Here are some of my favorite psychobilly bands. For those not familiar with the genre, “psychobilly” is an unlikely blend of rockabilly, punk, country, dance, goth, ska, bluegrass, glam, roots rock, surf, doo-wop, and soul. The music, fashion, and culture often incorporate an element of B horror movies.
These are “my” bands. The bands that helped shape who I am, roughly in order of how much they mean to me.
Dave Mattingly: The Musical, Part 6
- Beat Farmers / Country Dick Montana
- Known For: Happy Boy
- Memories: I frequently played Happy Boy on the air when I was covering the punk and comedy beat at WLCV. They were a perfect fit for both. They’re always fun to listen to, with a rowdy irreverent wit and charm. Country Dick Montana’s deep, deep voice could probably register on seismic detectors.
- Favorite Songs: Lakeside Trailer Park, California Kid, Are You Drinkin’ with Me Jesus, Led Zeppelin Medley, Lucille
- Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers
- Known For: CB Song
- Memories: No one can shake my shack like the shack shakers. They’re full of energy and fun, and simply must be played at full volume. Agony Wagon in particular is a fantastic pick-me-up song for long drives, or for getting out of bed.
- Favorite Songs: Agony Wagon, No Such Thing, Ichabod, Where’s the Devil When You Need Him, Shakerag Holler, Bible, Candle, and Skull
- Southern Culture on the Skids
- Known For: Camel Walk
- Memories: I once heard Southern Culture on the Skids (SCOTS) described as the trailer park B-52’s. I can get behind that. They’re independent, playful, and bizarre. At concerts, they often throw food at the audience (fried chicken during “8 Piece Box” and pudding during “Banana Puddin'”).
- Favorite Songs: Cheap Motel, 8 Piece Box, Dance for Me, Soul City
- The Cramps
- Known For: Goo Goo Muck
- Memories: The Cramps are undoubtedly the godfathers of psychobilly, even coining the term. At my publishing company, as I formatted the book pages, I saved the file as Lux Interior, in honor of the lead singer.
- Favorite Songs: The Crusher, Bikini Girls with Machine Guns, Surfing Dead (written especially for my favorite zombie movie), Can Your _____ Do the Dog?, Sheena’s in a Goth Gang
- Mojo Nixon
- Known For: Elvis is Everywhere
- Memories: As the Dead Milkmen proclaim, “If you don’t got Mojo Nixon, then your store could use some fixin’!” Mojo’s high-energy bawdy anti-establishment tunes are a blast to listen Michael J Fox got no Mojo Nixon in him.
- Favorite Songs: Debbie Gibson is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child, Stuffin’ Martha’s Muffin, (619)239-KING, Burn Down the Malls
- Runners Up: The Reverend Horton Heat, Dread Zeppelin, Kid Rock, T Rex, Guana Batz, Nekromantix, Imelda May, V V Brown