New 45 Single with Two Songs
Recorded by RAY CONDO:
"Sweet Love on My Mind" recorded with the Hardrock Goners in 1987, and "Big Dog Little Dog" recorded by Ray and his last band in Vancouver, in spring 2004. The Ray Condo single is for sale NOW for $5.00 US each (plus $1 postage for North America, $3 postage to Europe). Pay by PAYPAL at www.slimsandy.com.
You can email Slim Sandy at email@example.com or Stephen Nikleva at firstname.lastname@example.org to order! Dealers: please enquire about discounts for bulk orders!"
Update: April 16, 2004
Ray Condo Dies
Ray was performer 'on a mission' - A fixture on montreal's live music scene. Founder of the Hardrock Goners known internationally in rockabilly circles.
Rockabilly musician Ray Condo moved to the West Coast in 1991 after spending years on Montreal's club circuit. His body was found in a Vancouver apartment on Thursday.
Ray Condo, a fixture on Montreal's live-music scene in the late 1980s, has died at age 54. The singer's body was found Thursday in his Vancouver apartment, said Peter Sandmark, drummer for the Hardrock Goners, Condo's former backing band. The cause of death is being determined, Sandmark said.
Born Ray Tremblay in Hull, Condo released his first record when he was 16, as part of the Peasants, a British Invasion-style group. After performing in a Vancouver punk band, the Secret Vs, he relocated to Montreal in 1984, where he formed the Hardrock Goners. The rockabilly-revivalist combo incorporated blues, country and western swing in its sound, specializing in forgotten classics with a backbeat.
Chris Hand, who owns Zeke's Gallery, saw the group live many times. He recalled Condo as a man who "put heart and soul into everything," and described his stage presence as "manic, all over the place - everything a rockabilly band should be."
After tiring of the Montreal club circuit, Condo returned to Vancouver in 1991. Even so, the Montreal-based Goners toured with him for another three years before the band stopped performing. Condo then formed the Ricochets, with whom he recorded Swing, Brother, Swing, and Door to Door Maniac. High and Wild, their last album, was released in 2000. He was to have performed last night in Vancouver.
"He'll be remembered as a Canadian rock 'n' roll legend," Sandmark said, noting Condo was known internationally in rockabilly circles, though his records were not easily available. When the two were last together in Vancouver in February, they joked about it. "He was the best-known Canadian rocker nobody's ever heard," Sandmark said.
But it was Condo's passion that Sandmark remembered yesterday. "He was no sellout," he said. "Ray was really dedicated to the music - to preserving the classics, like Hank Williams and roots rock 'n' roll. He thought America had forgotten its roots, that this music was America's contribution to the world. "He always used to say, 'We're on a mission to keep it alive.'"
Ray Condo was part of a scene that brought together some of Montreal's most spirited musicians.
email@example.com - BERNARD PERUSSE - CREDIT: GORDON BECK, The Gazette
(April 19, 2004) - The wake at the Railway Club raised over C$3500 for Ray's funeral and related expenses. The funeral is tentatively set for the afternoon of Sunday, April 25, to be followed by a night of music in Ray's memory at a local (Vancouver, B.C.) night club.
Longtime Condo guitarist Steven Nikleva has issued the following press release:
It is with great regret that his close friends must report the sudden death of Rock and Roll legend Ray Condo. Ray was found dead in his apartment in Vancouver, April 15 from an apparent heart attack.
Ray did not have any immediate family but did have a family of friends that cared for him dearly; this family stretched around the world.
Ray had recently returned to an active music career after a three year break during which he worked for the Canadian National Railways. Ray was Canada's representative at the many international festivals he played and was preparing to tour the US, Europe and Australia this coming summer. His recent shows (including a sold out show in Los Angeles at the Derby) had shown Ray to be in fine form.
Ray became a country and rockabilly singer through the back door of punk, playing in Vancouver's The Secret V's. Exposure to the Cramps led him to revisit his Elvis roots and in 1984 he formed Ray Condo & The Hardrock Goners in Montreal. The group quickly became Canada's premier rockabilly act. Ray moved back to Vancouver in 1994, forming Ray Condo & The Ricochets, whose mix of western swing, rockabilly and jazz delighted fans around the world. At the time of his death, Ray Condo was in the process of building a new group and sound with longtime guitar player Stephen Nikleva and fellow music veteran Ian Tiles. Ray was optimistic, and looking forward to the future. He will be sorely missed.
An informational web site (www.raycondo.ca/) is in the process of being set up with a message board so everyone can express themselves. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update in 2001:
Below is information on one of Ray's CDs.
Last year Ray Condo and his Ricochets dazzled audiences with their debut album "Swing, Brother Swing," on Joaquin Records. They did the same thing on stages across the Lower 48, with their juicy, gutsy amalgam of rockabilly, Western Swing, small-group jazz, R&B and country combined with a tight, swinging instrumental sound that's all their's. Not only have "Swing Brother, Swing's sales been strong, it got prominent airplay on the Gavin Americana Charts and over a year after its release, it's still selling. The band spent part of 1997 recording their latest, "Door To Door Maniac", album two for Joaquin. This fall, as the album appears in stores, the band's touring the U.S. again, including selected dates with the immensely popular Squirrel Nut Zippers, who specially requested Condo join them for part of their fall tour.
Co-produced by Mark L'Esperance, Joaquin owner Jeff Richardson and Ricochets guitarist Stephen Nikleva and steel player Jimmy Roy, "Door To Door Maniac" swoops and soars with the same wild, freewheeling influences and consisting of the charismatic lead singer-saxophonist Condo, Jimmy Roy, Stephen Nikleva, standup bassist Clive Jackson and drummer Steve Taylor. Five tracks include new drummer John Cody, who replaced Taylor in February.
They've cast their net even further for quality vintage material this time. The album crackles with electricity from the first notes of the opener, "Done Gone Crazy." They revitalize Gene Vincent's "Jump Back, Honey Jump Back," doing the same with two tunes by obscure rockabilly Glenn Barber: "Feeling No Pain" and "Shadow My Baby". They adapt "I Lost My Gal in Memphis," an old pop song recorded by Western Swing great Tex Williams to a Canadian feel, renaming it "I lost My Gal in the Yukon". They revisit Bob Wills' "I'm Feelin' 'Bad' in a version as red-hot as the embers in Wills' trademark cigar.
The crazed, psychotic version of Rocky Bill Ford's "Have You Seen Mabel" allows Condo and Ricochets to rip and roar. In a change of pace sure to startle longtime fans, Condo's cover of Billie Holiday's blues soaked ballad "Tell Me More" and the pop standard "I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me" reveal a side of the band never heard before and two of Condo's greatest vocal moments. Their pumping version of Big Boy Crudup's "Shout, Sister Shout" and demented version of "Great Shakin' Fever" is as electrifying on record as onstage.
A Montreal native, Condo fronted the country-rockabilly Hardrock Goners (Jackson was their bassist) for eleven years. When they dissolved in 1995, he and Clive joined with Jimmy Roy, Nikleva and Taylor of Jimmy Roy's band the Five Star Hillbillies, to create the Ricochets. Releasing "Swing, Brother Swing," on a small Vancouver label in 1995, Joaquin Records' Jeff Richardson was impressed enough to license the album and, with some changes, issue it on his own label.
Condo is a live act first and a recording band second, so an album captures them differently than their stage shows, but "Door To Door Maniac" comes damned close. These guys don't waste time posturing or wearing their retro consciousness on their sleeves. They don't polish and tiptoe around old songs as if they're fragile museum pieces, or worry about being the "next big thing." All they do is make good music their way with a flair and intensity unlike anyone else.
On Door To Door Maniac, "their way" proves to be an audio roller coaster ride through the past and present, one that'll leave you breathless!
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