The Tinstars, The Combination That Rocks The Nation

The Tinstars started a long time ago as a fanatic duo consisting of Peter Kraayeveld on upright bass and ex-Lonhorn Trio Rick de Bruijn on guitar and vocals. This was a real 'street- band' which performed on the streets of Utrecht. After a while they met a very young and promising guitarist by the name of Tjarko Jeen, who was the perfect musician to join the others in order to form a real band. What had originally started as a joke, grew out to be an excellent, leading and trendsetting band with a great classic sound. After practising intensively for a year they got their first few gigs and The Tin Star Trio was born. During their periode as The Tin Star Trio the band mainly played hillbilly and primitive rockabilly. The funny thing about this trio was that they often played with more then three members, for on many occasions they where joined by additional members, like a drummer, a washboard player or an extra guitarist (like the Hillbilly Boogiemen's Arnold Lasseur). With the arrival of full time drummer Yves Vaillant, their style quickly moved on towards a wild and woollier brand of rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. The Tinstars curent line-up (2010):

Rick De Bruijn - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Dusty Ciggaar - Lead Guitar
André Hanselman - Upright Bass
Ron Smit - Drums

Like in the old days they are still often joined by additional guest musicians like Rudi "Satchmo" Jansen on trumpet (to do a great set of Sonny Burgess songs), Ex-Chevy Cats and Barnstompers Hans Ettema on piano, a saxophone player or a steelguitarist. Also being a fully fledged quartet now, the old name The Tin Star Trio didn't really seem appropriate anymore.The album "Just Before All Hell Breaks Loose", still released as The Tin Star Trio on Rockhouse Records, marked the end of a period as The Tin Star Trio in more than just one way. In 1990 their name was changend to The Tinstars and with that change of name, their style, sound and repetoire also developed towards a more authentic sound. This is also the period in which The Tinstars evolved into the musical direction they are now best known for.

The music of the band today is a very interesting mix of authentic rockabilly. white-rock, pre-surf instrumentals, black rock and roll, blues and a bit of hillbilly. Their most important influences are the recordings made for the legendary Sun label (Sonny Burgess, Jimmy Wages and Carl Perkins) and all the great many rare records released on all the obscure little record labels all across the United States and now to be found on labels like White Label, Bison Bop and Flame. In their repetoire you can find songs from the likes of Junior Thompson, Carl Perkins, Narvel Felts, Larry Donn, Warren Smith, Roy Orbison, Dale Hawkins, The Berry Brothers, Billy Prager, but also a lot of the lesser known material.

Since the first period starting around 1988 and onwards, the band has had an average of around 50 gigs a year including a great many succesful shows abroad (about 50 times) in England, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. The band has also appeared at many of the famous and renowned festivals such as the Rockhouse International Rock 'n' Roll Meeting (on several occasions). Sunjay's Rock 'n' Roll Meeting ( Sweden), D-day (the festival in and around the famous Cruise Inn in Amsterdam), Hemsby Rock 'n' Roll Weekender (England) and in many international clubs. The band has shared the bill with many of the well known British bands like Polecats, Blue Cats, Big Joe Louis, Deltas, Blue Rhythm Boys, Crazy Cavan, Sureshots, Freddie 'Fingers' Lee and American acts such as Big Sandy, The Cramps, Reverend Horton Heat, High Noon, Dave and Deke Combo, Planet Rockers and Robert Gordon. They also played with many of the original 50's artists as well; Gene Simmons, Sonny Burgess, Hayden Thompson, Sleepy LaBeef, Johnny Carroll, Rudy Grayzell, Joe Clay, DJ Fontana, Ronnie Dawson, Al Ferrier, Billy Lee Riley, Ray Campi and Dale Hawkins, whom they have all backed up as well. They also recorded with many of these rockabilly originators.

The various (ex-)members of The Tinstars have also occasionally played in foreign bands like The Planet Rockers, Wildfire Willie, Phil Trigwell, Riley McOwen, Ronnie Dawson and The Brewsters. Besides all this work some band members have also been part of other Dutch bands like Jess, Jill and the Sinners and The Bugaloos. All this success with The Tinstars resulted in lots of media attention and 4 or 5 TV-appearances.

The essential and unique character of this band is that they play both obscure as well as their own material in a fabulous way and with a difference, e.g. through changes in the tempo, a diference in the breaks or an extra chorus. Besides this, the band has always been a very wild band, who combined with their spontaneity and energy in a perfect way with great rockabilly and a wild stage act, which really pleased and entertained the audience.

Contact Information:
The Tinstars
t.a.v. Rick de Bruijn
Duinweg 13A
2202 RB Noordwijk Z-H
The Netherlands