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The Psychobilly Homepage January 19, 2019, 5:07 pm
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The Belmont playboys

The Belmont playboys


Mike Hendrix: guitar, voice
Mark Griffith: Bass
Chipps Baker: Saxophone, guitar, voice:
Mark Painter: Drums


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The Belmont Playboys got their start in late 1999. Originally founded as a rockabilly/surf/blues cover band by Jake Berger and Mike Hendrix (rounding out the original lineup was Jeff Hendrix/bass, Mark Painter/drums, and Chipps Baker/guitar-sax-vocals), the Playboys began early on to develop a more unique signature style. The band enjoyed great local success almost immediately, cemented by their performance at a wrap party for the movie "Days Of Thunder" which was covered extensively by the local press and which was attended by Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Dennis Quaid, and living legends Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, June Carter, and Jessi Colter. Berger left the band in '92 and the band began touring the Southeast in earnest.

They hired a new manager to help with booking and promotion and began to build a large following in larger cities throughout the Southeast. They made their first New York City appearance in '92 as well, at the now-razed Delta 88 on 8th Avenue. A one-month stand of Monday night shows was offered by Delta 88 for December of that year, and the band accepted. The third show was attended by New York Times music writer Karen Shoemer, who wrote a glowing review of the band which appeared on the front page of the Times' Arts and Entertainment section. The following Monday's show was sold out, and the band began to develop a large New York City following as a result.

The BP's first swing out to the West Coast followed a year later, and the band released the first of two CD's on Teen Rebel Records as well. In '95 the BP's played England's famous Hemsby Rock and Roll Weekender to a very enthusiastic reception. The sound continued to develop too, as more original material replaced many of the covers in the band's set. The new sound was rawer and more aggressive, reflecting the influence of the punk rock of the late 70's and early 80's on the individual members. The band retained the rhythm, sense of fun, and sheer wildness of early rockabilly, while updating it with the high energy and no-frills presentation of bands like the Ramones.

The band's national and international reputation continued to grow, and they landed support-act tour slots with nationally-known acts like Wanda Jackson, Hepcat, Royal Crown Revue, and The Paladins. Opening for acts like Social Distortion, Brian Setzer, Carl Perkins, Little Richard, Joe Clay, and many others allowed the band to rub elbows with some of their long-time heroes. Two trips to Finland and a recent jaunt to the Netherlands helped to spread the word to Europe, and the band hopes to do a lot more touring there in the near future. The band has restricted its US touring schedule for the last year and has not released a new recording since 1999's "One Nite Of Sin" on Deep South Records, a live disc recorded in Atlanta and engineered, mixed, and mastered by board-meister Rodney Mills, who has also worked with everyone from Atlanta Rhythm Section to Pearl Jam. The band plans to begin work on a new recording soon and also hopes to resume a more active touring schedule in support of the new disc.

Belmont playboys - Warm soft and wild (MP3)


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