Six Modern Artists Doing Right by the Past –

6.) The Reverend Horton Heat

The good reverend himself, Jim Heath, and his band have been plying their trade for decades; it would be a sin to leave them off the list!  They say the Holy Ghost himself sculpted the Reverend’s hands to play a Gretsch.

5.) The Chop Tops

Can we talk about Sinner’s cardio?  Cause the man plays stand up drums and is able to sing like this.  Live recordings on YouTube make The Chop Tops sound especially terrible, so watch this video, process Sinner’s inhuman cardio and go buy Triple Deuces.

4.) Los Straitjackets

If you’re looking for a group of well-dressed gentleman from Nashville playing surf rock and wearing Mexican luchador masks, well then, look no further!

3.) Imelda May

Let’s not forget that when the Beatles infiltrated America, UK fans were more than happy to take up the torch for rockabilly, as it’s popularity in the States was already waning, and rock was already evolving into something different.  May’s voice is smooth and beautiful when she does jazz standards, but listen to the Wanda Jackson creep in on this Burnette standard:

2.) Nick 13

I already said my piece about Nick here, but wanted to include him again.  If you’re looking for a Hank Williams that’s not Hank 3, then find Nick 13.

1.) Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys

If your music catalog can simultaneously remind someone of Richie Valens and Louis Jordan, you must be doing something right.  Go buy all of Sandy’s albums.  Start with Turntable Matinee and go from there.  The music’s jump blues… it’s roots rockabilly… it’s western swing… it’s really hard to pick a song to put here to encompass his talent.

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, I think it’s this: wear more suits and respect the stand-up bass.