I thought in this post I would ponder what 2012 holds for some of the bands and individuals that I’ve followed over the course of the year. These are in no particular order so feel free to browse through and comment your opinions and predications.
The mighty Quo had an eventful 2011 with the release of the critically acclaimed album Quid Pro Quo. Reaching the top 10 in the UK and having a run of singles making the BBC Radio 2 A-playlist marks a significant success for the British group.
The clamour round the band seems to suggest that 2012 could be just as notable for the band as it celebrates its 50th year (in various forms) and 35 years since the release of the iconic Rockin’ All Over The World. A film, entitled Hello Quo is planned for release for Autumn 2012. This film, involving all the original members of the band, known as ‘The Frantic Four’, has given rise to the rumour that a series of reunion gigs involving John Coglan and Alan Lancaster could be taking place across the course of the year. When asked whether this likely to happen, current bassist, John ‘Rhino’ Edwards said he did know something about it but wouldn’t say what he knew! This possible event is sure to keep the appetite of Quo fans whetted through 2012.
Brian Setzer / Lee Rocker / Slim Jim Phantom
In the year 2011 Brian Setzer released his first all-instrumental album: Setzer Goes Instru-Mental!. This was supported by the Rockabilly Riot tour that covered Europe and the US, with fellow Stray Cat, Slim Jim Phantom, in tow. Lee Rocker made his mark on broadway in 2011, playing as part of the cast of Million Doller Quartet for a select series of shows.
Lee Rocker has announced two albums for 2012. The first is a debut to CD of his 1985 album, Phantom, Rocker & Slick. The second is a new release entitled Night Train To Memphis. This could be the long-mentioned Rocker record of rockabilly classics and his own stamped versions of some of the Stray Cats cuts. This album, containing ‘Twenty-Flight Rock’ and ‘Night Train To Memphis’ is slated for release in Feb. 2012.
Brian Setzer has announced that his next album will be recorded with the Rockabilly Riot Squad, with some tracks possible including the double rhythm section that marked the conclusion of the gigs. Whether this will be completed in 2012 or include Slim Jim Phantom we are yet to see.
With the release of his first album in 25 years, Road Trip, Duane Eddy seems set to hit the big time on the rockabilly music scene again. Working with Richard Hawley, 2012 promises a UK tour for Eddy, in support of his Sheffield inspired and recorded album of 2011. Although dates are yet to be confirmed we look forward to see Duane following on from his handful of UK dates from the festival season of 2011.
Jerry Lee Lewis
2012 promises a European tour and new live record for The Killer. The tour currently takes in Bucharest, Paris and Cannes in June. The record is called Live At Third Man Records. The album, produced by White Stripes guitarist, Jack White, is to be released. It is only available on vinyl to those that were there to begin with but will be released on CD later in the year.
This is a general cover-all of action I know is upcoming for some of the rock rockabilly groups I like. I’m sure others will have a busy year – I’d be stunned if there wasn’t more from Imelda May (with the re release of No Turning Back) and Roger Taylor, of Queen, has already claimed he has a busy year in store. Brian May is set to hit the road once again with Kerry Ellis. If you know some more please feel free to add it in!
One To Watch – As a final note I thought I’d add that I found Jamie N Commons on the BBC Sound of 2012 website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/soundof/2012/artists/jamiencommons/#p00m9nsc). With an interesting, late-Johnny Cash-esque sound shown in his track ‘The Preacher’, he could be one to watch in 2012.