Music

 

The County Circle Track

The County Circle Track

 

The County Circle Track was recorded in November, 2014 at Sawhorse Studios in St. Louis, MO. It was engineered by Jason McEntire. I wanted to go back to rockabilly. I did the more aggressive CD, and was excited to go back to what I do best. This is by far the best rockabilly I have ever written, it all flowed pretty smooth.

*Fun Fact- While recording this album, the band stayed next door to the studio in Jason’s rental house. I wanted to add one more song to the album, so I wrote “King of the Demolition Derby” one morning before breakfast. It was seriously written in about 10 minutes, tops! We tracked it that afternoon.

My favorite track off of Cool on my Right was our Juice Newton cover of Queen of Hearts. I’m crazy about 80s country, especially 80s county songs with female singers. I had wanted to cover the Janie Fricke tune “He’s a Heartache” for a few months now, and finally convinced the fellers to go along with it. I contacted the writers about changing the lyrics to “She’s a Heartache”, and they were very cool about it!

Since we were in St. Louis, it was a must to have Bob Lohr sit in on the keys. Bob has been the keyboard player for Chuck Berry for many years now, and to have him sit in on the album was a great experience. He’s played many live shows with us, but this is the first time we’ve had him in the studio. His talent blows my mind. Amazing musician…

Keeping with my trend of naming the album from a song lyric, we went with The County Circle Track, off of the song “Hot Rod Racer”.

*Fun Fact- The pictures on the CD cover are of Chuck Amati. Chuck was a local racer who gained national fame in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. His grandson Shane Wade is a close friend, and was a true help in getting us the images for the album artwork. The idea of “Hot Rod Racer” and The Country Circle Track came from watching my friend and co-worker Mark Rady race at the Williamson County Racetrack, just outside of Marion, IL.

Track listing:

1. Hot Rod Racer, 2. Interstate Rocker, 3. Check Check, 4. Holy Holy Hell, 5. Tijuana, Mexico, 6. She’s a Heartache, 7. Ain’t Gonna Amount, 8. Drink and Holler, 9. You Never Can Tell, 10. JBOTS, 11. King of the Demolition Derby, 12. Good Ol’ Boys

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Cool on my Right

This album was tracked at Proletarian Studios in Indianapolis, IN.

*Fun Fact: This studio is owned by Ken Avery. Ken and Jim, along with Sean from Dallas Alice, were in a high school band called Mayflower Jones together.

Ken mixed and engineered the album, and it was produced by Eddie Spaghetti from the Supersuckers. Eddie has played an important role in the life of the Blacktops in the past few years. He helped open a lot of doors, let us hop on a million tour dates, and even invited Jim to play guitar on some of his solo shows.

Cool on my Right added a lot more “rock” than “billy,” with the Supersuckers frontman at the helm and Bobby Speed tracking with electric bass for the first time in the band’s career.

Cool on my Right was released on Part Records out of Germany and is the first release for Tri-Nut records from Illinois.

*Fun Fact: The German release has one slight change; “Prost ya’ll” is listed on the credits. Also, Jim’s OCD is off the wall for the fact that there is one typo in the liner notes!

Track listing:

1. Steel Belted Radials, 2. Kentucky, 3. Berlin, 4. Big Rig, 5. Monster Truck Takeover, 6. Frankfort Avenue, 7. Queen of Hearts, 8. Rock ‘n’ Roll Band, 9. Come on Already, 10. Out of Sin, 11. Boomland

 

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Daredevil Action

This album was recorded in 2010 at the Sound Kitchen in Franklin, TN. It was engineered by Adam Deane and produced by Jim Rotramel and Taylor Sprehe. Pure hot rod rockabilly: fast rhythms, ripping solos, and wheelie-popping power! Featuring the song “Bubba Blackwell” that is used by the Harley-Davidson stunt rider Bubba Blackwell.

*Fun Fact: Jim wanted to call this album The Alabama Stuntman but Blake was pretty set on Daredevil Action, so we went with that.

Track listing:

1. 57 Dragstrip, 2. Bubba Blackwell, 3. Hop on Baby, 4. Runnin’ Strong, 5. Silver Bullet, 6. Ready to Go, 7. Bo the Steer, 8. Injector, 9. Tour Tight, 10. Walkin’ Bill Blues, 11. Long Time Comin’

 

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Horsepower! Horsepower!

Recorded in 2007 at the Kudzu Ranch in Mebane, NC, this album was produced by Rick Miller from Southern Culture on the Skids. This is the album that earned the band an endorsement from Gretsch Guitars and launched the first of many European tours. The album oozes rockabilly from every song, including “Firecracker Cadillac” which has become the most popular Number 9 Blacktops tune to date.

Track listing:

1. Carburetor, 2. Chop Shop, 3. Firecracker Cadillac, 4. Dive Bar Debbie, 5. 66 Newport Blues, 6. Hotwire, 7. Lost Cross Girls, 8. Circle the Wagons, 9. Chick’s Place, 10. Rome X Scooter Club, 11. Five-Star Rockabilly Band