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Little Rachel: Press/Reviews

Like Aphrodite from the head of Zeus, Little Rachel burst upon our scene at Green Bay a few years ago, joining the pantheon of the top stars in our roots music scene immediately- along with folks like Big Sandy, Kim Lenz, Deke Dickerson, Dale Watson, and many others. Well, we knew her already through the Casey Sisters, but this was something new- or rather something old made new again! She continues to fulfill that brilliant promise through this, her 3rd CD. The so-called record industry might have thought the original R&B sound was dead, but they're the ones who are dead! She kicks off hard with "Mama Was Right" and "Go Bully Some Other Gal", and the Hogs of Rhythm are pushing hard right behind her. The slow dance number "My Favorite Dream" could have been a Sam Cooke hit. Gee, this CD sounds great right from the start, and then continues to keep sounding better as you listen again! It's as though one's expectations have been lowered so far by other music that you can't get this high at first. Shane Kiel's "O La Violencia" is beautiful, and the rocking continues on "Just Right Man" before we get another slow dance number on "Emotions". Kiel's other number "This Lonesome Night" also has a Latin groove. I guess Rachel is more inclined to write the rockers, because the other slow number is Rachel Decker's "It's Not Me" with "Every Road Leads Back Home" sporting a groove like "Bloodshot Eyes". All in all, this is another tour de force in reviving the original feel of Rhythm & Blues! If you can't dig this- "Jack, you're dead!"
Third solo album from the feisty feminine Kansas City fireball who goes by the name of Little Rachel. This time she's recruited Finnish outfit The Hogs of Rhythm to the cause and what a wise move it turns out to be on her part.
How can I best describe this excellent set to you? Well, cast your mind back to the fifties. Think of some of the most defining artists of the period. Think Ike Turner. Think Ruth Brown. Think Little Richard. Think Wee Dick's powerhouse combo, The Upsetters. Think Guitar Slim. Think Chuckie Boy. Still with me? Appetite well and duly whetted? Okay, now fast forward to the present day. Think Little Rachel & The Hogs Of Rhythm.
There's some great rockin' action to be had here, one of the early movers and shakers being 'Go Bully Some Other Gal'. Featuring spine tingling, bone jarring Ike Turner style guitar licks, it thunders along like a runaway train thanks to the Hogs' rock solid backing and Rachel's gut-busting vocal. Also up there in a similar ball-breaking vein are 'Little Man', 'Every Road Leads Back Home', 'Just Right Man' and 'I Don't Miss You At All'. And guess what, even though they all pay their dues to carious rockin' icons of the fifties, they're all Rachel originals. Not only does this girl sound and look good, she writes good too!
In total nine of the trackks have been penned by this talented lady and she shows she can conjure up a fine ballad ('My Favourite Dream'), hit a soulful groove ('Mama Was Right Again') and, when the need arises, aslo inject a bit of wry humour into the proceedings ('My Mojo Don't Work No Mo''). A one trick filly she definitely ain't.
'O La Violencia' isa catchy, laid back stroller driven along by some jazzy guitar and sax licks, whilst rhumba-tinged 'This Lonesome Night' glides along in similar fashion. Bluest number in show is 'It's Not Me', on which Rachel gets down and testifies over one of the most authentic fifties you're likely to hear this side of hell freezing over.
Finally, let's deal with the covers. Brenda Lee's 'Emotions' is given a poignant reading, Dion's strident '(I Was) Born To Cry' shakes the very ground underneath your feet and Blanche Thomas' mid-fifties Imperial cut 'You Ain't So Such A Much' pretty much does likewise, thanks to Rachel's full-bodied vocal.
This is a classy, well balanced set that surprises, delights and entertains at every turn. Miss it at our peril.
-Pete O'Gorman
Pete O'Gorman - Now Dig This, issue 316, July 2009 (Jul 1, 2009)
Little Rachel's previous album left breathless and full of admiration. So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard the news of her collaboration with The Hogs of Rhythm (known to be the band associated with Dr Snout and featuring members of Finland's top rockabilly band The Barnshakers).
In the same time I had a little apprehension: would she be able to match the high quality of There's A New Miss Rhythm In Town? My doubts vanished after just a few bars of the opening song.
"Mama Was Right Again" is a fantastic 60's soul number (Eat your heart out Amy !) with a strong bass line. Nine of the fifteen were written by Rachel (and she's better and better at doing this), two by Shane Kiel (Two Timin' Three), one by Rachel Decker (The Honeybees) and the remaining three are covers by Dion, Mel tillis and Blanche Thomas.
The album is the perfect balance between 60's influenced soul/Rhythm'n'Blues, 40's and 50's jivers, pre-rock'n'roll, a great Chuck Berry rocker (I Don't Miss You At All), strong ballads and even a jazzy bossa nova. The band is tight and perfect as you can imagine with musicians from this calibre, and of course you have this voice, this wonderful, this rich, this bewitching voice...
A word has to be said about Jyrki Häyrinen's production and mixing work. He sure has his part to this success.
Enough of my bla-bla, the disc speaks for itself, go and buy a copy (try Goofin) and you'll understand what I try to tell you.
Fred "Virgil" Turgis
Little Rachel solliciteerde met het album "“There’s a New Miss Rhythm In Town” ('07) glansrijk naar de openstaande vacature die ontstond toen Ruth Brown, één van de pioniers van the rhythm & blues, het gezelschap opzocht van 'the bluesmamas ' Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, Wynona Carr, Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie en Ma Rainey. 'The little girl with the big voice' Rachel Fenton komt uit Kansas City en is samen met haar tweelingszus Caroline, onder de naam van the Casey Sisters, bij rockabilly fans heus geen onbekende.

In 2004 koos Little Rachel resoluut voor een switch naar the old school Rhythm & blues, black rock & roll , a touch of Stax soul or even a jazzy Bossa Nova en "Because She Feels Good" met die mixture of great classic music styles kreeg zij het lumineuze idee om voor de fantastische opvolger "There's a New Miss Rhythm In Town" het Spaans jumptrio The Lazy Jumpers onder de arm te nemen.

Ik vraag mij nog steeds af waarom er destijds niemand hen een plaatsje aanbood op de talrijke blues en rootsfestivals. Een gemiste kans die anno 2009 kan rechtgezet worden want Little Rachel is ondertussen nog geen haar veranderd ; she is little, but she is loud. She sparkles and shines, and her soulful, sexy, sassiness is voor "When a Blue Note Turns Red Hot", niet onbelangrijk, complimented by the exitement of the hard - driving, dirty swing that only the Hogs of Rhythm can provide. Inderdaad, Rachel liet het warme Barcelona voor wat het is, zocht en vond in het iets frissere Helsinki, Finland met the Hogs of Rhythm (Lester Peabody -lead guitar, Mike Salminen drums, Mika Likari - upright & electric bass, Timo Tarkela & Juho Hurskainen - baritone & tenor sax en Boogie Boy Harris - piano) een prettig gestoord gezelschap dat synoniem staat voor how old style rockin' Rhythm and Blues should be played.

The powerful sax section wordt op de openingstrack en - waarheid - als - een - koe "Mama Was Right Again" ,"Go Bully some Other Gal" en "Every Road Leads Back home" onmiddelijk aan het werk gezet en wanneer Boogie Boy Harris (Hari Saanio)op "I Don't Miss You at All" en "Little Man" bijna de kneukels kapotslaat op de witte en zwarte toetsen wordt het al vlug vrij duidelijk ......there's a party going on !

Zin in een jazzy Bossa Nova ...u wordt met "O La Violencia" en "This Lonesome Night" op uw wenken bediend, u bent al jaren een fan van Rhythm & Blues met een stevige scheut Stax soul .... Rachel Fenton's eigenste "Just Right Man" en Rachel Decker's "It's Not Me" zijn dan gesneden koek voor je, Dion Di Mucci's "I Was Born to Cry" en Dave Bartholomew's "You Ain't So Such A Much" swingen en rocken als de pest en bieden een perfekte oplossing mocht u soms problemen ondervinden met "My Mojo Don't Work No Mo' " ......

One of my favorite dreams ..... "When a Blue Note Turns Red Hot" with Little Rachel & the Hogs of Rhythm ergens te lande ! (SWA)
SWA - Rootsville Belgium (Jun 17, 2009)
Kansas City Thrush Soars to New Heights

It was with a great deal of anticipation that I waited for Little Rachel’s third solo release on Finland’s Goofin’ Record label. The Kansas City songstress has produced some fine material on her first two CDs, and been part of the excellent rockabilly duo, the Casey Sisters, so there was bound to be a feeling of ‘follow that’ when the tracks arrived. No need to worry as the first few bars of ‘Mama was Right Again’, one of nine self penned tracks on the CD, attest.

Displaying her full range both lyrically and vocally, the first three tracks stroll, rock and smooch almost effortlessly one after the next. ‘Go Bully Some Other Gal’ is a cracking up tempo rocker with some expert whammy barring and complementary musicianship from Finnish rockers, the Hogs of Rhythm. In fact it’s the perfect combination, especially when switching from a rocker to a dreamy sound as on ‘My Favourite Dream’ and then to a real foot tapper like ‘O La Violencia’.

Rachel clearly had the Mojo working when she wrote ‘Just Right Man’, which I defy anyone to not enjoy, and the opening bars of the Tillis/Kearny penned ‘Emotions’ immediately put the listener in mind or ‘Volare’. (I Was) Born To Cry’ is a Dion DiMucci composition that benefits from the Little Rachel treatment, complete with classic backing you’ll recognise at first listen. ‘This Lonesome Night’ written by Shane Kiel has a ‘Summertime’ feel about it before another of her own compositions rock it up again. ‘I Don’t Miss You At All’ and ‘It’s Not Me’ are sublime, the latter of which, written by Rachel Decker, conjures up a black and white scene in a smoky blues club in the early 50’s.

Think Wynonie, Wynona and Ruth and check probably the best track on the CD (a first among equals) ‘Every Road Leads Back Home’, a brilliant up tempo ditty in the Bloodshot Eyes/Good Morning Judge style to great effect. If there is a track that stands out as a A grade stroller, it’s Little Man which is 3.45 minutes of R&B indulgence (and I gather a particular favourite of Rachel’s)

If you don’t buy another R&B collection this year, make sure you have this one! It’s outstanding from track one to track fourteen, and is her best release so far. An absolute gem!

When Little Rachel becomes a big star in the States, as she surely must, she's going to have a back catalogue from all over Europe.Oh, and her looks do no harm to her appeal.
Andrew Smith - UK Rock, Issue No 63, Vol. XVI (Jul 1, 2009)
When A Blue Note Turns Red Hot
(Goofin’ GRCD 6157)
(1) Mama Was Right Again (2) Go Bully Some Other Gal (3) My Favorite Dream (4) O La Violencia (5) Just Right Man (6) Emotions (7) (I Was) Born To Cry (8) This Lonesome Night (9) I Don’t Miss You At All (10) It’s Not Me (11) Every Road Leads Back Home (12) My Mojo Don’t Work No Mo’ (13) Little Man (14) You Could Have Fooled Me (15) You Ain’t So Such A Much

Laulajan ammatin osapäiväinenkään harjoittaminen ei ole ainaista ruusuilla twistailua edes Amerikan suuressa ihmemaassa. 1950-lukulaisessa retromusiikkikentässäkin sekä tarjontaa että kilpailua riittää nykyisin yllin kyllin, ja houkutus siirtymisestä kaupallisemmille markkinoille käväisee taatusti silloin tällöin jokaisen alalla vaikuttavan artistin mielessä. Kansas Cityn pikku rhythm’n’blues-sähikäinen Rachel Fenton osoittaa kuitenkin uransa kolmannella soolojulkaisulla pitäneensä visusti kiinni valitsemastaan linjasta: Huolella viimeistelty, ilahduttavan monipuolinen Goofin’-albumi paitsi vankistaa entisestään käsitystä Fentonin korkeasta omistautumisen ja tyylitajun tasosta, myös kampittaa kerralla kaikki ne ennakkopaineet, joita hänen reilun parin vuoden takainen edellislevynsä jätti jälkeensä. Espanjalaisen Lazy Jumpersin kanssa työstetty, sinänsä mukiinmenevä mutta vieläkin parempaa odottamaan jättänyt ”There’s A New Miss Rhythm In Town” on nyt saanut rinnalleen vertailukohdan, josta on enää kenenkään paha nokittaa paremmaksi. Onnistuneesta lopputuotteesta ei toki voi antaa liikaa krediittiä myöskään taustalla kuultavalle helsinkiläiselle Hogs of Rhythm -kokoonpanolle (Jussi Huhtakangas, Mika Liikari, Miikka Salminen, Timo Tarkela, Juho Hurskainen, Harri Saanio) sekä parilla raidalla esiintyvälle mainiolle The Relics-lauluyhtyeelle (Ari Ahvonen, T. Tarkela, Pete Näsman, Jarkko Lähdeniemi, Eki Hakalehto).

Elokuisen viikonlopun aikana v. 2008 purkitettu pitkäsoitto tarjoaa nimensä viitoittamana runsaan otannan 1950-luvulta ammennettua mustaa musiikkitraditiota sinisävyisestä mollibluesista ärhäkkään jump-rhythm’n’bluesiin ja rock’n’rolliin. Aikaisempien levyjen tapaan suurin osa materiaalista on Rachelin omaa ja kieltämättä varsin kovatasoista tuotantoa. ”Blue Note” –sektorilla hänen käsialaansa olevista kappaleista edukseen soivat etenkin avauksena kuultava hyytävän tummasävyinen elämäntilitys ”Mama Was Right Again” sekä tyylikäs, hieman teinipophenkinenkin balladi ”My Favorite Dream”. Vastaavasti revittelypuolella oivaa työnäyttöä saadaan mm. varhaisen Johnny ”Guitar” Watsonin hengessä rokkaavasta menopalasta ”Go Bully Some Other Gal”, Upsetters-pastisseista ”Just Right Man” ja ”Little Man” sekä tanakoilla Chuck Berry –sooloilla jäsennellystä Teksas-henkisestä rock’n’roll-numerosta ”I Don’t Miss You At All”. Austinilaisesta Two Timin’ Three –yhtyeestä muistettavan Shane Kielin sävellyspanos on tuottanut tälle kiekolle kaksi yleissaundia riemastuttavasti murtavaa lattari- ja jazz-sävyistä tunnelmointia ”O La Violencia” sekä ”This Lonesome Night”. Chicagosta tulevan Honeybees-yhtyeen jäsenen Rachel Deckerin aikaansaannos ”It’s Not Me” on puolestaan jäntevää r’n’b-strollia esimerkillisen rouhealla Guitar Slim –koulukunnan kitararoinnilla varustettuna. Muista lainapaloista Brenda Leen v. 1960 nyyhkyhitti ”Emotions” pääsee osuvaan uusiokäsittelyyn utuisena r&b-balladina, sen sijaan Dionin äänitekatalogin ehdottomaan eliittiin lukeutuvan ”I Was Born To Cry:n” hieman rauhattoman oloista mutta muutoin mitään uutta tarjoamatonta versiointia voinee pitää vähintäänkin kyseenalaisena. Levyn päättää niin ikään esikuvaansa melkolailla orjallisesti mukaileva, Blanche Thomasin alkujaan New Orleansissa v. 1954 levyttämä D. Bartholomew –jumpteos ”You Ain’t So Such A Much”.

Little Rachel kera rytmikkäine possuineen on loihtinut levyllisen perinteitä kunnioittavaa, osaavaa muttei kuitenkaan liiaksi harkittua tai varman päälle pelattua musiikkia. Esitykset ovat kautta laitain hyväntuulisia, estottomia ja sopivan leikkimielisiä, mutta tilanteen niin vaatiessa myös cooleja, paikoin veret seisauttavan dramaattisiakin. Ennen kaikkea, oli sitten perusvärinä sininen tai polttavan punainen, Little Rachelin musiikki on poikkeuksetta hemmetin toimivaa!

Pete Hoppula
I would have given this one ten stars!!!!! What a voice and an outstanding collection of tunes !!! This is already on my Top Ten list of Best Recordings of any genre for 2005. That's after one listen! The band is awesome with Tjarko Jeen ripping off nasty guitar licks and Dan Torosian blowing his brains out on sax. My personal Pick to Click is "Spiderwoman Blues", which I will be raving about to our two local Blues deejays. Don't miss this one - Little Rachel deserves to be a star !!!!!

There's A New Miss Rhythm In Town

El Toro

This fifteen track album was recorded and released in Spain , covering mainly '50s style rock'n'roll tunes although there are some nice Blues touches dotted around. Rachel Fenton masquerades as Little Rachel and gives a sparkling performance throughout, her vocals are clear and precise and she is supported by the Lazy Jumpers, who provide a sound rhythm section, guitarist Mario Cobo is worthy of a special mention. The majority of tracks have been written by Rachel and two slow Blues tracks are clear standouts; 'I May Be Trouble' benefits from a couple of stylish harmonica solos, while 'Broken' has some stylish lead guitar touches from Mario. The final bonus track 'Mr Advice' is taken from a forthcoming album by the Lady Jumpers called 'Coming On Like Gangsters' and includes some subtle saxophone and piano from guest players but includes a much heavier sound than the Rachel tracks, definitely worth looking out for. I found this CD very refreshing and there are enough Blues touches to interest our readers, the main strength though is the vocal performance of Little Rachel!
Swing, western swing e rhythm ‘n’ blues ai massimi livelli il 18 agosto grazie al “Summer Jamboree - # 9” a Corinaldo (Marche – AN), borgo più bello d’Italia e quest’anno anche destinazione europea d’eccellenza. Si rinnova infatti per il terzo anno la collaborazione tra Associazione Culturale Summer Jamboree, Comune di Senigallia e Comune di Corinaldo coadiuvato dall’Associazione Turistica Pro Loco di Corinaldo, grazie alla quale il Festival di musica e cultura dell’America anni ’40 e ’50 fa tappa anche nel bellissimo borgo marchigiano.

Una trasferta ormai attesa dal pubblico internazionale che può così scoprire oltre alla spiaggia di velluto anche un emblema delle bellezze dell’entroterra marchigiano. Un chilometro di mura del Quattrocento perfettamente conservate, torri e bastioni, porte, camminamenti e tanti angoli deliziosi con un panorama a perdita d’occhio verso il mare e la campagna. Il centro si trova infatti a pochi chilometri da Senigallia risalendo sulle colline dalla tipica dolce morfologia marchigiana. Già borgo riconosciuto tra i più belli d’Italia, quest’anno si fregia anche del riconoscimento europeo di destinazione d’eccellenza. Eccellente il contesto, eccellenti gli ospiti internazionali scelti per accendere il palco del “Summer Jamboree” in piazza Il Terreno nella notte del 18 agosto. Prosegue il filone rhythm and blues già apprezzato l’anno scorso e il primo set live della serata alle 21.30, sarà aperto da una fenomenale cantante con autentico sound anni Cinquanta, detta “the little girl with the BIG voice”, la piccola ragazza dalla grande voce: Lil’ Rachel. Il dj che si occuperà di mantenere alto il gradiente del divertimento per tutta la serata tra un set live e l’altro, è l’espertissimo dj Terry Elliot, un vero guru della consolle rock and roll che inizierà a scaldare l’atmosfera alle 21 per poi lasciare il palco a Lil’ Rachel. Un metro e mezzo di potenza vocale e un concentrato di energia Rhythm and Blues che farà tremare i presenti, specie se è affiancata da una band che in quanto a energia e potenza sul palco è incontenibile. E provate a dire il contrario ai bravi ragazzi dello swing, gli inimitabili Good Fellas ormai accreditati anche in contesti come Umbriajazz e richiestissimi dovunque si faccia musica ad alto tasso di swing e divertimento. Con loro sul palco la voglia di ballare sarà certamente soddisfatta e con la voce di Little Rachel il coinvolgimento sarà inevitabile. Lil’ Rachel fa il suo esordio nella scena rockabilly ad Austin, Texas, nel 2000. In coppia con la sorella nel duo The Casey Sisters, si guadagna rapidamente i favori degli appassionati del genere grazie a due album usciti dall’etichetta svedese Tail Records e a numerose partecipazioni dal vivo in festival rockabilly tra cui "Viva Las Vegas" (Las Vegas, NV), "Rockabilly Rebel Weekender" (Indianapolis, IN), "Oneida Rockin’ 50’s Fest I" (Green Bay, WI), "Rockabilly Rave" (Camber Sands, UK) e lo "Screamin’ Festival" (Calella, Spain). Dopo anni di live, Lil’ Rachel decide di tornare alla musica blues e incide il suo primo album da solista nel 2005, dal titolo “Cause I Feel Good”. Un album che contiene 11 brani originali scritti da Little Rachel stessa o dalla autrice svedese Eva Eastwood e tre cover di pezzi anni Cinquanta. Di fatto un omaggio ai grandi del Rhythm and Blues anni Cinquanta tra cui Little Richard, Etta James, Wynona Carr, Little Willie John e Big Mama Thornton. Il pubblico del “Summer Jamboree” a Corinaldo potrà apprezzare la versatilità delle sue doti tra ballate blues e scatenati classici rock and roll fino a esclamare “Wow! This little girl has a big voice!”. Altrettanto scatenato e imperdibile è il protagonista del secondo set della serata, affidato a Dave Stuckey’s Rhtythm Gang. Personaggio eclettico della scena rockabilly, produttore, cantante, autore ma soprattutto batterista di formazioni statunitensi di assoluto riferimento per la scena rock and roll attuale (tra cui i grandiosi Lucky Stars), Dave Stuckey è un professionista della musica delle origini, dell’autentico rock and roll e del divertimento. Dopo aver prodotto il miglior album dei The Hot Club Of Cowtown “Tall Tales” (oltre a essere il coautore di “When I Lost You” e “Sleep”), dichiara lui stesso con piglio scanzonato nel suo sito. Scrive invece il critico Rick Anderson di “All Music Guide”: . A Corinaldo saranno inoltre presenti scintillanti auto e moto d’epoca rigorosamente pre 1965, pronte a farsi ammirare nel park apposito a disposizione dalle 20 all’01. In caso di cattivo tempo, i concerti si terranno al Mamamia di Senigallia. Sarà disponibile un servizio navetta a pagamento dal Foro Annonario di Senigallia a Corinaldo e per il ritorno da Corinaldo alla Rotonda di Senigallia, dove la notte proseguirà con il dopofestival dall’01 alle 04. Ideato dall’Associazione Summer Jamboree (diretta da Angelo Di Liberto, Andrea Celidoni, Alessandro Piccinini), il “Summer Jamboree” è promosso dal Comune di Senigallia.
Little Rachel and Britt Savage Kick the Gong Around
by Chuck Eddy

A couple months back, I noted a strange historical truce that’s taken place between rockabilly and the sort of supper-club blues-ballad approximations that, over the years, have come to be known as “lounge music.” One artist I mentioned in passing, Little Rachel, wrote to say that she thought her music wasn’t rockabilly at all, but rather R&B. An interesting thought, though what her album – and another I’d mentioned by Britt Savage, for that matter – bear out is that it depends how you define your terms.

So, while I won’t deny that Little Rachel With the Lazy Jumpers’ There's a New Miss Rhythm in Town has its R&B-based jump-blues quotient, my favorite tracks strike me as more rural: “Bull Ridin’ Mama” is dirty-minded country boogie, and "Panic Attack" is crazy-legged wild-gal hillbilly rock with Jerry Lee piano runs, Little Richard screams, Hasil Adkins cigar-box guitar clank and a lyrical diagnosis Tony Soprano could appreciate. And at least for the duration of those two songs and "It's Always a Blonde" and the saxified-if-cornball "Bartender Baby,” Little Rachel is also considerably more engaging and less offensive than, say, supposed ‘90s “swing” revivalists Cherry Poppin Daddies and their ilk ever were, if only for the fact that dames (especially little ones from Kansas with big voices and fishnets and leopardskin tops) getting raunchy like the bad old days beat guys doing so by definition. Still, I gotta say Little Rachel’s kitsch needle inches into the red more than I wish: when her music slows down to get torchy and snap its fingers, I’m as nonplussed as when Amy Winehouse pretends to be Billie Holiday. All of which leaves me flip-flopping on the flat-foot floozy like a floy floy.

Britt Savage is knee-deep in kitsch, too – her miniskirts are retro-styled enough to get her booked at “Mod Nights” in Nashville. But as homemade releases go, the production on Fingerprints feels commendably professional and non-anorexic. Ballads like "Broken" (belted almost Laura Branigan-style) and "Truce" come off nearly countrypolitan, and her faster Carlene Carter-style pub-rockabilly cuts (especially "Last Flight to Vegas" and the funny and frantic Pop-Up Book of Phobias facsimile "Fearless") are even better. She also does the best "Secret Agent Man" I've heard since Devo's in the early '80s; it’s cool how "I Found Love" progresses from rockabilly guitars to gospel backup choruses; “Lonely Town” twangs big enough for a Gretchen Wilson album; and instrumental title opener "Fingerprints" is basically Duane Eddy at the Space Age Bachelor Pad. And while the nostalgic trappings undeniably contribute a distanced air that can cut into emotional effectiveness, I've never bought the line that current styles are more affecting simply by virtue of being more current. Hey, I like mini-skirts and fishnets and leopardskin tops. It’s not like history suddenly turned them stodgy.

Posted by Chuck Eddy on 21 July 2008 | Permalink
From the opening track of Little Rachel’s newest disc it is obvious that there really is a new Miss Rhythm in town. Rachel’s vocals are punchy and powerful as this lady has an attitude! The same should be said about a terrific backing band, The Lazy Jumpers – you can set a Swiss clock according to their tight rhythm section, plus Mario Cobo’s guitar playing is as good as Hollywood Fats, Junior Watson or Ronnie Earl ever recorded! From one of the coolest artworks in the business, to great sound quality and first class music, this CD has it all. If no nonsense West Coast Blues of the highest caliber is your thing, buy this record and enjoy!
Kort op de bal spelen ....het is voor de jongens van Rootstime een (gezonde) obsessie aan het worden. In april 2006 ging "onze Freddy " nog lichtjes uit de bol voor Little Rachel's album "Cause I Feel Good" of de opvolger "There's a New Miss Rhythm in Town" werd nog voor de officiêle release in the U.S. tenhuize rootsrocker afgeleverd. Mijn hartelijke dank aan Mario (Promotion Dept. El Toro Records). "The little girl (only five foot tall) with the big voice" mocht voor dit album beroep doen op The Lazy Jumpers (, een van Spanje's beste jump blues combo's die destijds uitvoerig onder de loepe werden genomen bij het verschijnen van het album "Bad Luck-Turn My Back on You" (Rev: sept. '05). De opnames vonden plaats in de Sentir studio's (12/13/14 december 05) en het was Carlos Diaz, de supervisor van El Toro Records, die een extra oogje in het zeil hield. Little Rachel heeft een fulltime job in haar thuishaven Kansas City en offert al haar verlofdagen op om tweemaal per jaar een Europese toer te ondernemen. Voornamelijk uit noodzaak want de verplaatsingen zijn aan deze kant van de oceaan in vergelijking met toeren door Amerika maar peanuts en bovendien, niet onbelangrijk, vallen er hier nu eenmaal meer dollars te rapen. Mocht Rachel door haar bijdrage aan the Casey Sisters ( voornamelijk rekenen op de sympathie van de rockabilly fans onder ons dan verlegt zij met de hulp van Blas Picon (drums & harmonica), Mario Cobo (guitar), Ivan Kovacevic (stand upp bass) haar grenzen ietsiepitsie naar het jump blues gebeuren. Een logische evolutie lijkt mij want "Cause I Feel Good" ging ook al die richting uit. Opener "Bartender Baby", "Hey, Big Boy", "Bull Ridin' Mama" en "It's Always a (dom?) Blond" passen perfect in dat kraampje. "I May Be Trouble" en "Keep on Movin" kunnen rekenen op een smoelschuiver van de bovenste plank en zijn de voorbode van het aangename nieuws ... "There's a New Miss Rhythm in Town"! Voldoende gelegenheid om guest musicians David Giorcelli (piano) en Dani Perez (sax) in het zonnetje te plaatsen en beide heren schakelen nog een tandje bij in de rockertjes "Panic Attack", "Give up Honey" en mogen dan net als wij eventjes verpozen bij het jazzy "Talk to Me" of de soulsleper "Please Quit Me Baby". Als extraatje voor hun prima geleverde arbeid mochten the Lazy Jumpers hun album "Coming on like Gangbusters" met de bonustrack "Mr. Advice" eventjes promoten. Eventueel interesse in onze bescheiden mening ... Little Rachel with the Lazy Jumpers op menig festival in de Lage Landen... het lijkt mij een aangename jump/blues/rockabilly belevenis.
The little girl with the big voice is back and she’s going to teach you what rhythm’n’blues really is She went to Barcelona, Spain to record and found the perfect match to her astounding voice: The Lazy Jumpers. They get along so fine it seems they were made to be together like butter and bread, Abbott and Costello or Lady Day and Prez. On one side you have a girl with a voice as good and powerful as Big Mama Thornton, Wynona Carr or Ruth Brown. On the other side The Lazy Jumpers (who believe me are not lazy at all). Mario Cobo delivers some fine licks in the vein of Johnny “Guitar” Watson , or Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown while Blas Picon and Ivan Kovacevic provide the perfect rhythm section, tight and swinging in the same time.
Eight tracks are from the pen of Little Rachel, two by Eva Eastwood (who was already present on her debut album) and the Lazy Jumpers wrote the rest (including a song from one of their own album). The music ranges from groovy Rhythm’n’Blues (Bartender Baby; Hey, Big Boy; Please Quit Me Baby) some with juicy saxes and piano to straight blues (I May Be Trouble) which sees drummer Blas Picon taking some mean harmonica solo. And in between you have some pre-rock’n’roll that fits Rachel’s voice so well (Panic Attack), a Chuck Berry-esque rocker (Give-Up Honey), a boogie (Bull Ridin’ Mama) and a Fever inspired song (Take This Love And Bury It) full of soul and seduction. A couple of tunes have a more modern sound (well, everything is relative) and you could easily imagine “Broken” sung by Candy Kane and “Keep On Movin’” by Little Charlie And The Nightcats.
There’s a lot more I could rave about (Get On The Right Track is a killer!) but it’s better to let you some surprises. In 2006 Ruth Brown has left the building, it sure is sad and we’ll always cherish her music but in 2007 we can say : “There’s a new Miss Rhythm In Town”.
Buy it at Cdbaby or at El Toro.
Fred "Virgil" Turgis
Those of you who know her as one half of the Casey Sisters will be wowed beyond belief when you hear Little Rachel's new solo album, "'Cause I Feel Good".

This raw and rockin', down, dirty, killin' original R&B album will leave you haunted by its stellar vocals and lyrics, as well as a cracker-jack backing band featuring well-known stars of the roots genre such as Tjarko Jeen (Ronnie Dawson), Beau Sample (Cave Catt Sammy), and Damien Llanes (Sir Finks, Nick & the Nitelifes).
la chavalilla del vozarrón

MUJER FATAL. La cantante Little Rachel.



Sí, la escena rockabilly ha medrado. Se ha desarrollado gracias a unas novedosas vías de comunicación que permiten actuar a los grupos por todo el mundo, conseguir su música favorita a los aficionados más aislados, e incluso comprar ropa y accesorios. Todo gracias a Internet. Sin embargo, el circuito rockabilly permanece hermético para el gran público y eso que hoy día en él campan combos de diversos estilos retros, por ejemplo de proto rock and roll negro, de ritmo y blues tabernario, de swing patibulario, de boogie crápula o de hillbilly paleto.Exceptuando el hillbilly blanco, la vocalista Little Rachel mama de todas esas fuentes mentadas. Es diminuta (mide 5 pies, o sea metro y medio, y de ahí su apodo: La Pequeña Raquel), viste cual mujer fatal con escotes descocados, piel de leopardo, sombreritos coloristas, medias de rejilla y tacones, y quienes la han visto en vivo aseguran que se crece sobre un tablado.Parece la novia perfecta para un marino en combate y se abrió hueco en la escena tuperiana en el año 2000 desde Austin, Texas. Con su hermana Caroline montó el dúo rockabilly The Casey Sisters, que editó dos CD en la escudería sueca Tail Records. Cuatro años después, Little Rachel volvió a su ciudad, Kansas City, Misuri, cuna de un estilo acendrado y elegante de jazz al que se rindió en su primer disco en solitario, 'Cause I Feel Good' (Tail), autoeditado por ella misma.

En él hacía gala de su apodo 'la chavalita del vozarrón', pues entre sus influencias se imponen blueswomen descarnadas como Ruth Brown e incluso soulwomen desesperadas tipo Etta James. Su reválida se titula 'There's A New Miss Rhythm In Town', o sea 'Hay una nueva Señorita Ritmo en la ciudad'. La ha registrado con el combo barcelonés de jump blues The Lazy Jumpers y sale en el sello español El Toro. Con amor por la serie B invoca al deslizante ritmo y blues de la Costa Oeste, al R&R escuela Chuck Berry, al Chicago. blues de Koko Taylor, al soul a lo Johnny Guitar Watson y a los lentos en plan sugerente.
Blue Suede News has always wanted to be supportive of Rockabilly artists when they do a little genre hopping, as Big Sandy and Nick Curran have done for example. As with Nick's jump to the Blues, in Little Rachel's case it feels like coming home. Not that there were any flies on her Rockabilly recordings with the Casey Sisters of course- I know as well as anybody that a person can be versed in several types of roots music. But anyhow, there's nothing tentative about this new CD of full bore R&B... When she sings "I'm What You Need" Rachel hits the nail on the head- what the Rockabilly scene needs is both variety and its own root. Rockabilly was always a permutation of R&B, colored by the Hillbilly, Western Swing, Honky Tonk and Bluegrass Roots of it's founders. But all of them revered and were inspired by R&B. This is an excellent CD by a bright new light on the scene! She does feel good- to my ears! Don't get the idea that because it features slow tunes this doesn't jump- it ends on "Your Baby's My Baby Now", and is very well rounded, as is Little Rachel herself! See the interview this issue! -MB
Ooh, she’s fine ! Rockabilly
girl Rachel, known formerly
of the Casey Sisters decided
to go rhythm’n’ blues. And
man, she was right! This
album is a killer. You’ve
got here all the ingredients to
make a good mixture : fine
and accomplished musicians
Tjarko (Tinstars, Ronnie
Dawson), Beau Sample
(Cave Catt Sammy), Damien
Llanes (Nick Curran, Deke
Dickerson), Matt Farrell
(Nick Curran); a producer
who knows his job (Billy
Horton) and most of all a
little girl with a powerful
voice. Half of the songs here
has been written by Rachel
herself and four has been
penned by ex Tail labelmate,
the swedish Eva Eastwood.
And this 11 compositions
can stand proudly near the
covers. Rachel’s voice is really
impressive, she can scream,
she can shout or she can
sing a soulful ballad (Spiderwoman
Blues or Is my
baby Happy now, two of
my faves), but the voice is
always on top. The musicians
fit perfectly the mood
of each songs, playing subtle
guitar licks or juicy saxophones
depending the tune.
Comparisons are not always
fair, but if you’re looking for
a female counterpart to Nick
Curran, don’t go any further,
she sings it perfectly, Little
Rachel is «What you need».
LITTLE RACHEL 'Cause I Feel Good

El Toro

The LITTLE girl with the BIG voice Little Rachael has a serious past and should look forward to a great future. 50's R'n'B is her thing taking her Kansas City roots down to Austin to work not only with some of Austin's finest musicians (Tjarko Jeen on guitar and Dan Torosian on saxes) but also the legendary retro sound specialist Billy Horton. Rachael's written half the tracks herself as well as providing the big voice and the album works on every level. Great singing and playing, modern but with all that 50's feel instantly recognizable, Billy Horton gets out all the energy even from a studio performance as well. It is an extraordinary album from the ballad's like "Is My Baby Happy Now" (one of three by Swedish writer Eva Eastwood) right down to Etta James "Tough Lover" finding Little Rachael in fine Little Richard voice and the band rocking the house in fine Little Richard style behind her each song has an eerie feel of the period that mixes well with it's modern day creation. More info is at her web site so get them orders in now. That's an order!
I recommend several songs on the CD- among them my favourites "I'm What You Need" (which you can't help but dance to), "Ooh, He's Fine", "Spiderwoman Blues", "Don't Jump (Rock the Boat)", "Is My Baby Happy Now" ... etc.
A formidable work, loaded with songs representative of the pure R&B classics of the 50's. A good CD you have to buy and enjoy, because it's going to make you dance!
Green Bay ramblings and fav new records part 3:
Little Rachel Casey had the dubious task of opening the festivities on the main stage at Green Bay.

This can be quite a chore, the sound isn’t dialed in, the crowd isn’t all in the hall yet, people waiting for Jerry Lee Lewis to not show up etc...

Well to her credit she did what she does best and walked out on stage and sang her heart out!

She does the same thing on her new release, "'Cause I Feel Good".

I've know of Rachel’s big talents for some time while her and Casey sister cohort Caroline were both living and gigging in Austin.
The great voice, the commanding stage pressence, and the fantastic song writing.
This new record really shows it as the spotlight shines on Rachel's aptitude for rhythm and blues.

Again the players on the record are a who's who's of hot Austin pickers.
Notables such as Tjarko Jeen, Beau Sample, and Damien Llanes lend there expertise, and this is another in the long line of great Fort Horton recordings produced by Billy Horton.

The Record swings and rocks with a solid groove through out.
I was very impressed with the batch of original songs penned by Rachel.

"I'm What You Need" includes great lyric hooks
"I'm not much to look at but I saw you look twice."
"Forget what you want and let me give you what you need."
and a moving shuffle beat that makes me wanna dance! (jive? I think it's a jiver. It aint full of jive I know that much!)

Good stuff, little R!

I really dug the biographical "Back to Kansas City" that shows Rachel’s facility to write tunes about real time experiences and puts her recent move home to KC from Austin in perspective.

This one’s a key purchase for all fans of Jumpin' Rnb and Rock and Roll!

here's a link to get your very own copy: