Jake Calypso and His Red Hot (France) + Skinny Jim and the Wildcats (Sweden) + The High Steppers (Germany/Czech Rep./Croatia)
DJs: Bronco Boobalooga (Croatia) + Shakin‘ Casi (Germany)
Jake Calypso – was born in 1964 in a little town from north of France.
Since age 13, he likes Rock’n’Roll and Rockabilly. He collects records (than he plays each Sunday on a local radio) and he was the bass guitar in his first teenager band: THE CORALS (on Mac Records Belgium). He played at the same bill than Johnny Olenn, Eddie Bond (duets backstage on ‘Flip Flop Mama’) and meets Johnny Caroll, Mac Curtis, Groovey Joe Poovey, Al Ferrier interviewing for the radio and a local magazine for Rockabilly’s fans !! He saws those idols on stage:Sleepy LaBeef, Carl Perkins, Charlie Feathers, Joe Clay, Glen Glenn and more…
In 1985 he recorded (sung and played all instruments) a single under the name TEDDY BEST. 3 originals songs and one dedicated to his favourite singer: Johnny Burnette.Early in the nineties, he created MYSTERY TRAIN. He recorded 2 albums and 3 singles on Rockhouse Records Netherlands (mythic rockabilly label) and Eagle Records Germany (Ray Campi, Vernon Taylor). With this band, he played on same stage than Big Al Downing, Hardrock Gunter, Wanda Jakson, Curtis Gordon and more…This band received the congratulations from Dickie Harrell (Gene Vincent’s drummer)after given a tape backstage during a festival in Germany.
For a short moment, with the name EVIL JAKE & his 50’s Ghosts, they gave only 3 or 4 gigs… But it was amazing! The band played Jackie Lee Cochran, Larry Terry,Peanuts Wilson, Sammy Master and more from underground labels..
In 1999,after the split of MYSTERY TRAIN: the trio HOT CHICKENS naked! A strong band with more than 1000 gigs, 4 albums! Opening show before Chuck Berry or in thesame program than Sonny Burgess, Dale Hawkins, Art Adams….
30 years after THE CORALS, back again into the real 50’s for JAKE CALYPSO! His passion!His life! Now at 46 years old! Grand daddy of beautiful baby named CALYPSO (andit’s why he chooses this name). A long experience with the stage of Rock’n’Roll. With lot of respects of originals artists recording for Sun,Meteor, Goldband, Starday, Sarg, Dixie, Marvel, etc…He comes to write and record 2 songs: ‘My baby Rocks !’ & ‘My honey bop’ for a limited 45 RPM onhis label: ‘Chickens Records’. The album will come soon (only originals songs!). Shows with his band ‘HIS RED HOT’(Chris Gillet on the guitar & T Bone Reilles on the drums) will be on the road with an Authentic Roots Rockabilly sound. Now on your old record player,listen JAKE CALYPSO & his red hot!
Skinny Jim & The Wildcats are a four piece authentic rockabilly band hailing from the deep south… of Sweden that is. A few years ago, not much seemed to exist in the south, at least as much as we heard. A band called „The Tomcats“ released a 7″, split up, and that was it. Then around 1996 I heard about two acts, a piano player called Jerry Carlsson and then this band called „Doggone Crazy“. They later changed their name to „Skinny Jim & The Wildcats“ and it’s them we’re talking about now.
Magnus Olsson, a welder from Brakne-Hoby (vocals and acoustic guitar) was inspired to start his own band after catching some shows of Wildfire Willie & The Ramblers and The Go Getters. He (Magnus), Thomas Andreassen (double bass) and Stefan Jonasson (drums) began jamming and rehearsing in 1995 and they were soon joined by guitarist Andreas Johansson some time in 1996 and the quartet, originally known as Doggone Crazy, was formed. To this date there has only been one change in the line-up, a new guitarist named Henrik Andersson.
When asked about the scene in the south of Sweden, Magnus replied: „The rockabilly scene hasn’t always existed here, it started to grow along with our band doing gigs here. There are two more bands at this time, The Rolliecats, who play Stray Cats covers mixed with some of their own stuff, and The Saltflat Stompers, doing a mix of covers and some of their own stuff too.“ There are only a few places places to play around Ronneby and Malmo and Magnus (Skinny Jim) is a member of a car club called „The Roadhawks“ and they often book bands from abroad to start off their tour of Scandinavia.
The band first made some cover recordings with Frenchman Orville Nash at Joe Allen’s studio. In 1997 the band self-released a 7″ EP with four covers, but Skinny Jim & The Wildcats are more than just a cover band. Their live set nowadays contains a fair amount of self penned songs. They also did some recordings for Lars Strandheim at Tail Records and three of their own songs appeared on the compilation 10″ LP „Rough Tough Rockabilly Volume 3“ (Tail T-10-13) in 1998. A fourth song by the band on this album was written by Jan Svensson a.k.a. Wildfire Willie.
Skinny Jim & The Wildcats have been playing all around Sweden, the only gigs abroad so far have been in Denmark. In their live performance there are undoubtedly some Johnny Burnette influences, topped off with a fair portion of their own songs. Meanwhile, things really have stepped up for one of Sweden’s brightest rockabilly prospects of recent time and in view of their development it’s quite obvious that their name will be known abroad very shortly. From what we’ve heard so far, they deserve it!
By Marc Fennech, Southern and Rockin‘ Music