DAVE DEL MONTE & THE CROSS COUNTY BOYS - SLAP HAPPY.
Released –4TH March 2023 on all streaming platforms. 16th March 2023. CD and downloads can be purchased at https://davedelmontethecrosscountyboys.bandcamp.com/... Reviewed 6th March 2023, Rockin Rebel. Dave Del Monte and the cross-country boys from Connecticut-United States, Slaphappy was recorded at New Milford, CT at the Casa De Pollo Studios. Produced by Wendy & Dave Del Monte. Cover artwork by Allyne Del Monte. The band play Rockabilly with a hint of hillbilly. Members Dave Del Monte – all instruments and vocals Crash Gordon - Guest Guitarist Formed way back in 2004, Dave as found recognition from artist and DJs from around the world, all excited to hear a new release and played widely on the air waves. Dave has been getting this album together since 2019. Writing and building a selection covers and self-penned tracks for our listening pleasure. It’s interesting to note that Mr Del Monte plays all the instruments, mixers them himself. He does however have a guest guitarist by the name of Crash Gordon featuring on two tracks of the album. Dave has been playing guitar and many instruments from a very early age and was inspired by many great artists like Elvis, Charlie Feathers & Link Wray. This is the third cd release for the band which are, Follically Impaired (2005) and Cross the Line (2008) Family play a big part in the del monte music scene as you can see both wife and daughter play their part in making this a successful album. Most of Dave’s tracks have a story behind them, So please join me and get Slaphappy with the Del Montes.
Track by track. Road Ragin’ Mama The story of a woman and her rage on being cut up by another vehicle whilst driving across town, easy their road Ragin ‘mama said Dave. And that set the road to this track. Crash Gordon leads the way on the guitar for this number with its rockabilly beat filled by Dave himself.
Bald Headed Daddy (Chambers) The first of the covers from Mr del monte. Recorded in 2019 at Casa De Pollo Studios. Dave always liked this track and buts his own stamp on this hillbilly track from Les Chambers. The slab bass strums along with the guitar. Vocals sound like they are coming from that old Mississippi home front porch.
One Dark Day. (Rager) Fantastic reworking of an old Halloween poem by Tyler Rager. It’s a great rockin version which will serve well at any rockin Halloween events. Dave plays twanging guitar licks to drum and bass backing. I feel sure this track was released a few years back on a streaming site.
Sit down Comedian. The writing skill of Dave comes from any situation. This one tells the story of him being banned at home for telling too many jokes. I'm surprised you did not make a song of them, said the family, so he did. You can hear the voice of a long-lost honky tonk Simpson family member in the vocals to an upbeat rockabilly backing. Some great lyrics in this one.
Sloppy Jalopy Brand new Cadillac, Hot Rod Lincoln and Maybelline are all famous car songs. This track tells the story of a car we have all had in the past before collecting the classic. Some nice slapping of the bass twinned with the guitar riffs. Dave gives a good rockin vocal that binds the track together.
Well A great tribute song to all the rockabilly tunes that kick off with the word “Well”. Or influenced in using the term, Great rockin track with some great slap bass keeping the rhythm alongside the drums. Crash Gordon makes his second appearance on the guitar lead.
The Cow Jumped Over the Moon. Taking the Islay brothers classic do wop version from 1957 on the teenage record company. Dave takes this version to the next level with some good rock n roll guitar and slap bass. Vocally Dave is in great form. This is no longer a nursery rhyme.
You May Be Cool. Taking the legends of rock n roll and using them in what’s now a famous meme saying. Once again Dave takes a subject and transforms into a cool rockabilly track. Great music backing some good vocals.
My Heart is in the Gutter. Combine Jethro with Homer Simpson and you get the vocal tone of this track based on the good old game of Bowling. Nice guitar and slapping of the bass to this hillbilly style track. I still have to admire the writing capabilities of Dave.
Coffee Baby A reworking of the classic Buddy Phillips and the Rockin Ramblers track from 1956. Dave transforms this from a Rockabilly classic into modern day rockabilly classic. Dave's vocals are strong and moody on this track. The backing is virtually identical but new technology. Brings it to a modern sound. Good little track.
Barn Doors Open. A good rockin tempo for this track that appeals to men to check that their zips are zipped, and Dave believes he writes about what he knows. The guitar sounds great on this track vocals are nice and clear with that rockabilly sound coming through the speakers.
You’re Barking up the Wrong Tree A favourite track of many rockabilly fans, and it's also one of Dave’s. He tells how he enjoys playing this track live and decided he should record it himself. And I’m glad he did, it’s a cracking version of the 1957 hit by Don Woody who co-wrote the track with Paul Simmons. Leaving the piano out on the intro and just using the guitar forces this track into the 21st century. Really good cover and its modern touch.
Great Googa Mooga Another old track that has been revamped into a rockabilly style song. And it’s a track I’ve never heard of. And before you ask, I also wanted to know what it means, “Expression of surprise or exasperation. Simi Expression of surprise or exasperation. Like "Goodness gracious." Never a popular saying but was used sparsely in the 1950's and 1960's. This version was a copy of the Lee Dorsey which Dave heard way back in the sixties. Which he says sounded like a New Orleans soul feel to it. But now it’s a modern-day rockabilly track.
My Baby Loves to Cook. A great track for the strollers out there. Using his writing skills again Dave produces a track about his lack of ability to cook a meal but really enjoys the love of his life culinary skills with the pots and pans. The intro reminds me of the classic Aint That Lovin You Baby by Elvis with its distinctive guitar lick. But realistically it’s a nod to the great Jack Scott.
I Can’t Stop Buying Records It's an addiction many of us have. Rockin little track giving a story to record collectors worldwide all to the sound of the upright bass and swinging guitar. Great lyrics and you can hear the passion of this record collector.
Sing by the window. Mid paced tempo track that was inspired by the Bakersfield sound explains Dave and the humorous comments that have come out whilst performing like, Stand By the Widow, i will help you out. This is a great track filled with some great lyrics. Nice little jive number as well.
Hunger Bunger. During the pandemic many things have inspired artists to write brand new songs, songs of love, missing loved ones, even songs to pets: Dave picks up on the fight to buy toilet roll! This track was written in fifteen minutes and I don’t want to think where he was when writing it. It is a classy little rocker and I'm happy to say not a stinker.
Summary When we buy a rockabilly cd we can never really tell what kind of songs you are going to hear. With Dave Del Monte you know exactly what you’re going to get. Songs that life teaches us. His capability to write such great lyrics is formidable. The feeling of pride and joy in his vocals shines out of the album which I believe helps him to continue writing. Dave is played worldwide on the radio and I can feel it in my hunger bunger that he is going to hit the real big time soon. He already has plans for future releases later in the year and shows, events and guest appearances with acts like the Memphis Morticians, Slick Tones and Lara Hope. So, he is already in good company.
Recommendation This album brings nothing but joy, with its catchy lyrics and its rockabilly- hillbilly sound. Have a break, have a Del Monte.