Rockabilly isn’t a novelty, it’s a historical marker of the roots of rock ‘n’ roll, and fortunately, there are several acts carrying on the message.
Bloodshot Bill, whose real name remains a mystery, is a Canadian who’s created one of the most unique rockabilly acts you’ll ever see.
Rooted in the classic style of early rock, Bloodshot’s solo act would fool a blind man into thinking it was five people. Sitting down with his Kay guitar, Bloodshot bangs away at a bass drum and hi-hat cymbal with his feet while howling the lyrics like a madman.
“When I was young, a good friend of mine had a brother that had records and I had a cousin that played in a rockabilly band,” Bloodshot said. “They all thought it was cool. That’s it. I just thought it was cool.”
His unique vocal approach is the most startling and attention-grabbing part of the act. It’s so primal, it’s hard not to get sucked in.
When pressed about the origins of his particular style of vocals, Bloodshot said, “I don’t know. It’s just from doing it. I just do it and hopefully it sounds good.”
Bloodshot is coming to Savannah for the first time, this time with a band. Since 2011, Bloodshot has been hitting his Southern neighbors up as much as possible on mini tours.
Bloodshot said he wasn’t sure what the set list will look like for The Jinx performance. He admitted some old stuff will probably be on there, along with some material from a new, unreleased album.
He doesn’t limit himself to the single solo project, playing in a plethora of different types of rock ‘n’ roll bands. In the latest installment of about 30 releases, Bloodshot teamed up with Mark Sultan as The Ding-Dongs for a second time to release 2013’s “Rang Tang Ding Dong.”
Jesse Ray Carter pulls from the same roots as Bloodshot Bill, but ventures more into the muddy blues, and would probably be accented best by a PBR in one hand a cigarette in the other.
Out of Roanoke, Va., Carter’s rough vibrato is reminiscent of the Delta blues, while his Texas boogie guitar and a roaring harp all melt into a conglomerate of lowdown dirty rockabilly.
Thankfully, it’s these types of acts that carry on the soul of rock ‘n’ roll. Treat yourself, Savannah, to a night of old-time music.