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Big-T & the Bada-Bings


The Rumblejetts
Dry County

Once in awhile, you discover a band that hasn't yet realised its full potential. The group is understated in its presentation to the point of being self-deprecating: They don't do a lot of promotion, their CD artwork is minimal, and they don't have a flashy Website. What they do have, however, is clever lyrics and interesting subject matter. It's not all original material, but it's good. If you're smart, you admire those qualities and keep that band on your radar.

Such was my experience with the album Dry County by The Rumblejetts. This is solid Rockabilly. This is competent Rockabilly. The band plays its instruments well, and singer Matt Riggs has a pleasant voice that does not overreach itself or try to sound like someone else. If only they knew what they have going for them.

The Rumblejetts avoid a one-note lyrical approach by making use of different songwriters (Greg Suss, Roger Miller, and John Mangiagli are credited on the liner notes). Among the standout numbers is the hard-driving country/rock "Love Is Not For Me", which, along with "Rock N' Roll Guitars", captures the spirit and energy of early rock music. The ballads are also excellent, but it's the giggle-inspiring tracks, including "Polyester Pants" and "Big Bouffant", that bring true delight. Surf guitar fans will also appreciate "Albino Surfer", which boasts a riff worthy of The Ventures.

Dry County captures the sense of cultural reverence that the best Rockabilly songs share, and great guitar arrangements make this album a real pleasure for music lovers. The fact that the band is so competent in its presentation makes you want them to be a little more daring. There's a lot of skill here, the songs are good, and they could be even better. With stronger original material, The Rumblejetts would truly be a force to be reckoned with.

—Frankie Hagan

Visit the band online at

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