The life and sounds of the new millenium come crashing into those of the fifties in the songs of this modern rockabilly trio. Coming from a state known for it's tie-dyed bands, Colorado's Hillbilly Hellcats tell stories of skateboards and hippies, as well as white trash, whiskey and trailer parks. Both of the bands CD releases have received extensive college airplay, charting for weeks in the College Music Journal's lists. The disks both feature the guest drumming of Taz Bentley, known for his playing on the first three Reverend Horton Heat albums.
Take one part Reverend Horton Heat, one part Southern Culture on the Skids, one part Stray Cats, one part Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps and one part Dick Dale, put it all in a tall dirty glass and add a few shots of Everclear, then swallow The Hillbilly Hellcats if you dare. The Hellcats' chops and energy levels rival - and in some cases best - the sum of their influences.
Where the majority of rockabilly acts are simply nostalgia merchants, The Hillbilly Hellcats, fronted by Chuck Hughes, do something more: they write songs that use vintage elements to touch on contemporary topics. Better yet, the combo's awesome riffing and pedal-to-the-metal rhythm section inspire rockers and swingers alike to shake their tail feathers.
Guitarist Chuck Hughes and bassist Lance Romance formed the band in 1994, after previously playing rockabilly standards together. They also write all of the band's material. Building on these influences, along with all the other music that has come since the rockabilly heyday of the 50's, the band has created a sound that is a "well rounded mix of rockabilly, swing, bluegrass and a bit of punk".