Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Smokehouse Dave

EDIT 6/7/2011: Check out this live video of Smokehouse Dave performing "Coontail Boogie" at the Wild Pre-Viva 2011 show in Las Vegas! 

Since this is a new blog it was only fitting to do this first interview with Wild’s newest act: Smokehouse Dave. Wild released Smokehouse Dave’s killer debut 45’ RPM in April 2011 graced with two killer original hillbilly bop tracks entitled “Coontail Boogie” and “Save Your Dimes”.  “Coontail Boogie” was played many times at Viva Las Vegas 14 record hops, I can remember about five distinct times over the course of the weekend but I’m sure it was played many more times when I wasn’t there.  I know Dave personally and let me tell you, he’s a truly authentic rockin’ guy, not just because he’s had greasy hair for a long time but because the music of the Southern United States runs in his blood.  In this interview Dave gives us the run down of why he does what he does, and why he sounds like he sounds.

Whole Wild World: Tell us a little bit of background about yourself. Where you’re from, what you do everyday, your first experience with rockabilly music  

Smokehouse Dave: Well, I am from Natchez Mississippi. I moved to Horn Lake Mississippi when I was 14, which is about 10 minutes South of Memphis, Tennessee. I started enjoying Elvis Presley when I was about 7 years old. I loved his style. I had ducktails in my hair for the past 20+ years. It was very lucky for me living in the Memphis area. I was exposed to Paul Burlison, Charlie Feathers, Carl Perkins, B.J.Whitman, Malcolm Yelvington, Herbert Woolfolk and more. I loved the music so much at 18 I moved to Washington Ave. about 2 blocks from SUN Studio where I had a free milkshake everyday almost.  I always loved hillbilly music... I guess it's in my DNA… I don't know? I would check out bluegrass festivals whenever they were in town. Living in Memphis was a great experience for me. I think about moving back a lot. I used to work at the Peabody Hotel where I would serve Mr. Bernard Lansky his chicken noodle soup everyday at 6am. He was the clothier to the king and all the rest of the rockabillys in the Memphis area. He had some great stories! 

Everyday when I am not playing my Gibson hummingbird, "my baby", I work in sales and marketing. Gift of the gab I guess. I enjoy talking with people. I've worked for major newspapers in California and Las Vegas. Now with the economy I don't work with newspapers anymore. The internet kills the newspaper. I currently live in Summerlin-Las Vegas with my girlfriend Laura and her two daughters.

WWW: Your record was pretty popular with the DJs at Viva Las Vegas 14. Did you expect that? How did it make you feel?

SD:  I was not sure how well it was going to go over at Viva but I had confidence it was going to be a hit! So, I expected somewhat of a good response thanks to Reb having it pressed in time as he promised me upon signing with Wild. It was a great feeling hearing my record being played at the record hops! Seeing people dance and bugaloo down to it! My goal was to make a 45 rpm record that DJs had no idea which side is Side A. I wanted two solid boppers brand new that I wrote. I wanted songs I could bop to or my buddies like Corky in England could too.

WWW: What is the story behind a song like Coontail Boogie? Why and how did you write it?

SD: One night about a year or so ago I put a Coontail Hat on and chased my girlfriend around the house butt naked! I said come on baby let's Coontail Boogie tonight.....that's how Coontail Boogie came about. That just stuck in my head. The Raccoon noise in the beginning of the song is there because I wanted it a bit funny and I wanted the boppers at the record hops to identify my song. I write all my songs lyrics and music. I hand write all my music from scratch, I never type. There is no soul in a computer or a type writer.

WWW: Who are your favorite rockabilly artists and why?

SD: My favorite rockabilly artists.... wow, that is a hard question! Well, my heart is with the SUN and Meteor rockabilly artists so let's start there. My favorite is Elvis Presley, he is by far the coolest cat that ever lived! He was a rebel in Memphis dressing like a colored guy with sideburns shopping at Lansky's in Memphis in 1954! Without him Rockabilly would not exist. My other favorites.... Malcolm Yelvington, Carl Perkins, Charlie Feathers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Johnny Burnette, just to name a few... I like them because they are the founding fathers of Rock n Roll. Malcolm for his deep hillbilly roots, Carl for his gospel and neat chord changes and pure down home voice, Charlie for those hiccups and funny songs he writes, and Jerry Lee for his Rock n Roll attitude. Buddy Holly, I like him for his Les Paul overdub style he did and how his roots were bluegrass and you can hear it in his chord changes, I love his voice! Johnny Burnette, man oh man! Mr. Lansky told me when the Burnette Brothers would shop at his store, Elvis seen them one time and waited outside across the street! You DID NOT mess or even look at the Burnette brothers wrong, they would knock you out! And of course... he's a good ole Memphis boy too.

WWW: Who are your favorite artists in general and why?

SD: My favorite artists are from all walks of music. I like Tommy Collins for his genuine hillbilly singing style and lyrics. Hank Williams Sr. for his deep roots and feeling when he sings. I like Morrissey because he's an artist of a world of his own and has great lyrics in his music. I read poetry and write it often. I really enjoy Pablo Neruda, Oscar Wilde's stories, Keats, Yeats and so on. Elvis Presley is my favorite artist of all genres of music. I think Howlin' Wolf has the coolest voice and really awesome lyrics as well. I sometimes enjoy opera and classical music at night time. But there are so many artists that are great out there! Some new groups or more modern ones in my likings are The Dempseys from Seattle for their energy and musicianship. The Starliners out of Melbourne Australia, They are a great western band! I like Will and The Hi-Rollers. Will has a voice that stands out when you hear a song, you know that's Will singing! The Delta Bombers are unique, they also have their own kind of sound to me. Nick Willett is my favorite modern day artist. 

WWW: What drove you to start singing and playing guitar?

SD: I started playing guitar when Paul Burlison gave me a beat up Silvertone acoustic. He said, “Yer gonna need this you can't just stand there singing”. He was a sweet man and a dear friend. I always loved singing! I enjoy singing all types of music but my feelings and heart are in Hillbilly Rockabilly style. I started singing about the age of 8 probably. I had Ricky Nelson, Elvis, Buddy Holly records. 

WWW: When can we expect to see Smokehouse Dave on stage?

SD: I really hope to perform live very soon. My new live performing guitar player is Corey Siu (Will and the Hi-Rollers / Omar and the Stringpoppers). He's great and we are going to work very well together. Greg Garcia (Will and the Hi-Rollers) is my new live performing bass player. The same goes for him. He's a great guy, great player and we are all going to go far together! I currently am on the lookout for a drummer. My drummer needs to be simple but still educated. I did not have a drummer on my album. I like the Charlie Feathers songs like One Hand Loose. I know that is simple but, that's all I need.

WWW: What are your goals as a musician and performer?

SD: My goals as performer is being on stage and making people happy! Without having fans I am nothing! My dreams are now coming true thanks to Nick Willett and Reb Kennedy. I was in the audience for years and now I'll be performing. So I hope I don't bore ya! Maybe I'll light the drummer on fire so you get your money’s worth!

WWW: What is your overall impression and experience with WILD records?

SD: My impression of WILD records so far has been nothing but positive. I look forward to being a part of the family for a very long time. I really enjoy the new live musicians I have that I’m working with from WILD. I'd like to record a 45 rpm single sometime with my new live players Corey and Greg. I look forward to a very long lasting friendship with the new guys!

WWW: Is there anything you would like to say to the people out in rock and roll land?

I would like to thank all the kind responses I have gotten from the Rockabilly folks! The kind comments on facebook and the WILD records comment page. Feel free to add me as your friend on facebook and please check my new band page for updates and news.

Thank You,
Smokehouse Dave (David Underberg)

You can purchase Smokehouse Dave’s new 45 rpm “Coontail Boogie/Save Your Dimes” at www.wildrecordsusa.com in the vinyl section of the merchandise page. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Launch of new blog and a word from Reb Kennedy

This a brand new blog intended for the music audience of the world to gain access to news, interviews, pictures and videos concerning Wild Records and its bands. I intend to update this blog with a new interview/story every two weeks with smaller informational posts in between. The success of this blog also depends on you, wild records fans. Please share this blog's URL: http://thewholewildworld.blogspot.com/ with your friends on facebook and other social outlets. The first interview will be about Wild Records newest act Smokehouse Dave. Stay tuned! 

And now a word from Wild Record's owner Reb Kennedy: 

What is Wild Records? 
Wild is an independent record label promoting rock n' roll music of today. 
Wild does not see itself as a retro label and does not see the music of the bands on the label as retro. The look of our bands owes a lot to the music of the 1950s, and there is no doubt that the music of the 1950s is at the heart of most of the Wild bands music. But Wild is not about the past it's about the future, we believe that our music is as relevant as any other musical genre.
Wild records and the artists on the label believe in a 100 percent commitment to our sound. 
The Wild sound is a little mix of blues, soul, rockabilly, gospel, rock n roll, and a lot of punk attitude.

Don't be scared give it a listen.
Reb Kennedy