THE ROCKY ROAD RAMBLERS
Jonny and Lynnette have become a winning formula on the country music scene since they combined their solo careers to become a duo back in 2009 and since then have never looked back winning both solo and duo awards.
With their passion and love for traditional country and rockabilly music The Rocky Road Ramblers were formed.
They initially got together for a one off show at Walesby's Golden Buckle festival in the summer of 2017 and from that performance one thing led to another and the band found themselves on the road heading north to the Broken Spoke festival and the rest is history.
The band members are Jonny, who takes lead and harmony vocals and adds rhythm and lead guitar work to their sound.
Next up we introduce Lynnette with her double bass named 'Maybelle'. Lynnette takes care of the slappin' and a ' pluckin' of the bass notes and also shares lead and harmony vocals.
The husband and wife team are proud to be joined by Adrian Marsh, Lynnette's younger brother, who with his slick lead guitar licks and awesome lap steel playing really brings this band to life.
Last but by no means least sitting pretty on the drums, the girl with rhythm running through her veins we introduce Jonny's daughter Sophie O'Shea.
Playing country and rockabilly music from legends such as the grandaddy himself Hank Williams and the lively BR549 they also include sweet songs from greats such as Patsy Cline and Wanda Jackson to name just a few.
In September 2018 the Rocky Road Ramblers earned themselves a nomination for 'Newcomer of the Year' at the CCN Awards which they are very proud of also their debut album 'In The Jailhouse Now' was short listed for a BCMA 'Album of the year' award that same year.
This year, 2019, the band have been short listed for the CCN Band of the Year award, the winners will be announced in September.
January 2019 saw the band head over to America to record an album at the ledgendary 'Sun Studios' in Memphis Tennessee, it was a truly amazing experience for them all. You can read all about their once in a lifetime trip at the bottom of this page.
The Rocky Road Ramblers have two albums for sale available at gigs and through this website, the first
'In The Jailhouse Now' and their brand new album 'The Sun Session'.
The band would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming response and encouragement they have received since their first performance in 2017 and can't wait to see everyone on the trail.
DATES COMING UP WITH
THE ROCKY ROAD RAMBLERS ARE...
Sun 8th CCN Awards Show, Pentney CMC, Narborough rd, Pentney, nr Kings Lynn, PE32 1JD
Sat 28th The Tavern, Brean Sands Weston Super Mare
Sun 29th Silver Spur CMC, Mexborough Athletic Club, South Yorks S64 0JL
Wed 2nd The Seagull , Brean Sands,
Weston -super -mare TA8 2RF
Thurs 3rd Sandy Glade, John Fowler Holiday Centre, Brean Sands Weston Super Mare
Sat 23rd Broken Barrel CMC, Shaw Lane S.C,
Billa Barra Lane, Markfield, Leicester
Sat 30th Wayland CMC, Queens Hall, Wotton, Norfolk
Sat 7th Merv & Maria's Christmas Party weekend,
Pontins Holiday Centre, Lowestoft.
Call Merv & Maria for detals on 01553 617546
Fri 20th Browns CMC, Treeton Community
Sun 23rd Vaqueros Holiday weekend, Scarborough (afternoon)
Fri 10th Easter Jamboree, Adamton House Hotel, Baird Rd, Prestwick, Scotland
Sat 11th Easter Stampeed country festival, Drax s&s club, YO8 8PJ
Mon 25th Golden Buckle Festival, Walesby village sports association, Forest Lane, NG22 9PF (afternoon)
Sat 13th Badger Creek CMC, Chalford S&S Club, Stroud, GL6 8LZ Gloucs
Sun 14th Nashville Sessions, The Edinburgh Arms YO10 4AE
Fri 19th Tower Fest, Drax S&S Club Y08 8PJ
Sat 20th Brecklands Festival venue T.B.C
Sat 15th Pentney CMC, Narborough Rd, Kings Lynn, PE32 1JD
Fri 28th Leisure Lakes Phoenix Rebels festival, Tarleton, Preston PR4 6JX
Sun 30th Twinwood Festival, Bedford
Tues 1st Gilleys CMC, Westgate Common WMC, Wakefield WF2 8TW
Sun 20th Freds Place CMC, Mapperley Plains S.C
Nottingham NG3 5RH
Sat 24th Gunton Hall, Warners Holiday Resort, Lowestoft, Gt Yarmouth (evening show)
Sun 25th Gunton Hall (morning show)
Fri 30th Methil Ex Servicemens Club, 282 High St, KY8 3EQ Scotland
Sun 1st Silver Spur CMC Mexborough Athletic Club, S64 0JL
Sat 21st J&L Holiday weekend, The Rendezvous Hotel, Skipoton Ring for details.
Sun 29th Lonewolf CMC, Broadbridg Heath village centre, Horsham, RH12 3LY
Thurs 31st Walesby Village Sports Association
THE ROCKY ROAD RAMBLERS AT SUN STUDIO,
JANUARY 9th 2019
The following piece is by Jonny, who originally wanted to use this as sleeve notes on the CD, but as you can see we'd have needed a 20 page booklet to fit everything in !
When I first discovered Rock’n’Roll/Rockabilly music in 1982 as a 15 year old schoolboy it grabbed me like no other music I’d ever heard before. This was a new music to me that I soon learned was called ‘rockabilly’ hitting the U.K charts, the bands with their quiffs, bright clothes and amazing sound soon took over my life, I lived and breathed this wonderful sounding music.
I soon had a firm favourite ‘The Polecats’ I played their album ‘Polecats are go’ so much I literally wore it out. Being naturally inquisitive I started digging and wanted to know more about this amazingly simple yet powerful music, it wasn’t long before I learned that the roots of this sound started out in the 1940’s and 50’s. Back in the 80’s of course there wasn’t the internet, I had to ask older people who were around in the ‘olden days’ about this music that was known as ‘rock’n’roll. It was actually my Dad that offered up names such as Bill Haley, Eddie Cochran, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. I bought a Jerry Lee Lewis and a Little Richard album from a school friend who wanted 50p for them to buy cigarettes....I found out later they were his fathers and ‘he wouldn’t mind’.
I loved Little Richard but Jerry Lee Lewis blew me away, I couldn’t get enough of him and I searched local record shops for his stuff. After buying his albums and discovering other artists such as Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Warren Smith and Elvis Presley I soon became aware that they’d all recorded at a little studio in Memphis, Tennessee called Sun Records owned by the legendary Sam Phillips.
To me this was the Mecca of Rock n Roll music, the melting pot fusing blues, country, hillbilly and gospel thus creating this amazing music....THIS was where it ALL started ! I could only envisage what it must have been like.
The studio closed down and moved to another premises on Madison Avenue in the early 60's and eventually ceased trading in 1969.
The original studio re opened in 1987 under new ownership as a museum and then started to record again.
Fast forward to May 2018 when I found out a friend of mine recorded a couple of songs there, after an email to him to ask about it he simply said ‘Jon....you’ve got to do it’.
I spoke to my daughter, our drummer first and said ‘what do you think about doing an album in Memphis at Sun studio next year ?’ She never even questioned it and said ‘absolutely ! We’ve got to do it’.
I just had to convince Lynnette who I knew would think her husband was having a mid life crisis (maybe I was) and of course we needed to speak to Adrian who took no persuading at all !
A meeting was held the next day and it was agreed we’d go in January 2019.
The studio was booked, the flights were booked, the accommodation....we were really doing this !!
The build up through 2018 was a mixture of emotions from excitement to nerves to would we actually achieve this once in a lifetime opportunity.
For me personally, although it was on my bucket list, I never thought for one minute this dream would come true, but it did.
We arrived at the studio for the last museum tour of the day at 5.30pm which was amazing,everything and more than I expected we just soaked up the history and atmosphere of the place. I couldn’t believe I was standing in the room where Elvis recorded his first songs, where Jerry Lee Lewis recorded ‘Great balls of fire’ and ‘Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on and Johnny Cash recorded Folsom Prison Blues, the list goes on.
As the other people from the tour left, the doors were locked and the engineers turned up to set the room up, the atmosphere calm,yet intense,with huge pictures of my heroes on the walls watching over me, I knew I was in safe hands.
The set up took around 90 minutes or so and we discussed arrangements, songs and chose our instruments from the vast array of acoustic and electric guitars, Lynnette used a 1940’s Kay double bass and Sophie had to make do with the drum kit left behind by Irish band U2 !
Me ? well I used Marty Stuart’s Martin D-28 that he’d donated to the studio and for one song only the studio piano that Jerry Lee Lewis used on later recordings, Adrian chose a Gibson ES225.
At 8.30pm we started our long awaited session, now all of us are no strangers to a recording studio and what happens during the recording process, but what was about to happen non of us were really prepared for, I noticed there were no headphones in sight,(for those reading this who are not familiar with recording,each musician usually has their own set of headphones so they can hear everything clearly in the mix, the singer will want to hear their vocals for pitch and delivery, the guitarist his part and so on) we didnt have any....the engineer simply said 'they didnt use them in the 50's !' so that was that !
It was pretty difficult to begin with just singing into a microphone with nothing coming out of it (the signal goes straight to the tape) we weren't sure if we were in tune, if we were playing the right notes.........I thought this isn't going to end well but after a few run throughs we settled into it and it became natural and off we went, Sophie and Adrian soon became experts at lip reading ! Midway through we had a very short break when Ples, one of the engineers returned from a quick trip with some local Memphis beers to sample then we were back at it.
By 11.40pm were were all done with 12 songs in the can.
What you will hear are all the songs we recorded that January night, there are no overdubs, no auto tune, no nothing other than what we recorded live in the studio that night.
To come full circle to the start of this story we’re very privileged to have had Boz Boorer, lead guitarist with The Polecats on board to mix the recordings when we returned home along with our good friend James Bennett who produced our last album.
We’ve included a few of the out takes,studio chat etc at the end of the CD as a bonus track, we’ve tried to bleep out most of the blue language but there may be one or two left in. Thanks for sharing the journey with us and enjoy the ride !
We hope you enjoy listening to the album which you can buy here for £8.00 including postage
AS FEATURED IN CROSS COUNTRY MAGAZINE