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!