Available now on iTunes!
This new CD brings the energy and flat-out roots approach of a Rip Masters live show, into the studio. With a great deal of new material, and a few carefully-selected favorites from Rip's catalogue, Bare Knuckle Piano is a swingin', rockin', drivin' assortment of tunes with a few medium-tempo numbers to round out the collection. Of particular note is the piano-driven title track, a recent favorite with live audiences worldwide. Also featured are a couple of revisits to songs from Rip's Rollin' Rock days, including the anthem "Rockabilly Man".
Bare Knuckle Piano
Rattler CD 530
Bare Knuckle Piano / Don't Dog This Cat / Lucky Devil / Tonight I'm Gonna Play For You / Rockabilly Man / In The Mood / Rose Of Love / No Way / Big Fat Liar / Rockabilly Forever / Well, Well, Well / All Night Express / You Go Your Way / Paint The Town / Rockabilly Redneck / All The Way / Flight Of The Bumble Bee Boogie / Diane
(Playing time: 66:20)
This CD contains 18 rockin tracks, featuring great original songs with lots of Boogie Woogie piano, slappin bass, cool guitar and fine vocals. Here is a list of the tracks:
-Bare Knuckle Piano the title track, is just what you think... a pounding track featuring Rips famous keyboard skills... he is the "Cat on the Keys"!!!
-Don't Dog This Cat features Rip prominently on guitar. This song appeared in an earlier acoustic-flavored version, but it has gone so well on stage that Rip decided to record it the way he does it now.
-Lucky Devil is a straight out rocker with great lyrics, pounding piano, and a catchy melody. Guitar work provided by longtime cohort Mark Shark
-Tonight I'm Gonna Play For You is a smoldering stroller in the Jack Scott tradition. The atmospheric guitar work is from Joel Morin.
-Rockabilly Man is the song Rip is probably best known for writing. At this moment it has close to 150,000 views on YouTube... and that's just one version (by Ray Campi) There are about a dozen others including Britain's Firebirds, The song was originally included on Rip's first album, and since then it has been recorded and performed by countless other groups and artists. Rip says he has recorded it before, but he wanted to include a new version on this album. Guitars by Buzz and Joel and the usual pumpin' piano by Rip. Ray Campi on bass... just like in 1978!!!
-In the Mood, Rip's pumpin' piano injects a fresh energy into this classic tune from the 40's that was rocked up by Earl Palmer & Ernie Fields in 1959.
-Rose of Love is a beautiful ballad, one that Gene Vincent recorded for Rollin' Rock (in his last recordings). Rip played piano on the original Rollin' Rock release... this is his tribute. Buzz Campbell adds fine guitar work.
-No Way is a rocker in the tradition of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" with its infectious beat... a favorite at live appearances. Rip on tremelo guitar.
-Big Fat Liar is a flat out rocker from Rips pen... I think we all know someone this lyric fits!!! Piano and guitar from Rip. Great slappin bass by Tony Red Horse.
-Rockabilly Forever... Rip was one of the founders of the Rockabilly revival and this song captures the dedication true Rockabillies feel for their music.
-Well Well Well is a song from Rip's first album, released on Rollin Rock. This new treatment is how he does it live... swinging! Great drums by DJ Bonebrake.
-All Night Express is the song that started it all (in Rockabilly) for Rip Masters. He had made a demo of it when a friend heard it and said he knew someone who was interested in that kind of music. The friend took Rip to Ron Weiser who liked the song and soon put Rip to work as a piano player, writer and artist. This song was on Ray Campi's "Gone Gone Gone" album, sung by Rip as a member of the Rockabilly Rebels, but it has never been on a Rip Masters album. This is a new recording, featuring Ray Campi on bass.
-You Go Your Way is a departure in style, featuring strong boogie piano and a laid-back swinging early 50's groove laid down by longtime drummer Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz.
-Paint The Town leans a little to the 'billy side of things... another new original song, with guitars from Rip and Mark.
-Rockabilly Redneck has a New Orleans flavored beat with a strident piano and recurring guitar figure. The lyrics reflect the title.
-All The Way is another new original, done in a somewhat Gene Vincent style with great guitar work from Buzz Campbell.
-The Flight of The Bumble Bee Boogie is where Rip does his frantic take on rockin up Rimsky-Korsakoff's classic. Great bass from Jimmy Harris.
-Diane is a harmony laden ballad with doo wop and Country echoes,
Another new tune penned by Rip.
A new album by piano player, guitarist, vocalist and song writer Rip Masters will always put a smile on my face. Previous albums of this rocking cat are still high on my list of favorite records, because Rip plays wild and authentic 50s style rock 'n' roll and rockabilly, the way it was meant to be. He can easily match with great rock 'n' roll piano players like Jerry Lee Lewis and Freddy 'Fingers' Lee. Live shows of the latter are responsible for my love of piano rockers, unfortunately I have never seen Rip live on stage yet, but you can bet he's on top of my list.
There are 18 fantastic new recorded tunes on this album, Rip wrote all but three and made a point to feature as much pumpin' piano and smokin' guitar as possible. I don't have to review the songs separately, because I couldn't do better than the press release that Rip included in the package he sent to me, so I'll just stick to raving about the fabulous quality of both the recordings and the musicians. I just love albums like this with such a wide variety of original music ranging from rockabilly to rock 'n' roll to ballads and tributes, over an hour of listening pleasure, and I can assure you that you won't get bored for one second!
This CD sparkles with originality. The title track, a romping four and a half minutes of pumping piano rock 'n' roll sets the tone... All the runaway excitement of the railroad - rather like the California Zephyr with Jerry Lee Lewis at the controls... A great CD.
Now Dig This
Certainly his best album to date... the songs feature the styles everybody loves. Rock 'n' Roll... classic rockabilly... instrumental boogie... New Orleans style rhythm & blues... and two superb ballads.
Rock 'n' Roll Revue, France
This album really hits the spot for anyone who likes a stack of pumpin' boogie woogie piano on their deck... he's got an authentic piano pounding style that couldn't fail to get dance floors full. The title track opens the collection and sets the tone, a lively piano-driven rocker with Rip cramming as many classic rockin' piano tricks in the four and half minutes as he can. The first cuts rock on in similar fashion, mainly piano-driven but occasionally (as in Don't Dog this Cat) with Rip on guitar. Fifth cut and Rip's signature tune... Rockabilly Man, is a standout.
We just got Rip Masters’ new CD, and boy, this is exciting stuff!! We’re big piano rock’n’roll fans here, but Rip is also a fine guitar player, which crops up right away on cut #2 “Don’t Dog This Cat.” With 18 songs there’s a LOT of value for your buck here, and an all-star cast of supporting players too - Ray Campi (plus Tony Slash Red Horse and Jimmy Lee Harris) on bass, Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz and D.J. Bonebrake on drums, and Buzz Campbell and Joel Morin on guitars (besides Rip and a couple of others). Rip writes great rockin songs and he’s an excellent singer as well. Rip played piano on Gene Vincent’s “Rose of Love and (his version) of this particular ballad is absolutely wonderful…Plenty of variety on this one and plenty of rockin’ grooves! I love the sound Rip is getting out of his studio too. This is great stuff, and highly recommended to any and all “Blue Suede News” types. …it’s gonna be hard not to hit “play” again on this one, I like it more every time I do!!
Marc Bristol, Blue Suede News
Available on iTunes!
Click here to see a promo clip for Back To The Honky Tonk
BACK TO THE HONKY TONK
This exciting collection of songs is best categorized as "Outlaw Country." With songs ranging from uptempo country rockers to bar room ballads, this CD is the kind of country that is too often missing from current "Country" radio. It's got a rockin', Southern feel, true to the roots of real Country music.
There are only two songs not written by Rip... it's all brand new material.
Rattler Records is proud to announce the release of a new CD by Rip Masters titled “The Cool and the Crazy”
It’s Rock’n’Roll in the classic sense, with rockin tracks like the title cut and “Get Right Up”, as well as medium tempo songs and ballads such as “Triangle” and “The Girl of My Best Friend”.
Some great musicians back Rip up, including Eddie Cochran’s sax man Mike Henderson, and noted guitarists Deke Dickerson and Tony Gilkyson.
This CD contains 15 tracks which have never been available before in digital format, and many of them have never been released to the public in any form. They cover a time span of 25 years, starting right after Rip Masters’ recordings for Rollin Rock. This CD includes
the best tracks from the well-received LP “The Cool and the Crazy” as well as “I’ve Had It” and “I’m Gonna Flip” from a 45rpm single recorded for Commando Records. Rare gems also include two songs recorded in Singapore 1984 during Rip’s tour. There are more covers of classic songs than in recent Rip Masters CD’s, but they are nicely done and songs which you don’t hear every day, such as Dale Hawkins' “La-Do-Dada”
The catchy title track is a favorite at Rip’s live shows, and after hearing it, the next time someone says “That’s Cool!” you may just find yourself replying “That’s Crazy!!”
The Rock & Roll Album
Rattler CD 440
Bad Move / Night Flight / Cat On The Keys / I'm Movin' On / Why Must You Haunt Me? / I'm Goin' Back / Does A Bear Sleep In The Woods? / Cry To The Night / Walk On You / No Letter Today / The Flower And The Wind / $50 Upright / Let's Rock One More Time (Playing time: 59:02)
Timely release from country, rockabilly and rock n roll singer, songwriter, guitar and piano man, Rip Masters, who at the time of writing is on another of his trips to Europe from his home in California. 'The Rock & Roll Album' is a fine follow-up to 'Big Red '57' (see NDT 195) and once again Rip dips into his boogie-woogie repertoire. Rip's version of Ray Campi's '$50 Upright' - the riotous 'Chicken Shack Boogie'/'Down The Road Apiece' number - is as fine an example of the genre as anyone could wish for. 'Night Flight', played in foot-stomping Dave Edmunds style, and 'I'm Goin' Back' are two further irresistable outings for those who love honky-tonk piano rock n roll. And on the subject of unashamed good-time rocking, Rip gives Hank Snow's 'I'm Movin' On" and Ted Daffan's 'No Letter Today' a real dusting down.
Elsewhere among the more country oriented numbers, 'Why Must You Haunt Me' is an echoing ballad, with plenty of ringing guitar tones, and 'The Flower And The Wind' has a kind of Southern border sound. It is a sad and beautiful '"I learned the hardway" ballad in the best tradition of the honky-tonk tear jerker. Superficially 'The Flower And The Wind' is a million miles away from '$50 Upright' but in the context of club life not all that far apart. The late night 'Let's Rock One More Time' draws the two strands together.
Although 'Let's Rock One More Time'is the last track to be listed - the music doesn't end there, so let the CD keep on playing. After what seems like an age Rip returns for an Albert Ammons-styled boogie-woogie trip down the 'Swannee River'. there is more unlisted material including 'Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache' and the instrumental 'Fireflite' - it would be such a shame if any boogie-woogie fan bought the CD and missed out on Rip's fantastic 'Swannee River'.
The whole CD exudes optimism - it's the rock n roll journey of life.
by Chris Woodford
Now Dig This (UK)
The Rock & Roll Album
Breathes there a man (not sure women go in for this kind of behavior) with soul so dead, he won't be pounding air piano part way through Masters' 4½ minute I'm Movin' On? Wonderfully seconded by guitarist Tony Gilkyson, the Rockabilly Revival veteran mixes ina few covers, a few instrumentals, a few ballads and no less than three hidden bonus tracks (Suwanee Boogie recorded live in Sweden, Red Cadillac & A Black Moustache and Fireflite) on top of the 13 listed. I may be kidding myself, but it sure sounds like Masters is hammering a real piano rather than some piece of high-tech plastic as he carries forward the Jerry Lee/Little Richard rock & roll piano wildman banner.
by John Conquest
3rd Coast Music, San Antonio, Texas
Fans in England, the U.K., Europe and elsewhere have been familiar with Rockabilly Man... it's been a favorite with DJ's and bands. This song was also recorded in versions by Ray Campi and also England's Firebirds. Now it's available in a killer new recording by the original artist... Rip Masters, who wrote this song. Also included on this new CD is Trouble Is Her Name, another of Rip's compositions which was recorded by Jackie Lee Cochran.
Ten of the fifteen songs are written by Rip Masters. His pumpin' piano style is heavily featured in two instrumentals, Suwanee Boogie and Country Stride. Rip sings them all and, for the first time, plays a lot of guitar, too. The musicians are first rate, including the legendary Al Bruno who played guitar with Conway Twitty (from 1959-63) and has recorded with Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles, to name a few! Skip Heller is a well-known guitarist and artist on both Coasts, and guitarist Mike Tuttle plays with Rip regularly and rocks like crazy. Ray Campi plays bass, as does Hand Van Sickle. Drums are played by longtime band member Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, and also Jono Brown. Harmony is by Bob Bruning, who also sang on Rip's 1995 release, Don't Tread On Me (Rattler CD413)
This is a Rockin' collection of tunes, with a few relatively calmer moments. BIG RED '57!!! Ready for a test drive?
THE REVIEWS ARE IN!
This is a very welcome second CD by rock n roll piano man Rip Masters - renowned for his association with the legendary Rollin' Rock label. Rip wrote "Trouble Is Her Name" for Jackie Lee Cochran and "Rockabilly Man" for Ray Campi - a number which Ray adopted as his 'theme' song. Rip's versions of numbers are included here and his "Rockabilly Man" is as fine a slice of boogie-woogie rock n roll as anyone could ask for.
He has some superb musicians on the disc including Ray Campi on bass, and Al Bruno (who used to play for Conway Twitty in his rockin' days) on guitar. Together they work up a tight, exciting sound and in particular "Big Red '57", "Hey Hey Liitle Girl", "88 Friends", "Back To Louisiana" and "That's The Way I Feel" are all fine examples of Boogie-Woogie-based rockabilly and Rock & Roll. Rip further indulges his passion for Boogie-Woogie by putting some neat touches to Elvis' "Got A Lot Of Livin' To Do" and proves his pedigree with a superb interpretation of "Suwannee River Boogie".
And as if the CD weren't enough, the further good news for piano fans is Rip's forthcoming UK tour this November. He'll be playing club dates and the Teddy Boy Weekendeer in Great Yarmouth. On the evidence of this CD - he's not to be missed.
|Chris Woodford, NOW DIG THIS (issue June, '99)
Perusers of rockabilly album credits may recognize Masters' name as house pianist on revival releases by Rollin' Rock, which also put out his debut album ROCK THAT ROCK! Alternatively, they may recognize it as the author of Ray Campi's theme song "Rockabilly Man" or Jackie Lee Cochran's "Trouble Is Her Name." Both songs are among the ten originals, supplemented by five covers, including the standout "Ramshackle Shack," but if Masters has his moments as a songwriter, can hold a tune and picks some fair guitar, his album is inevitably dominated by his sensational boogie-woogie piano playing. If you saw him at the Texicali Grille during SXSW, I need hardly elaborate, if not I can hardly improve on Cornell Hurd's comment "He's the real deal." though very much in the Jerry Lee tear 'em up tradition, Masters wears his influences far more loosely than most of the notoriously derivative revival players.
|John Conquest, THIRD COAST MUSIC|
Austin, Texas May '99
I love it! Every track's a winner... a real Beauty, Mate. That's Down-Under talk, meaning it's a really great album! I'll be playing tracks on my show... but which ones? I love 'em all!!
|Gary Young, RRR102.7 FM|
The future would be a grim place if it meant never to have gotten to hear Rip Masters' BIG RED '57. 15 cookin tracks leap out of the speakers at you as the white king of the 88's hammers and rocks through this release as if it may be the last thing he does on this planet. With backup by Al Bruno, Ray Campi and others, these guys tear up the air waves... Do yourself a favor get a copy of BIG RED '57 - it's a party in plastic.
|Al Watts, "Big Al's Rhythm Room" 106.7 FM|
Dont Tread On Me is the 1995 album by country-rock artist Rip Masters. Legendary DJ Charlie Gilmore (Dothan, Alabama) called Alabama Moon "a knockdown, dragout hit!" He also picked Walk On By as a standout cut. Eddie Russell (KULM, Columbus, Texas) told us "Great songwriting, vocals, melodies and production...the whole tamale rates A+++++ 5*****'s! Don't Tread On Me ranks quickly into the cream of the crop. Count on plenty of airtime!" From Jamie Hoover (KCSS-FM, Turlock, California): "We love this album...it's in rotation and getting phones." Thomas Greener (KVMR, Nevada City, California) adds "Lots of requests, great original songs!" The Barry Wass Country Radio Show (Victoria, Australia) reports "playing a lot of cuts, especially Alabama Moon on my show." And the Radio Helmond Country Show (Netherlands) called the album "CD of the week...a gem!"
The Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Independence requested and received permission to use Rip's song Don't Tread On Me as the theme song aboard ship.
Rip enjoyed very successful tour of Europe in July of '96. He was one of the headliners at the Nordic Country Music Festival in Sweden, and excited large crowds at the Lida Country Music Festival in Stockholm. Rip won many new friends with his energetic performance which closed the shows. After two weeks in Sweden, Rip traveled to England where he appeared in concert in London and Bristol, and was interviewed on BBC radio (and other U.K. radio stations). The British magazine KEYBOARD REVIEW (September '96 issue) features an interview with Rip, and COUNTRY MUSIC PEOPLE has a feature on Don't Tread On Me which was released there in 1996.
In November, 1996, Rip performed A Six-Pack, A Pizza, And A Cheap Motel on RTE-TV/Dublin, Ireland's Live At 3. He toured Sweden, performing with the country band Kentucky, among others. In December he played some dates with Germany's Lennerockers to enthusiastic crowds. Rip has just completed a music video of A Six-Pack... which is being aired on the Austin Music Network and other outlets. In July, 1997, Rip toured Europe, and continued performing in the United States.
Rip appeared at L.A.'s House Of Blues on January 8th, 1998, in a birthday salute to Elvis Presley that included Dwight Yoakum, Rosie Flores, Wanda Jackson, and others. The Los Angeles times wrote "Rip Masters' barrelhouse piano lit a fire under his version of Got A Lot Of Livin' To Do! and The Rockabilly List said "Truly phenomenal was Rip Masters (who recorded for Rockin' Ronnie's Rollin' Rock Records) who did Got A Lot Of Livin' To Do. One of my favorites! I could have watched him all night!"