|Born Rockers, The Ravens
Black Bird Records BBRCD001
What I'm holding in my hands right now is truly a gem. My constant readers already know that I'm a huge fan of Britisch rock 'n' roll, bands like Flying Saucers, Shotgun, CSA, Wild Angels and Crazy Cavan have been on my favourite list for 30+ years, and now add The Ravens to that list.
This band has been around for a quite some time, but this only their second album. The first one being "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" (Q.S.E. Records, 1991), on which my good friend Wild Bob Burgos also played. And here we see that Britisch rock 'n' roll is like a family, because Wild Bob, Dave and Rob are also members of that other British legend "Shotgun", and Dave & Bob were also on the Wild Angels album "Rockin' On The Railroad". This album consists of 11 studio tracks, recorded in 1997/1998 in South London and 6 live tracks recorded in Dartford, Kent, in 2006.
A good choice of repertoire, ranging from covers by Hank Williams, Gene Vincent, Sonny Burgess and many more, to a great track called "Back Street Boogie", penned by Dave Briggs. I love this album, I just love South London Rock 'n' Roll, and all you have to do enjoy it too is PLAY IT LOUD, VERY LOUD!
They've been together for 15 years and have played throughout the UK and Europe, this is their Second album! As for pedigree, it'll be hard to find another band with this amount of talent and experience. Each member of the Ravens has been playing since the late sixties, when the Rock 'n' Roll revival really hit the scene and are truly Rock 'N' Roll legends in their own right.
Highly regarded by other musicians they are:
The Legendary LES "WIPEOUT" BAILEY, original member of CSA with Tony Vincent and Terry Glasse. A big fan of Jack Daniels he has also been with Cadillac, Little Tina And Flight 56, Memphis Beat and Freddie Fingers Lee. Les sets the steady un-faltering pace with his sticks and skins.
Last, but not by any means the least, is DAVE BRIGGS. To say that he's a great guitarist is an understatement! He's been playing in bands since the age of 13 and has toured much of the World. He joined The Flying Saucers back in the 80's then went into Freddie Finger's band and has been in big demand ever since. This is the man that Scotty Moore insists on taking with him on his tours - you can't do much better than that!
WARNING: Off stage they are a quiet and very unassuming group but put a bass guitar in Rob's hands, sit Les behind a drum kit and let Dave plug his guitar into an amp and they're away like a big, powerful steam locomotive blasting out of tunnel, shattering the atmosphere with searing, red hot Rock 'N' Roll! Don't get on board unless you think you can handle it!! THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL - NOT FOR THE FEINT-HEARTED - PLAY IT LOUD. -- Steve Runacre 2008 --
For the live tracks the Ravens are joined by the Rock Doctor himself, a man who needs no introduction, Dr. Noel Brown, dispensing his own brand to rock 'n' roll medicine and maximum twang. Cowboys boots and B-bender at the ready, Doc. Noel, "The man with the Fat Cigar", makes that road worn Telecaster sit up and beg for more. Over 40 years in the business, having toured extensively in Europe and in the States, Noel has played with notables such as CSA, Freddie Fingers Lee, Shotgun, Graham Parker, Tooting Frutti's The Balham Alligators as well as writing the hit "No Dancing is allowed" and the song "Readers Wives" for Dave Edmunds. -- OB Greens 2010 --
In tribute to the memory of the late Leslie Bailey 1952-2009, a legend in his own lifetime and one of the great exponents of South London Rock 'n' Roll Rhythm who will be sadly missed by all who loved him, his family, his fellow musicians and friends.
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Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2012