Guitarist Tony Balbinot employs an array of classic Gretsch guitars to make his band’s distinct rockabilly music.
Sure, they wear the derigueur cowboy gear and sideburns, but they treat the music seriously, as a vital branch the rock and roll family tree. And they do it without guile.
Balbinot is capable of impressive pyrotechnics, but concentrates on iconic tones – the monster echo and tons of twang that stopped so many soon-to-be rockers of the 1950s and ’60s dead in their tracks and made them blow their paper route money on the first six-stringed thing they could find. And his voice is an appealing cross between Ral Donner and Lonnie Donegan, perfectly fitting the tight little originals and pair of covers (Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown’s “Okey-Dokey Stomp” and the evergreen “Pipeline”) that make up the album.
No genre of music can be considered dead if there are people around to make it and an audience to appreciate it. With Cadillac Angels being in the former category, it’s safe to bet on the continued existence of the latter one.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Dec. ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.