That’ll Flat…Git It! Vol 34

Bear Family Records continues their long-running series of ‘That’ll Flat…Git It! compilations with a new edition to follow the release of the 33rd album from earlier this year. This latest offering, volume 34, comprises recordings from two Californian labels, Bella and Blue Moon Records; both owned by John Pusateri. Featuring a selection of 33 recordings; is this set worth picking up?

The beauty of this series is the exposure to acts lost in time, uncovered for the first time in decades. The album begins with one of the more famous acts on the compilation, Johnny Amelio, performing the infectious Jaugue alongside The Downbeats. The album’s mood is consistent throughout, as it treats the listener to rare gems by Joe Gradie & The Western Gents, Linda & The Epics, Marguerite Trina, Pat Larocca and more! The obscurity of much of the music is a bonus here, with unfamiliar lovers of the genre able to find something they like amongst the selection.

A real favourite that stood out for me was the simple but effective Scrounge performed by Clyde Arnold & The Sharps; instrumental Rockabilly grooves in a nutshell. Equally, the four included tracks by the unknown Empala Six are enjoyable instrumentals that get the foot tapping. The swinging Country style of Bella’s first release, Bayou Ball by Shorty Joe & His Red Rock Canyon Cowboys, may stick out but is still a welcome inclusion for context.

The compilation ends on two unreleased gems, I’ll Forever Love You and Grab Me by The Downbeats featuring Johnny Amelio; Covered in static but two of the strongest tracks in this collection.

Sound Quality

A variety of sources means the quality can vary depending on the track. They made most of these transfers from original 45s, since the original master tapes no longer exist; meaning there are noticeable traces of noise. However, it would be fair to say the sometimes rustic nature of the audio comes more from the original production than the modern-day transfer; Both labels featured recordings that originated from a garage! Overall, the quality is impressive and is comparable to previous releases in this series.

A Little Something Extra…

Inside a well-presented digipak, is an attached 29-page booklet, featuring extensive liner notes, rare photographs and detailed discographical information. The attention to detail is excellent, with thoroughly researched biographies on the acts featured here.

Conclusion

Bear Family Records has delivered another impressive volume of rare Rock ‘n’ Roll and Rockabilly for their extensive series. The care and attention paid towards the production is outstanding considering the obscurity of the material. The anarchic sound of Bella and Blue Moon won’t appeal to everyone, but at least nobody can say it lacks life. Get this album if you’re looking for rare rockabilly!

Tracklisting:

  1. The Downbeats feat Johnny Amelio – Jugue
  2. Chuck Royal & The Sharpsters – My Baby’s Gone
  3. The Empala Six – Travelin
  4. Gradie O’Neal & The Bella Tones – Baby “Oh” Baby
  5. Clyde Arnold & The Sharps – I’ve Got A Baby
  6. Pat LaRocca – Rowena
  7. The Empala Six – Empala Rock
  8. Toby & Ray – Born Du Wa
  9. Gradie Joe & The Western Gents – Rock And Roll Cindy
  10. Wes Griffith & The Treys – Rockin’ Mary
  11. The Downbeats – I’ll Forever Love You
  12. Linda & The Epics – Gonna Be Loved
  13. Chuck Royal & The Sharpsters – Blue Moon Keep On Shining
  14. The Fretts – Rockin’ Baby
  15. The Empala Six – Double Time
  16. The Downbeats – feat. Johnny Amelio – Jugue (Alt. Take)
  17. The Savoys With The Bella Tones – The Mortal Monster Man
  18. Buddy Bennett & The Margilators – Baby Don’t Go
  19. Clyde Arnold & The Sharps – Scrounge
  20. Gradie O’Neal & The Bella Tones – Turkey Neck Stretch
  21. Chuck Royal & The Sharpsters – You’re Like A Butterfly
  22. The Downbeats feat. Johnny Amelio – Downbeats
  23. Johnny – Jo Ann – Jo Ann
  24. Gradie Joe & The Western Gents – Rock-A-Billie Music
  25. The Empala Six – Sweet And Sour
  26. Marguerite Trina – The Rocking Tree
  27. Jo Jaros – Bon Bon Baby
  28. Sonny Stafford – Record Hop Blues
  29. The Martells With The Bella Tones – Rockin’ Santa Claus
  30. Gradie Joe & The Western Gents – It’s a Blue Monday
  31. Shorty Joe & his Red Rock Canyon Cowboys – Bayou Ball
  32. The Downbeats feat. Johnny Amelio – I’ll Forever Love You (Acetate)
  33. The Downbeats feat. Johnny Amelio – Grab Me (Acetate)

That’ll Flat Git It! Vol 34 is available from Bear Family Records.

That'll Flat Git It! Vol 34

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Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer is an experienced writer, broadcaster, musician and social media marketer. He enjoys Old Time Radio, vintage TV, collecting vinyl and supporting the New York Knicks.

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