|PV & The Heartbeats, The Heart of Holland Rocks
Somewhere in the fall of 2000 I became friends with Eric van Houtum (bass guitar) through the Internet, and he told me he was playing in a new band, together with Peter de Vaan. I had known Peter for years, he was a roadie for the Hurricane Rollers when he was still in highschool and later he joined the Explosion Rockets as a singer and rhythm guitarist, after Kalman Smits had left the band. He learned the in and outs of playing rock'n'roll guitar from the legendary Bart Strik and he also picked up on piano playing at the time he was hanging out with Freddy 'Fingers' Lee. You bet I was anxious to hear this new band PV & The Heartbeats play, and on a rainy Sunday afternoon I took off to a local pub on my motorbike. As usual, I was late, and the band had already started their first set. I was immediatly impressed. In the early 80's I used to go to gigs of Bart Strik and "his" Explosion Rockets quite often, and what I heard right there and then reminded me a lot of those good old days. A very young and totally unknown guitar whiz kid (Jeffry Duffhuës) was playing like a star in this overcrowded little bar. The drummer (Danny van der Steen), also from a much younger generation than I am, obviously knew what rock'n'roll is all about too. My pal Eric was playing the bass lines in a way he obviously cribbed from Don Kinsella (Crazy Cavan & The Rhythm Rockers), and the mix of energetic youth and apparent naivety looked pretty neat. Peter was dancing up and down the stage and changed his rhythm guitar for the piano as easily as you and I would change a pair of shoes. Songs from way back when and already branded in my memory forever, sounded better than ever before. "Baby Sittin'", "Black Eyes Rock" and a whole range of golden oldies, from Buddy Holly to Hurricane Rollers, from Elvis Presley to Explosion Rockets and from Fats Domino to Crazy Cavan. PV & The Heartbeats play a wide variety of well known cover songs, mostly in their own style; a mix of British and American rock'n'roll and Dutch Indo-Rock.
At that time we (BlackCat Rockabilly Europe, in co-operation with Highlands Foundation) were organizing the first Rockabilly Highlands Festival, and I knew right from the start that we must have these guys on our stage. As it turned out, that wasn't a problem at all, because the band was eager to get better known in the rock'n'roll and rockabilly scene. So, on June 8, 2002 the opening act on the Rockabilly Highlands alldayer was PV & The Heartbeats. Their performance, as well as the whole of the festival, were a big succes. This goes to show that rockers and bikers, young and old, still dig a good gig with some real gone Dutch rock'n'roll.
Also in the spring of 2002, PV & The Heartbeats recorded their first EP (vinyl) at the Art of Music Studio with engineer Rowdy van Poppelen, lead guitarist of the Rocking Devils in his heydays. The EP consists of 4 songs; Laat Me Los / Great Balls Of Fire / Ginchy / April In Paris. Two tracks are not on this CD release, and that makes the vinyl platter a nice collectors item for Jukebox lovers.
Around May 2002, the band went into studio again, this time to record their debut album for Rarity Records (C192710). The recording sessions took place at the Session Sound Recording Studios in Rosmalen, under the very able supervision of Hennie Korsten. Hennie knew just how to make the nervous youngsters feel at ease in a kind and relaxed way. At some point he was even picking Jeffry ears, which seemed to have had the desired effect.
I felt it was quite an honour when the band asked me to write the liner-notes for their first CD release, and that's what you are reading right now. Much more important than this story is the music on this album. The combination of songs is of the same calibre as the sets these guys play on their live gigs. Well known songs of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Cliff Richard, and classic Dutch rock'n'roll of The Tielman Brothers, The Black Dynamites, The Hurricane Rollers and, of course, The Explosion Rockets. This collection also contains one original song titled "Heart Rock", written by Jeffry, and completely in the style of Bart Strik. All in all, this is a CD that I'm pretty sure every rocker and all lovers of 50's and 60's music will enjoy.
PV & The Heartbeats original line-up:
The continuing story:
They found a new star in Tim Kutzke, long time lead player for the Korsakov Cowboys, and I think the Heartbeats made a pretty good choice here. Tim picked up the Heartbeats repertoire pretty quick and he also adds a new dimension and new sounds to the impressive setlist of the Heartbeats. After a real smashing gig at the first Rumburk Rumble (Czech Republic) in the summer of 2004, we nick named him "Tim with the Magic Fingers". Obviously for a good reason. This guy really rocks!
PV & The Heartbeats Line-up 2003-2005:
After a sabbatical year, in which PV (Peter de Vaan) had to retreat to heal his soar throath, PV and The Heartbeats are back again. Lead guitar player Tim Kutzke has found a new band and is doing great as a professional musician with his new band "Radio Acoustic". But the guys have found an excellent guitar slinger to pass the torch which Tim set on fire: JP Barentsen. JP was the leadguitarist for the Dutch band Crazy Caddilac for eight years and is a topnotch musician, who masters many styles like blues, jazz, swing and of course old school rock and roll.
A new drummer has been found in Ton van Dijk, who originally hit the skins with Savage Kalman & The Explosion Rockets in the seventies. Ton is a very skilled drummer, a fact that many people can admit if they listen to the Explosion Rockets first LP, "School of Rock and Roll" (1978). This vinyl platter of course also features the "Master of the Jazzmaster", the late Bart Strik. Ton and JP will both push PV & The Heartbeats to new limits, and that's one sure bet!
PV & The Heartbeats keep on going...
Now with these two excellent musicians added to the all new 2006 line up, PV & The Heartbeats achieved full war strength again and are ready to rock and roll into the coming years!
PV & The Heartbeats line-up 2006:
Rarity CD Liner Notes by The BlackCat, ©2002
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