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The Haywoods

Drinkin' Cryin' & Moanin' – 1999 (Wormtone)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by The Haywoods

Following the release of a 4-song EP about a year ago, the debut album from the Santa Cruz-based Haywoods is a strong example of the energetic hillbilly-influenced brand of rockabilly tending to predominate on the West Coast during much of the past decade.

With most of the album's 15 songs written by lead vocalist Chad Silva and lead guitarist Johnny Munnerlyn, the band seems particularly fond of the classic Sun records of the '50's. Silva's vocals and songs, in particular, are more than a little reminiscent of the late Carl Perkins, with the occasional nod to other Sun vets such as Johnny Cash ("Broken Hearted," in structure, if not in sound), Warren Smith and Billy Lee Riley. Bassist Rich D'Amore and drummer Rick Tahira provide a rock-solid rhythm section, particularly on the Munnerlyn's instrumental "Chicken Lickin'."

Though the material and tempos could probably stand to be a bit more varied next time around (only a couple of numbers ever drop below the tempo of, say, Presley's "Good Rockin' Tonight"), it's a solid debut. (Wormtone, 3837 King St., Denver, CO 80211, E-Mail: bigk@henge.com,)