|The Rumblejetts, Dry Country Rockabilly
The Rumblejetts were formed in 1998 and have stormed the backroads, alleys and roadhouses of the midwest since. Although quite comfortible playing behind a chicken wire fence, their favorite place to lay it down has been the Grand Emporium. So, who are the Rumblejetts? What is a Rumblejett? Does anyone care? It all started in the Spring of 1997 when singer / bass player, Matt Riggs, answered an ad for a rockabilly "slap bass" player in PitchWeekly. At the time guitarist, Jim Holopter, and drummer, Dan Zammar, were playing in an early incarnation of the Rumblejetts called Johnny Trash. Realizing that their sound was indeed a bit "trashy" without a bass player, they agreed to audition Matt for the part. The audition went well: Jim and Dan were impressed with Matt's ability, Matt was impressed with Jim and Dan's abilities, and all three impressed upon each other their shared musical goal: "to have fun and play danceable music". No one did an impression of Jimmy Stuart.
A few months into playing together, the band's original singer left, and Matt took over the role of lead vocalist. In the meantime, the band had renamed itself after their Bonanza heroes, the Cartwrights. The band practiced regularly, honing their eclectic rockabilly sounds and expanding their repertoire. Their rehearsal space was a broken down brick building at 55th & Paseo. During their time there, they underwent diversity sensitivity training, enjoyed peaceful relations with the mafia, and consumed lots of plain white toast and foot-long Polish sausages. These experiences, especially the white toast, influenced their sound to an almost negligible degree.
A year or so went by and the band enjoyed success everywhere they played. Gradually their fan base got so big that it more than violated fire codes at Finn's Waldo Bar, a frequent Rumblejett haunt. By 1999, the winds of change blew so much sand into the eyes of fate that minor changes became inevitable if not impossible. All three band members began experimenting with their hair: Jim cut his, Matt added more grease. Dan grew sidebums that ebbed and flowed with the tides. The old practice space, buckling under the shear tonnage of crap thrown on its roof by the band, had to be abandoned for a more cramped yet completely moldy room in Matt's basement.
Inspired by the cheap paneling that surrounded them on all sides, the band began writing original material at the furious pace of a new song every three months. Finally, in the winter of 2001 the boys recorded their first CD, entitled "Dry County", (produced by Steve Phillips of the Rainmakers). Since its official release in May 2001, it has received frequent airplay on national KCRL 1620 (Doublewide Hayride Show) San Diego and local radio station KKFI 90.l (Rockabilly Mood Swing) Kansas City, and has been snatched up by fan after fan at their live shows. Speaking of live shows, The Rumblejetts have played thru out the Midwest and have opened for Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys, Amazin Crowns, Ronnie Dawson, Cave Catt Sammy, Deke Dickerson, Dwight Yoakham and Lee Ann Womack.
The Rumblejett's repertoire runs the gamut from blues and country to swing, but their sound is 100% raucous rockabilly and 110% danceable. With Dan as the "noisy one", Jim as the "motivational one" and Matt as "the finicky one" the band's chemistry is something that can't be denied or disproved. We encourage you to give them a try. You'll like the way they sound, they guarantee it! Catch the Rumblejetts this spring 2003 at Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender, April 18th at the Gold Coast Casino.
Update 2004: Jim Holopter,the founding member, has two new cats joining the Rumblejetts. Pedro Mora (vocals and standup bass) and Jeff Holt on the Drums. Also the Rumblejetts over the summer played at Sun Studios 50th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll block party and going into Sun Studios to record all new material for January 2005 release.
The Rumblejetts have hit the scene with reborn energy and are spreading the rockabilly gospel with the release of their all new CD "Four Play". They are currently storming the backroads, alleys and roadhouses of the midwest and may soon be found on your doorstep with upcoming gigs in your neck of the woods.
The Rumblejetts are:
Information & bookings:
Courtesy of Jim Holopter, 2003-2004