The Seventh Annual
Held June 17, 18 & 19, 1999


Del Villarreal

June 24, 1999...sorry to have taken so long to write about the weekender in Indy but after reading Mike & Scott's posts I felt I should thank the folks responsible for the overwhelming success. First off, thanks to festival organizer DAVE LOEHR. I felt the weekend was the best ever with so many talented rockin' acts - Dave did a fantastic job in hiring awesome bands and great staff. As far as I know, there were no major fights, broken windows or glass shards in the pool this time! I felt emcee KEN MOTTET did a superb job of stage wranglin' and jokin' with the crowd -he really kept the show on track and lively. Atlanta Blacktop Rocket, STEWART SANDERS did a fine job making that cavernous caucouphonous cave of a club sound very good.


The gorgeous and talented Mickey Rae slappin' bass and singin' up a storm with the CADILLAC ANGELS. This twang-a-licious trio, featuring Tarzan on git, pleased me to no end with their hard rockin' six-string-a-billy sound. Mickey Rae did a one footed balancing act on her bass that has to be seen to believed! The Angels also backed up the legendary WANDA JACKSON, doing a classy job, even loping through a seemingly impromptu version of "Funnel Of Love"! Wanda was wonderful and as everyone there will clearly attest, she still has all the chops and enough energy to serve them up steamin' hot.

MACK STEVENS and his south of the border bandito band have gotten even tighter since their VLV set -and even wilder! Mack had that poor guitar player spinning around by the legs like a pro wrestler. Mack appeared on stage with a scythe and a woman's head, he did two cool covers of Hasil Adkins tunes, brought up some lovelies to scream along to "The Scream," and rocked and rolled so hard I thought his big ol' head would explode like that guy in "Scanners'! Oh, and he was even surprised by an on-stage appearance of "Kousin Kletus" from his smash-hit "Peckerwood Rock" who danced and bopped like a crazed idjit -unforgettable!

THE BILLY GOATS really impressed the heck out of me. The band gave me one of their 8 song CDs which wasn't at all like their live set: these boys epitomize the term "Muscle Guitar." Like a slick amalgam of the Derailers and Cigar Store Indians, this Nashville quartet put on a very powerful set of cool rockin country and rockin' hillbilly grooves. The electric bass didn't distract me in the least and their stagemanship and harmonizing had me looking forward to seeing them live again real soon!

THE ATOMICS really had the room buzzing and the dance floor humming for their entire set. Thommy Burns altered his power pop-a-billy sound slightly, making it a bopping, dance-friendly rockin' billy set. Can't say enough nice things about this cool cat. They even played my favorite tune from their recent CD, "She's 18." Great sounding set from this East Coast supergroup.

Can't say enough great things about THE RACKETEERS, Boston's infamous bad boys totally blew away all rock & roll pretenders with their blistering set. Their new rhythm guitar player (looking very much like a young Johnny Carroll) easily kept up with the other three as they completely rocked the joint into a frenzy. I was just waiting for Spike to knock himself out with his bass as he whipped it around his greasy noggin. Did I mention that I think these guys ARE THE BEST LIVING EMBODIMENT OF ROCKABILLY MUSIC IN THE ENTIRE USA? They were pretty good in Indy (@;-)!

The ladies went ga-ga over the cleanly shaved JAMES INTVELD (looking like a cross between Gene Vincent and Billy Riley). Maybe it was the leather pants (shades of Sonny George...), maybe it was the lack of a drummer on stage, maybe it was the incredible voice singing many of his own compostions or maybe it was the awesome rockin' beat he kept going throughout his entire set. Either way, James was excellent and had the dance floor packed from start to finish. Not sure why this guy isn't a huge star yet. See him now so you can say "I saw him when"!

CROWN ELECTRIC did Kentucky proud and pleased plenty of people. I love these guys and their neo-billy sound. Playing lots of tunes from their "Rockabilly Opera" disc, a whole boatload of fans rushed the stage early to not miss a lick of their act.

BIG BARN COMBO did Detroit proud and dutifly impressed the entire Indy throng. Talk about your high-energy dance band combos! Smokey, Kenny, Lonnie and Craig-y really turned up the heat with their unique brand of boppin' rockabilly magic. I love their originals and their tremendous titular track, "Big Barn Boogie" really brought down the house. Looking forward to their upcoming full length release on Woodward records.......!

DEKE DICKERSON dressed to impress with his shiny red shirt, red pants and red shoes! It was incredible getting a chance for Deke & The ECCOFONNICS to be able to do a full length set at last and they were spectacular. You should have seen all the guitar-freaks up against the stage drooling at the bands axes! The breakdancing and funky-robot dance was worth the price of admission in and of itself. Deke stayed up with us Nite Owls til 6:30 a.m. and jammed at the hotel -what a cool old bald guy!

THE STILLMEN were super cool and played a SECOND SET OF TUNES for free in the hotel's underground bar late Saturday Nite/early Sunday Morn in addition to their stellar set on Thursday night. I was in a wonderful mood as I sipped beers and danced to one of the country's best traditional rockabilly acts with the special addition of gifted musician Chance Roulette -yes, that is his legal name! Steve and the boys get my compliments on their considerate extra-performance since so many folks weren't in town to see them early Thursday eve. Great job guys.

JAM SESSIONS: Unlike last year, the jam sessions were all pretty laid back, mellow, rockin' and ego-free. Saw some incredible musicians while I dipped my toes in the pool and sipped Newcastles! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

THE WOMEN: Too many beautiful, drop-dead gorgeous rockabilly gals! I really think there were way more women than men this year. Here's great incentive for all you single fellas to make plans to be here next year. There were probably lots of good looking guys for the women to ogle but I didn't notice.....


NO RECORD/CD DEALERS: Whassup with that? I was ready to give my plastic a good whippin' and walk home (since I wouldn't have any gas money left) with a mini-mountain of CDs and stuff. Shorty brought some CDs from California and he wouldn't sell them to me -turns out they were from his own "personal stash". We need a major record dealer in the main room next time Dave.

CONSTRUCTION HEADACHES: There wasn't an easy way to or from the hotel or the Fountain Square. Plenty of construction delays at each exit/entrance ramp meant I was often late in getting to where I had to go. Rats!

FOOD PROBLEMS: IHOP SUCKS! I spent 6.99 on an ommelette. I figure that's about 2.35 per egg. Man, next year it's gonna be McDonald's all the way! I didn't eat there, but I heard from plenty of folks that the "Sunshine" restaurant across the hotel's parking lot sucked ass as well -long waits for mediocre food! AND the White Castle didn't serve clam strips -the girl could not understand us when we requested an order of CLAM STRIPS and seriously thought we were speaking a different language! I guess Hoosiers aren't big seafood fans.....

I can't really think of much else to bitch about. The weekend was headache and major hassle-free and in my opinion was one of the best in it's seven year history. Hope lots of you read this will make plans to be ther next year. You can't beat this festival folks! Good times guaranteed!

Thanks Dave Loehr for the swell party,

Del Villarreal
Go Kat, GO! The Rock-A-Billy Show!
Wed. Nites 7-8 P.M. EST
WCBN 88.3 FM
Ann Arbor, MI
313-763-3500 Studio Line

Other Thoughts About Indy '99

From: Lydia Ash (

Dean and I donned our helmets, shouldered our bags, and vroomed out of Lawrence on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 16. The weather wasn't exactly balmy, but at least it wasn't raining. We alternated between chasing and being chased by rainstorms all the way to St. Louis, where we stopped for the night. One quarter of our driving time done!

Slept in a bit Thursday morning, but left St. Louis in time to make the poolside meet-n-greet at 3:00. It was a great sunny day, about the only one we had the whole weekend (and it's still raining here in Lawrence, a week later--if this keeps up, we'll sail to Indy next year).

Only a few folks at the pool on Thursday. Lil Rachel and Caroline, Stuart, Jackson, and Rocko, and two cute gals whose names I didn't catch, but were already wearing the tiny tank tees from this years RRW. I hung out for a very short while, but a combination of sun and need to sleep took over. We retired to our room and slept for a couple hours.

Picked through my meager clothing selection (damn limited packing options) and got as dolled-up as possible for Thursday night's events. We scooted over to Fountain Square early, so's to beat the rush at the diner. Parked in front of the Cop Shop down the street (gotta love that sense of security) and moseyed on into the diner. Ordered up two breaded tenderloin sandwiches w/fries and an order of onion rings. Ahhh. Enough grease on the plate to rival the grease doing the eatin'. Actually, I had not allowed myself to eat any burgers, fries, or otherwise diner-esque food for three weeks prior to Indy, just so I could be good and ready. It was worth it. Man, I wonder, can they ship those sandwiches, in dry ice, cross country? Hmmmm.

It was still pretty early (I didn't anticipate wolfing down our food in ten minutes flat), so we went upstairs to watch the sound check. I saw David walking across the floor, so I went down to say hey and ask if Clint was cutting hair this weekend. Dean hadn't had a haircut since Vegas, and needed one _badly_. David gave me the good news that Clint had a shop next door, and was taking customers. Dean and I went over, watched a guy get his hair done, chatted with Jeremiah from K.C./Indy, and then Dean got his turn. Clint's lip curled up and he kinda poked at Dean's head. "That's some long hair." Yep. Solved that problem pretty quick, though.

Newly shorn and lookin' spiffy, Dean headed back with me to the theater, where The Riptones were just starting their set. What timing! We staked out a little spot in the middle of the balcony and rested our elbows on the brass railing (my fave spot at Indy).

I thought The Riptones did a great job, and was glad to see several people already at the theatre. Last year, Tip Top Daddies (I think) and Truly Lover Trio really suffered as the opening bands since there was nobody in the audience. But there were even people out on the floor for the Riptones! Very nice. And you gotta respect a band that has their own hot sauce.

After their set, Dean had to take off for something (I don't even remember what), so I headed down to the store downstairs. I was amused to see some of the same ties from last year...guess Hoosiers don't have much call to get dudded up. There was, however, a fabulous dining set for sale. I know nobody really cares about *furniture* here, but I gotta say, those chairs were just super. Man. If it wouldn't cost an extra $300 to ship that set to Kansas...

Now the kind of embarassing part: I heard The Stillmen start up, and figured I'd better get back up to the balcony. Hmmm. No Dean. Well, maybe he got stuck in traffic. But I started to fret. And I fretted through the rest of their set, Del's set, and the Cadillac Angels. Dean finally arrived about the same time as Wanda Jackson, so I really can't report beans on The Stillmen or the Cadillac Angels, except to say Mickey Rae can lift the bass over her head. Sorry, guys. I'm a worry wart.

Wanda Jackson did a great job. I'd never heard her live, and I was really impressed with the clarity of her voice. She put on an excellent set, and it was great to see her do a bit of dancing with MC Ken Mottet. When Ken walked off-stage, Dean turned to me and said "Right now, he's thinking 'Did I just dance with Wanda Jackson?'" =) I got a particular bit of amusement watching Wanda's attempts at zill-playing. I was half-tempted to go down and give her some advice, but figured you don't really wanna up stage your icons...

What can you really *say* about Mack Stevens? The man must be seen in person. For one, he really understands the importance of energy and shock value. And for two, you can tell that although he's gotta be one of the nuttiest people on the face of the planet, he's also one of the nicest. I do have to mention, though, that my fave Mack Stevens performance of all time was at Ronny's VLV meet and greet this last April... =)

We passed on the after-hours party since we still hadn't recouped from the ride. I know, we're pansies.

Friday was the day I'd scheduled to hang out with my parents (who live in Indianapolis). Did a bit of shopping, although it was mostly of the "look don't touch" variety. I'm trying to _weed_out_ my closet right now. Ran into Shannon (sp?), Del's wife, and some other RAB chicks. Shannon pointed out a *fab* red and pink gauzy number, which she thought would look great on me. I agreed, but, alas, had to pass it up. No money, no closet space. Thanks, anyway, Shannon! I think next year the list gals should organize a group shopping trip and snag one of the band vans...

I guess I missed a really wonderful show on Friday night. Can't win them all, I suppose.

Saturday was (of course) my favorite day. That poolside party just beat everything! Had a great time putting faces to names (and email addresses). And I love jam sessions! It's such a kick to see people pulling stuff out of their heads--and sounding *great*! I was really impressed with Ken's singing, and could kick myself for missing The Racketeers on Friday night. That Dana guy sure is hot! Oh, and talented, too...And the guy from The Stillmen who plays, well, everything, was a real joy, as well! Man, we've got some talent in this little subculture of ours, don't we? A special "wow" goes out to Mr. Honey-Voice from the Poison Oakies. I'm really glad I got to meet the two members from the group who were there, and I gotta say, you boys need to get the hell outta Oklahoma and tour!
Other big treats at the poolside party: Ray Campi's appearence (wow! a sneak preview!), chatting with Lindsey and her very brave punker boyfriend, and dancing with (heart flutter) Del. Hope I was an adequate partner! I was nervous!

Opening the Saturday night show was Crown Electric, which I really enjoyed. I'm kinda partial to the Hillbilly sound, and being raised in Southern Indiana, I have an affection for Kentuckians, despite my predeliction for telling "Kentucky jokes" instead of "Polish jokes". =)

Big Barn Combo was fabulous. They had a great sound and really inspired the dancers. They didn't need to *tell* us they were a dance band, you could feel it. I know you guys probably have all the gigs you need in your neck of the woods, but if you ever wanna put on some shows in the KC area, lemme know, and I'll drum up an audience for ya!

Hot Rod Lincoln had played KC just a while back, so I dragged Dean down to the antique shop to do some lookin' before Deke came on stage. I do have to mention, though, that's one of the finest-lookin' doghouse basses...

Deke (as always) put on a great show...'cept I can't say I share Del's opinion of the outfit. I've seen Deke three times now in the past year, and I have to say, he's one of my favorite acts. Great voice, great tunes, great personality. Second only to the Derailers for me, and you all know how I feel about *them*! I was amazed that I was the only one who brought the poor man a beer. I mean, he sipped outta audience bottles *twice*! Geez, you'd think people'd get the hint...or maybe they just liked having his cooties...dunno.

Ray Campi--well, what do you say? By the time he came on stage, he certainly had more energy than me! Fab voice and wonderful interaction with the audience. Seeing a bassist as Front Man is really refreshing. After watching umpteen bands up there with a guitar leading the band (not meant as a slam, guys!), it's a real treat to see a different lineup. And Mr. Campi looks a lot better in red, Deke. Sorry. I thought of Ronny during this show, and how much we owe people like him and Ray for really pushing on and not giving up, despite low sales and a meager following during the Lean Years. Thanks!

Didn't go down to hear Deke play in his room during the wee hours of Sunday morning, but we could hear it fine and clear in our room right above. Good show! =)

We headed out Sunday, and didn't have time to go up to Fairmont with the other weekender folks, alas. I'd love to hear about the trip, for anyone who did make it.

A big thanks to David Loehr. You organized a great lineup this year! I also appreciate the change in hotels. The Ramada was much friendlier and accomodating than the Holiday Inn. I actually think we should all write them a thank-you note for being so incredibly cool. But I'm kinda geeky that way. Also thanks to Stuart. It was good to meet you and the sound was great (even though Fogey Old Me thought Saturday was a bit louder--picky, picky!). He's not on the list (too bad!), but Ken did a great job of MC-ing, as well as helping to organize the poolside jam session. Thanks to Del for providing great between-show tunes, and for the dance!

That's about the end of it. We got home Monday afternoon, and did hit a rainstorm, about 3 minutes outside Lawrence. Great timing on the part of Mother Nature. My clothes and film (shipped from Indy via UPS) arrived at home yesterday, so I'll be getting the photos developed, then scanned and put on the Schmaltz's for everyone's viewing pleasure.

Hope this wasn't too boring! Looking forward to reading other reviews!

From: Lil' Rachel


I started my weekend early by driving 9 1/2 hours alone to Cincinnati on Wednesday to meet up with Caroline. We used the evening for some rehearsal time, then drove to Indianapolis on Thursday. We checked in to our room at the Motel 6. The clerk there was quite rude to us and informed us that we had to pay for our room ahead, and she could not give out the room number of our friends who arrived earlier than us, even though their room was reserved under Caroline's name. Needless to say, we moved to the Red Roof Inn for the rest of the weekend.

The highlight of Thursday night's show for me was Wanda Jackson. I had never seen her live, and it was great to see she has still got it. I think my life is complete now, since I got to see Janis Martin AND Wanda Jackson this year. But I was also extremely impressed by Mickey Rae of the Cadillac Angels. Not only is she a great showman, but man, can she play that bass! Mack Stevens is always a treat. He puts on a great show, and I love that Argentinian bass player of his. He looks like a Latino Gene Vincent! I need to brush up on my Spanish for that one. ES MUY GUAPO!

Friday I spent jamming poolside at the Ramada with Caroline AND the Cowtown Playboys, which was a nice surprise. I also met some nice folks from Atlanta, and some others. I wish every weekend consisted of lounging by the pool and playing rockabilly with talented musicians, with Del Villareal grilling burgers nearby, and all the gorgeous greasers a girl could ask for. It was like a dreamy paradise. Caroline and I even got the chance to do some much-needed rehearsal with the Big Barn Combo for a recording we are planning on making later this summer to send to Tail Records. The rehearsal was extremely productive and rewarding for us. Those guys are so good!

I didn't pay much attention to the show Friday night. I was too busy wandering around and becoming acquainted with other folks at the weekender, and being disgruntled about the fact that I had to go outside to smoke. That is, until James Intveld stepped on stage. I was entranced. He embodied all that is cool. The black leather, the tough sneer and the sexy voice. He was not only beautiful to gaze upon, but pleasant to listen to. The absence of drums is always a nice change for me. Being a singer, I don't know how many times I have been drowned out by drummers. A good rockabilly drummer is a true gem for a vocalist to hang on to, though I am perfectly satisfied by the sound without a drummer at all when the band is as tight as James Intveld's.

Saturday I went shopping. Since I didn't buy anything, I was really dissapointed to find that I had missed an incredible plugged-in jam session at the Ramada. I didn't miss all of it, though. I got the chance to see the Robert guy from Oklahoma. Very impressive, as well as cute. I was also glad I didn't miss a surprise appearance by Ray Campi. He is a true classic. And it is good to know that the offer is still standing, if I ever decide to accept Ray's marriage proposal. :)

Saturday night was by far consistantly the best show. There wasn't a bad one in the bunch. I wouldn't know where to start. The highlight of my evening was seeing the Big Barn Combo receiving the warm response they deserve. I was so happy to see these guys return for an encore. They are incredibly talented and put on a hell of a show. Not to mention they are extremely nice people. I know that we are going to see a lot more from them after this weekender, and I couldn't be happier! Deke is always one of my favorites. I particularly admired his red shoes. And Ray Campi tears the house down better than most young pups I have seen. I think I saw Kenny cringing backstage while he was watching Ray climb his bass. What a wild man!

I missed the nighttime jam sessions the past two nights because I hadn't been feeling well. But Saturday was the last night, and I was determined to stay up as long as it took. I was glad I did. I am so impressed by how much talent can be found in our little subculture. It is truly amazing. I was particularly glad to see Deke at the jam session. His guitar playing made Caroline and I feel like we were really the Collins Kids for a moment. I dragged my weary ass to bed at 6:30AM, because I couldn't make it any longer, but the jam was still going on when I left.

Sunday I went back to Cincinnati with Caroline. We put some stuff on tape to send to the Big Barn Combo to learn, so we can record with them soon. For those of you wondering, this is in preparation for our trip to Sweden this fall. If all goes well, we will be sending a demo to Tail records, and then going over there in September to record a Casey Sister's album and do some touring. And we are hoping to take the Big Barn Combo with us. Wish me luck. I am praying everything goes our way. It would be a dream come true to record in Sweden with the Big Barn Combo.

Anyway, enough of that. Overall, I must say I enjoyed every moment of the 7th annual Rockabilly Rebel Weekend. It was my first time in Indy, and I couldn't have asked for a better time. Here is a big thank you to David Loehr for such a successful weekend. I can't think of a thing to improve on. The emceeing and sound were great. The bands were great. The host hotel was great. Etc, etc. I won't miss a RRW from now on. Lil' Rachel

David Loehr
The James Dean Memorial Gallery
425 N. Main St.
P.O. Box 55
Fairmount, IN 46928
Ph. (765) 948-3326
Fx. (765) 948-3389