Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys: Big Sandy (vocals, acoustic guitar); Ashley Kingman (guitar); Lee Jeffriess (steel guitar); Wally Hersom (bass fiddle); Bobby Trimble (drums).
Additional personnel: Brantley Kearns (fiddle); Carl "Sonny" Leyland (piano).
All songs written by Robert Williams except "Let Me In There, Baby" (A. Copeland/H. Dickenson), "Why Do You Have To Torture Me?" (W. Hersom), "Murphy's Law" (Lee Jeffriess) and "A Healer Like Time" (H. Cochran).
Personnel: Big Sandy (vocals, acoustic guitar); Ashley Kingman (guitar); Lee Jeffriess (steel guitar); Brantley Kearns (fiddle); Wally Hersom (bass flute); Carl Leyland (piano); Bobby Trimble (drums).
The follow-up to a strong 1994 debut, Swingin' West continues the Western swing and rockin' hillbilly assault that first endeared the California-based Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys to fans and critics alike. While many rockabilly outfits derive their sound primarily from artists from the 1950s, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys are a more accurate take on the style, venturing back into the '30 and '40s to tap the influences for legends such as Elvis Presley and Gene Vincent. With the lead guitar/steel guitar combination of Ashley Kingman and Lee Jeffriess -- both originally out of Britain's rockabilly scene -- the five-piece band is fully empowered to explore Western swing, jump blues, and hillbilly boogie, while still injecting originality to make the sound unique. Big Sandy (aka Robert Williams) possesses a big rich, molasses-coated voice that is engaging throughout this 15-song set. Produced once again by Dave "Everything-I-Touch-Turns-into-Musical-Gold" Alvin, Swingin' West captures the energy of the band's live show intact. Highlights include the Latin-influenced rhythms of "Hey Muchachita" and the vintage dancehall-like call-and-response vocalizing on "We Tried to Tell You." ~ Jack Leaver