King & Rivertown Ramblers
put on a wild 1950s-style show
resides in Vevay
and plays throughout the area
VEVAY, Ind. (September 2005) Four guys dressed in cuffed jeans
with Hawaiian type shirts, white jackets and greased back hair singing
and playing their instruments sounds like a scene from the movie Grease
or maybe an old Elvis film. This is exactly what youll see if
you catch a music set of Jerry King and the Rivertown Ramblers.
King and the
play at Joeygs
However, this is not your average stand in front
of the crowd and play band, but rather a high energy performance
as entertaining as the music itself.
Hailing from Vevay, Ind., Jerry King, 29, is the lead singer and acoustic
guitarist of the local 50s rockabilly band. The Rivertown Ramblers include
Dave Johnson, 26, on drums, John Pigeon, 26, on lead guitar, and Jeremiah
Brockman, 31, on upright bass. The Ramblers are all from the Cincinnati
and Northern Kentucky area.
Jerry King and the Rivertown Ramblers will be performing at joeygs
Restaurant and Nightclub, 218 E. Main St., Madison, on Friday, Sept.
2 from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and again on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at the
same time. The band has played at joeygs for three years and it
is one of the only local venues where they play. They also play at the
Southgate House, 24 E. Third St., Newport, Ky.
King and his band have been around for a little more than three years.
Brockman and King are the only two musicians left from the original
members, making Johnson and Pigeon the two newest members. Brockman
had an interest in rockabilly music and learned to play bass. He wanted
to start a band as a side project, so he brought in King.
Kings parents listened to the music of the 1950s, so, of course,
King grew up to the old guys singing it, he said. His biggest
influences are Elvis, Carl Perkins, Conway Twitty, Johnny Horton, and
then many other lesser known 50s artists.
Joe Gayles, the owner of joeygs, describes the band as pure rockabilly.
He enjoys their traditional Elvis 1954 style, which is one
of the reasons they have played at Gayles venue so many times.
Gayles believes the band puts on a vibrant live show that
provides a cultural diversity thats desperately needed in
The bands live show includes their getup of 50s clothes and hair
along with upbeat music and Brockman playing away while literally standing
on top of his upright bass. This exciting display of music usually leads
to a broken bass, which King claims to now be an expert in repairing.
King and his band have recorded three CDs all at the Sun Studio in Memphis,
Tenn., which, according to Gayles, is the birthplace of rock and
roll. The music the band plays varies from cover songs of the
50s from the guys they love to other songs from that era that werent
so popular, to their own original music. Their first two CDs were a
blend of cover songs and original tunes but the third CD is mainly originals.
Their CDs can be purchased at the House O Hits music store, 207
E. Main St, Madison.
Rockabilly music, which is a combination of rock and roll and old country,
is more popular on the East and West Coasts than in the Midwest. Rockabilly
hit its peak in popularity in the late 1990s, but there are still many
bands out there today representing this type of music. According to
King, there are other rockabilly bands composed of younger people as
well. However, its not as popular as todays country music.
King and the Rivertown Ramblers mainly travel around the country playing
at festivals and group concerts. The bands biggest honor came
when they played at Country Thunder in Twin Lakes, Wisc. This concert
featured country greats such as the Charlie Daniels Band and todays
hit artists like Sara Evans. Though King and his band are still a young
music group, they have already shared the stage with many legendary
and popular musicians.
According to their website, they have had the honor of sharing
the stage with Lynard Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr., Leeann Rimes, Keith
Urban, Ike Turner, Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little
Texas and a long and impressive list of many others.
The band members all have regular jobs since they perform mainly on
the weekends. Luckily for them, most of their bosses are supportive
of their side profession and are relatively flexible if they need time
off for their music. Usually when the band plays at a local venue, their
family and friends come out in droves to support them. They, too, dress
up in the 50s garb making the whole rockabilly scene complete.
The band members themselves always dress in the 50s style because King
believes its an important element to look the part
of the music they play. The band is not sure where theyll head
from this point but are simply enjoying playing their music while traveling
around the country.
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