RockabillyView – Rockin’ Wranglers

RockabillyView Chris Murphy’s note:

We have had a very exciting year here in Modesto now that we have taken our place as the birthplace of Rockabilly and celebrated the legendary Don Maddox of the Maddox Brothers and Rose. Now we move ahead to actually become a global home base for Rockabilly music. Rockin’ Rick Tores is one of the fireballs of the new Rockabilly generation. Not only is he local, he is taking Rockabilly to the next level with his Hi Ho Silver Records that will soon be moving to Modesto and touring all over the USA and spreading the Rockabilly gospel. Modesto is so lucky to have people like this in our community and our own Rockabilly Princess Jennifer Allsup caught up with Rockin’ Rick Tores.

Rockabilly Rockin Wranglers By Jennifer Allsup

ModestoView: When did you find your comfortable place in the Rockabilly Scene? Rockin’ Rick Torres: I don’t feel that I set out to find comfort in the rockabilly scene. I have always been influenced by 50’s rock’n roll. Every thing from my childhood from 50’s diners, to films, my moms’ obsession with Elvis and the Beatles and my dad always listening to classic rock and some cool stuff like Commander Cody. The very first show I went to as a kid was a festival known as Strawberry Festival that was the year LaBamba was filmed and Los Lobos was there playing all of Ritchie Valens Hits. I think that and watching LaBamba and the Buddy Holly story over and over again really influenced me. As a teen I was into Punk but still liked the primitive sounds of 50’s rock roll. I always wanted a band, and at the time all our friends were playing in punk bands. I didn’t jump on to playing gigs until my 20’s and all I wanted to play was Rockabilly and Rock’n Roll, basically hepcat music. Now when we started I hadn’t found our sound and were going under a name like Frankenstein 59 at the time. We would get booked with psychobilly bands which I love, but when it came time for us to play we didn’t sound traditional or psycho more neo. We changed the name of the band the rest is history. This is our best line up yet.

MV: What do you see happening with Hi-Ho Silver Records in 2014? Do you have new artists that are waiting to hit the scene?

RT: Hi Ho Silver records has many new and exciting things happening in 2014! We have decided to pack up the family and studio, and are relocating to the city of Modesto in December of this year. We have new artists signed to our label, and plan on focusing on putting out these new and old acts on 45’s and CDs. So far we have been focusing on the booking and finding new acts and producing songs that have been featured on the Viva Las Vegas compilations. It is time to record our current acts. Once again, we (Rhythm Wranglers, Geronimo and the Skalpers) will be booked on one of the largest rockabilly show in the world, Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend #17. We are scheduling a tour through California and Nevada during April 11-21 in 2014 with special guests Dale Rocka and the Volcanos. The Volcanoes are very excited for their first trip to the US visiting all the way from Italy, ending our tour with us in VLV 17. We will also will be having the legendary Roddy Jackson (of the Merced Blue Notes/Kent Whitt & the Downbeats) touring overseas and stopping off at several locations throughout Europe and the United States

And we will also have Roddy and Jailbreak playing a killer event in Texas the very first annual Viva La Grasa with a whole bunch of other great act from some of the other Record Labels that are hot such as Wild Records & Rhythm Bomb Records.

MV: What has been your biggest accomplishment and biggest failure as an artist and company owner?

RT: I would have to say my biggest accomplishment would being able to find talent in people now mind you I’m not doing any thing special, just pointing out to the person or band their hidden talents that they need to focus on or little hooks that can benefit their sound but also not losing their original vision. My biggest failure would have to be losing time with my family due to touring but thank goodness they are very supportive. MV: How has your recording process evolved over the years? RT: Now when it comes to the recording process, we have pretty much have stayed the same with recording live in one room with the band being mic’d. The main thing that has changed is location over the years. When we started we only had a few bands and were recording out of a small garage we called the dungeon due to it being so small dark and under our home at the time. When I recorded the Midnight Trio’s recordings they had driven all the way from Visalia and the whole garage was flooding. So you could imagine how nerve racking that was. You have a vintage drum set submerged in water and a bunch of electrical equipment plugged in. I wasn’t sure if some one was going get bbq’d. Those recordings to this day happen to be some of the best stuff I’ve recorded.

MV: Best advice for younger generation?

RT: Now advice for younger gen is to just keep at it . You will have tuff days and some rough non paying shows but truly that is not what it’s about it’s that feeling of satisfactory that is felt down the road that I have created this music for people to enjoy . It’s the one of the best things that ever happen to me .

MV: Your first vinyl influences?

RT: I think the first LP and 45s I owned were hand-me-downs, every thing from Kiss, Stray Cats, Misfits, The Boss, Billy Idol, Cramps, Bowie. Honestly I think every thing in its own way is inspiration.

We are also going have a killer Christmas show on the 22nd of December we are planning on having several of the new and old acts to play for this event and are trying to raise money for toy drive You will see acts such as Geronimo & the Skalpers ,Darlin’ Clementine, RRRW, Jailbreak, The Thirsty Three, Miss Michelle, and special guest Betty Ann & the Lonesome Three & DJ Savage Salvador !!!!

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