Road Agents Show - One Hell Of A Party!

Posted July 21, 2002 - by Larry Shell -
           Its been a bad year for me, I wasn't able to afford to go to Vegas or Green Bay, but I was able to make it to one day of the Third Annual Road Agents show, on July 20th, in Connecticut and had one hell of a time!!! I was only able to make it there on Sunday and had an absolute blast!!
           Driving there was hell, the road I took in Jersey had a couple of construction delays and a 2-/2 hour drive took 4 hours. Oy!! Worst part was missing The Stumbleweeds as they were on their last number when I walked in. Sorry I missed them!
           It was a great set-up, a huge barn-like concrete pavilion behind the Elk's Lodge with long picnic tables and benches and the stage at one end. Big pasture surrounded it with an awesome array of chrome and steel on display.
           Most of the usual suspects were in attendance and I was able to meet a few list members I hadn't met before which was a pleasure. Even saw a friend from Washington state who was there!!! Certain folks were quite well lubricated by the time I arrived.
           The band line-up was incredible, aside from the aforementioned STUMBLEWEEDS from Massachusetts, second on the bill was the lovely SOPHIA WOLF AND HER CUBS all the way from Montreal. The band looked snappy in their western wear and need I add Miss Wolf looked grrrreat in her white fringe dress. I'd never met Sophia before this weekend but have been familiar with her from her dance classes and support of the RAB scene, I never knew she could sing or was putting a band together until I saw her listed on the flyer for this show, and what a show she and her Cubs put on. With a full western swing band including fiddle and steel, they knocked everyone's socks off in their American debut. I look forward to seeing them again soon!!
           Third up was the wild and wonderful WILDFIRE WILLIE from Sweden, one of the absolute highlights of the day. I had the privilege of seeing them on July 4th at the Rodeo Bar in NYC and they put on a kick-ass show which left me awe-struck. They might have topped themselves with this performance. It even got me, the great stone-face to smile widely, I was grinning from ear to ear! One of the best bands in the entire universe and JJ has to be one of my favorite guitarists!!! Truly out of this world!! They knock me out every time!!
           And speaking of knock-outs, fourth up was the rockabilly blonde bombshell, JOSIE KREUZER! I hadn’t seen her live for a few years and she was better than ever. With a smokin’ band boasting a couple of Australian imports on lead guitar and doghouse bass respectively, Josie and the boys rocked the joint with her large catalog of originals and a few choice covers including Clarence "Frogman" Henry's "Ain't Got A Home" and my personal fave, The Blasters "Red Rose." I love her rendition of that. I finally got a meet Josie after her set for the first time in person after numerous emails, and she's as nice in person as she looks, a real sweetheart who can rock with the best of them!!
           Saving the best for last, the fifth act of the day was the one, the only – THE PALADINS!! One of my personal top five acts of all time, this was only the second time I've seen them live despite my spreading their gospel for as long as they've been performing. Seeing them in person is akin to having died and gone to heaven!! Dave G and the boys banged out rockabilly, country and blues in the inimitable Paladins style to the delight of the crowd. In the middle of the set, they called up a special guest from the Netherlands, Annita of the Haystack Hitones. I'm not sure if she’s still with them or not, to do a few numbers. Wow! She was one hot mama in a leopard-skin dress!! A real added treat to the day. Annita did 4 numbers with the band including Wanda Jackson's "Mean Mean Man" and the R&B ballad, Rod Bernard's "This Could Go On Forever." For the latter, The Paladins called up a friend named George who was a killer harmonica player and he added some hot blues licks to the song as well as their next couple numbers which included the boffo "Let's Buzz," off of one of their 2 Alligator Records albums. Another killer performance by this amazing West Coast band who does not come up our way enough!!
           DJ Boppin’ Vic's HIGHTONE Record Hop kept the music flowing between acts with a guest appearance by DJ Katsu who spun some pretty cool sides.
           I'd like to congratulate Chris Marquis and all the Road Agents for one truly amazing show. I was high on rockabilly music when I left! This was the first time I made it there and it certainly won't be the last!!
Larry Shell
The Jersey Wildcat
© 2002 Larry Shell, Reprinting without permission in any publication or website with written permission is verboten and not nice.

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