couples movin and groovin on the dance floor. Playing this disc while typing this is causing my fingers to dance. The Jivers part of this set contains a few of my favorite Rhythm Bomb acts, Jai Malano (well former now a days), Jittery Jack, Nico Duportal, and Ruby Ann. Billie and the Kids “Them There Eyes” is a great toe tapping number. Twisted Rods “Early Morning Blues” gives me flashbacks to viva….and they weren’t even there! The Ballroom Rockets live up to their name. Killer disc my friends.



It is a scientific fact that all my friends are boppin the blues. Remember how I described the strollers disc as a bag of Starburst with only the red ones? This is a bag full of yellow ones (that’s a good thing). Love boppers! This has my favorite guitar parts. From Hanks Jalopy Demons to Aj and the Rockin Trio. Lots of blues boppers, good down dirty rock n roll in here. One thing I noticed about the titles that go into this type of song is there is always the word “bop”. This disc has 5. I’m super impressed it was not 20 of the 25 tracks. Eddy and the Backfire’s “Honky Tonk Girl” shines here. Marc and the Wild Ones don’t even need to be mentioned(I’ve done it twice!) since everyone knows they are awesome and you should already own both their albums but they do an excellent cover of “Stutterin Cindy”. I’m so sad there is no Joakim Tinderholt in here (he was the MVP of the collection).Same can be said about the Frantic Rockers. All 25 songs are real killers with absolutely no fillers.

Final thoughts: That is a lot of music. Fortunately I’m already a fan of Rhythm Bomb so a good amount of the music here I’m already familiar with. This package is a great introduction for new fans. Also a great BEST OF. To categorize them is genius. I was shocked when I went searching for Boppers and Jivers compilations and barely found any (It seemed like a no brainer to make them but they are hard to find). So you get 5 different ones right here! Catty Town’s  Eamonn Doyle did a great job picking the songs out. And Henrique San’s artwork was a nice cherry on this rockin sundae (I wanna get the boppers guy tattooed on me). Copies of this is available on the Rhythm Bomb website HERE.

You like this box set as well? Like my review? Let me know what you thought in the comments. Feel free to share this on social media. While you are at it go Like the official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook HERE.

Come back next time when I’ll start a rumble with a group of 14 year olds.