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Crossroads - Mr.Black & the 5000 Cadillacs

Released in 2023 0n Wreckin' Bones Records – WBR042. Reviewed September 2023

The band are from Riihimäki, Finland and consist of Maukka Taipale, guitar and backing vocals, Vesa Manty, lead vocals and bass, Toni Reunanen, drums and backing vocals. The extra piano on “If I Had Me A Woman” is played by Petri Lapintie.

There are a limited hand numbered edition of 200 copies on black vinyl. Includes an insert sheet with lyrics on one side and a image on the other side Eight of the thirteen tracks are originals written by “Mr Black”, with Mac Curtis and Carl Perkins providing two tracks each and “Polecat Hollow” having been written by Jimmie Click. The album was recorded between October 2022 and January 2023 at Headquarters “Karhi32”. It was produced, mixed and mastered by Jani Koskela.

Review: 01 Blame On Me – Straight with a high energy rockabilly track. Driving guitar and solid slap bass back the vocals with attitude and wild guitar breaks.

02 Polecat Hollow – Originally recorded by the writer, Jimmie Click and issued in 1966 on the Hi-Q label in the USA as a mid tempo country bopper. This is much more in the neo-rockabilly style although not as frantic as some tracks here.

03 Gets 2 Much – A driving guitar riff fades in before the vocals and keeps going throughout the song.

04 Travellin' Soul – A high tempo bopper, great energy from the band. A touch of the Stray Cats in there somewhere!

05 Dark Clouds – A moody stroller, a chance to catch your breath before the next track. At over five minutes long it’s one the longest tracks on the album.

06 If I Had Me A Woman – Originally recorded by one of the Rockabilly Kings, Mac Curtis. This version really rocks and the piano fits in well with the wild guitar, screams and sheer energy of the band.

07 Sidetrack Mama – This has more of a vintage rockabilly feel to it with some classy guitar work. My favourite track.

08 Crossroads – More up-tempo driving guitar, another fast rocker. It’s 100 mile an hour stuff although they do slow down after three minutes before the climax.

09 Honey Don't – Another track from a rockabilly hero, this time it’s Carl Parkins who wrote and first recorded the song. The vocal has more aggression than Carl’s but it is a fine cover.

10 Narcissist – Back to original material, another up-tempo bopper as typical of the neo-rockabilly style.

11 Wish – A mid-tempo track that is over five minutes long. Nice guitar work throughout.

12 Right String Baby – A frantic version of the classic by Carl Perkins. These boys don’t take prisoners. Great slap bass, wild guitar along with wild vocals, whistles and screams.

13 Sideburns – A fast moving track to bring the album to a close.

Summary and recommendation. I know this was originally planned as a limited release but I have a feeling the band may revisit that decision as I think it will be a sought after album by all fans of neo rockabilly. If you like it fast, hard and frantic at times, this album is for you. Some amazing playing, singing and it’s well produced too.

A live version of Polecat Hollow on YouTube -

Jailhouse John Alexander, September 2023.

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