• Kingbees
  • The Kingbees (RSO) 1980 
  • The Big Rock (RSO) 1981 

Prefiguring the Stray Cats, the Kingbees were one of the first neo-rockabilly bands to augment nostalgia with an original approach. The West Coast trio’s sound on these two albums is sinewy and unpretentious, thanks primarily to frontman Jamie James’ economical guitar and no-nonsense vocals. What’s more, the material is a first-rate blend of his originals and well-chosen songs by Charlie Rich, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins et al.

[Jon Young]