Friday, 4 November 2011

Rockabilly metal

Unless you have been living in a cave most of your life you will know who Elvis and Johnny Cash are and most likely will indulge in a little old-fashioned rock n roll from time to time. But the genre the genre that the above legends made their names in is not half as popular as it used to
be. It would appear that rockabilly has died at the hands of genres like drum and bass.

(From Myspace)

Rockabilly by definition is a type of music which combines both elements of rock n roll and country music - originating in the South-eastern United States in the 1950’s.

But there are modern bands out there putting their own twist on the classic genre and in turn creating whole new music genres.

“Rockabilly metal” combines heavy metal with rockabilly to create a fusion perfect for head banging to whilst wearing a polka dot swing dress. For me it is the perfect way for rockabilly to evolve in the 21st century.

I was completely unaware of this genre until I was researching some of the bands that were playing Download Festival 2010 and came across Volbeat – a Danish rock band who draw their inspiration from classic rock n roll, heavy metal and rockabilly.

(Photo by: Victoria McEwan)

In listening to Volbeat you would expect the band to be from
the deep South of America due to how authentic they sound and not Denmark. Think Johnny Cash with a side of metal and you get Volbeat.

Notable tracks are ‘Sad mans tongue’ which is a tribute to Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’, ‘Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blues’ and their cover of the classic rock n roll song ‘I only wanna be with you’. There is a clear country influence in Volbeats music so even if you’re not so much into metal but enjoy country then I feel you will enjoy at least a handful of the tracks.

If you prefer something more along the lines of chart music then you will prefer the ‘Baseballs’ -
they take modern hits and reinvent them into classic rock n roll tunes. My personal favourites are their renditions of “Love in the club” and “hot and cold”.

What makes them even more intriguing for me is that their style remains in line with classic rockabilly both musically and in regards to personal styling.

(Photo from:

There are plenty of other modern rockabilly bands out there which will appeal to different tastes of music but what all have in common is that they build upon classic rockabilly – one of the founding genres of music.

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