Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This is the sixth of 12 installments reviewing nominees in each category of Dale Watson’s 2017 Ameripolitan Music Awards. Voting is now over for this year’s batch of nominees but we will carry on with the review until the event on February 15, 2017 with a look today at this year’s Rockabilly Female nominees.
Laura Hope fronts a band named Laura Hope And The Ark-Tones from Kingston, New York. Hope’s voice is strong and sultry, equally suited for a lounge act as well as a country band. Hope delivers the goods and her band plays some great music. I would describe this music as more 50s style country, than rockabilly. Whatever you call it, call it phenomenal. Another act that takes vintage music and modernizes it so it sounds perfectly suited for today.
Bailey Dee is more akin to the rhythm and blues and smooth old timey jazz sounds than true rockabilly. This Chicago native’s smooth and silky vice will be in place regardless of which genre of music she is belting out. Her singing style and feeling is well beyond her years. Even the song arrangements seem to be well beyond her years to even comprehend, but she pulls it off with grace. With a Billie Holliday-esque voice, I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of Bailey Dee.
Despite my best attempts at research, there is little written about Rockin’ Bonnie. Here is what I do know, she is from Italy and she lives up to her name. She rocks! Her music is vintage rock and roll in the days when country and rock were one in the same. She has a tremendous voice and does the rockabilly genre proud.
Fia Sco has the Hillbilly Boogie sound from the 4os and 50s down to a science. From the authentic garb to the legit singing and music. She is the real deal and her music with Fia Sco And The Majestics takes me back to a bygone era. Fia Sco has mastered American hillbilly music and she isn’t even from the US, she hails from Austria. You sure wouldn’t know she was an out of towner by her authentic delivery.
Cherry Divine is another nominee from across the pond. She is Australian and she has got it goin’ on! She has a voice straight out of a 50s honky tonk and the band reinforces her authenticity. Her songs are uptempo and give you the urge to dance. Those twangy guitars also add to the great vibe that miss Cherry Divine has created.
The Rockabilly Female category is overflowing with talent. I sound like a broken record, but this category is another one that is impossible to predict. Every nominee is qualified to take this category, and no winner would surprise me.