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Rebel Night NYC
Rockabilly Legends
Warsaw, Brooklyn
July 16, 2010

Written by Joshua Williams
Photographed by Amy Davidson

Opposite Photo: Gene Summers


Gene Summers

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am casually acquainted with the son of Gene Summers. My fiancée grew up with him. But that doesn’t matter. I’m not a PR hack. And if the show sucked, I‘d probably “forget“ to write it. But folks, hear me now. There are reasons why somebody is able to stay in the biz for 50 years. It starts with a foundation of good songs, then add to that the dedication of a true professional, and a commitment to deliver a rocking set. Eventually they call you legend.

Upon entering the Warsaw, you could almost swear its 1958. Rockabilly has never died. It has its recurrent resurgences in popularity, and its always going on somewhere. There is a definite subculture of fans who dress in the classic period, obsess over rare 45’s, and basically live and breathe all things rockabilly.

One slight problem was with the The Boarders, a band chosen to be the back up band not only for Mr. Summers, but for Sun Recording artist Hayden Thompson. During Mr Thompsons set, they somehow fell apart. Something technical happened with the guitarist, which caused the drummer to drop the beat. What happened I now refer to as the “Folsom Prison Train Wreck”. If not for the experienced hand of Mr. Thompson, it would have devolved into a shit show. However, he held the band together, and they were able to get it back together.

Gene Summers

During Gene Summers set, there were no disasters. They complemented him nicely. Mr Summers has a presence that five decades in the biz will get you. He knows how to entertain a crowd, and did I mention he has some great songs. If you haven’t heard “School of Rock and Roll”, go get yourself a copy. He’s still releasing records today. His newest is reminisce café. If you’ve ever liked Rockabilly, you will not be disappointed. If you’re looking for somewhere to start in exploring the genre, you couldn’t find a better point of reference.

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