Monday, 11 February 2013

Glenn Doran and the Montgomery Music Makers

Above picture of Glenn Doran, playing at the Melody Ranch Party, an indoor country festival at the Selma Hotel, Lagerlöf Sunne 25-26 January 2013

Three self penned songs and an excellent cover version of George Jones 'How Come It'. See Glenn and a host of other stars at 'The Rockabilly Rave Ranch Party' the Sunday night finale to the 17th Rockabilly Rave.

The above CD was recorded in 2008 at La Grange recording studio. 
  • Glenn Doran - Guitar
  • Rusty Steel - Steel Guitar
  • Quincy Sloan - Double Bass

The first E.P CD

The article below was first published in Madrat Magazine in 2006
A picturesque thatched pub in the small village of Cotton End, near Bedford, would not normally strike me as a place to find a rockabilly trio playing live. But it was here that I saw a try-out gig from the mysterious 'Montgomery Music Makers'.

Burning The Wind

I was at the 'Rockabilly Rave' when a certain Glenn Doran handed me a C.D. and asked for my opinion on it. I had met Glenn several months earlier while he was playing lead guitar for the now disbanded 'Sliders', a rockabilly cover band.
I had the impression that these must be recordings of his new band. Listening to the C.D. later that night, the first thing that struck me was the sound and then the crackles I was hearing. I was baffled. Had Glenn found some ultra rare recordings from some unknown rockabilly group? Who were 'The Montgomery Music Makers'?
After a significant period of sizzling, Glenn spilled the beans. In the February of 2006, he booked some studio time at the La Grange recording studio. Playing all the instruments he recorded four songs, 'Dry Run', 'Burning the Wind' 'My Heart's on Fire', and 'The Cats Were a-Jumpin', leaving instructions and sample songs for the production as to the sound he was looking for. A week later he got a call saying the recordings were ready and burned to a C.D. But the sound he heard was not what he wanted. So it was back to the studio to find that sound. It did not take long, just a few adjustments at the (so called) mixing desk and the addition of crackles to make the recording sound as if it had been ripped from a 78rpm record. Glenn left the studio with a new C.D. and feeling a whole lot better with the finished recordings.
With rockabilly music when you hear original songs being performed by modern rockin' bands I tend to wonder why at all they bother to cover them. With 'The Montgomery Music Makers' I do not get that feeling. I had not heard Billy Wallace's 'Burning the Wind' since I bought the Mercury Rockabillies L.P. way back in 1979. The reason was a simple one; I was not impressed with it at the time. Thanks to
Glenn, I have been re educated. The four-track C.D. is excellent, but where will he go from there?

I asked him a few questions;
Duke: "What first lead you down the rockabilly path?"
Glenn: "Well, its pretty strange how it all happened really because I was never really shown what it was all about, I can remember my mum and dad playing rockabilly records when I was about 5, which was about 11 years ago and they were playing stuff like Carl Perkins, Hank Williams etc, the list goes on, and I liked it so that's I suppose how it all happened."
Duke: "I first saw you play with the Sliders (now split) last year, you were 15 years old at the time, was this the first band you played in?"
Glenn: "Yeah it sure was, shame it all fell apart really but I suppose if it hadn't I wouldn't have gone on to record under the name of the Montgomery Music Makers."
Duke: "The recordings you posted on 'MySpace' under the name 'The Montgomery Music Makers' made a lot of purists (and still does) believe these were recordings made in the early 1950's. Can you tell us a little info on where, when and who played on those tracks?"
Glenn: "Well to be honest I was getting pissed off with the current rockabilly scene because it wasn't rockabilly, it was all modern sounding material and I wanted to stick up for the roots being (rockabilly) and the reason why everybody loves this music so 'The Montgomery Music Makers' were born. All four (tracks) were recorded at (La Grange) studio at Ley Green in early February of 2006, unfortunately there was no band that recorded it, it was only me I'm afraid. I basically recorded each instrument track over track which consisted of Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Double
Bass, Vocals, and a bit of 12 string on one of the tracks, but when I done this I then thought I would see if I could trick people into thinking it was original and surprisingly it worked, but thankfully now I've sorted out a band and should be gigging soon. I must add I recommend the recording studio to anyone who wants to achieve an old sound and I owe a big thanks to Boyd and Russell for effort they put in to get the sound you guys hear on the C.D. and 'MySpace', I also thank them for the amount of electricity they spent on the heating trying to keep the studio warm, ha, ha."
Duke: "Those crackles on the tracks were great, were they your idea?"
Glenn: "Well, when I was talking to Boyd and Russell about getting an old sound, they told me about a piece of software they had that creates the sounds of crackles of vinyl, so when I heard that I jumped at the chance because I thought it would be a really good little feature, and that also brought up a lot of interest from people."
Duke: "What does the future hold for Glenn Doran?"
Glenn: "Ha ha, man you make me sound famous, well it’s hard to say really, yes I would like to make something on the rockin' scene, but the whole principle of what I was doing was to bring back proper rockabilly (the roots) and if people liked what they heard on the C.D. then yeah, I'm up for gigging, but the question on my mind is, 'What does the future hold for the Montgomery Music Makers', not just Glenn Doran, because a name is only made with the help of a band."

With a band secured, Glenn emailed me to say they were going to play a try out gig in a small village pub in Bedford, and I knew I had to be there to witness it. So I made the 200 mile round trip. I was told the set list was small; only nine numbers having been deemed presentable at that time. Would they sound anything like the recordings on the C.D? I was not to be disappointed. 'The Montgomery Music Makers' consist of Glenn Doran; vocals and lead guitar, Garry Doran; vocals and rhythm guitar and 19-year-old Quincy Sloan on double bass. Garry was also in the
Sliders, but Quincy was moonlighting from the psychobilly band 'Henry and the Bleeders'. They kicked off the set with Darrell Felts 'Too Much Lovin', and from the opening sound of Glenn's guitar, closely followed by the rhythm and the bass I knew I was going to enjoy this gig. Glenn has a voice that suits rockabilly. He sounds as if he has been picking cotton all day and now was relaxing the best way he knows how, playing music he obviously loves. I have to remind myself at times that the voice belonged to a 16-year-old. The next tune was my favourite from the C.D, 'Dry Run'. To be honest I had never heard the song before and thought it was an original number.
I was later informed some cat called Parker Cunningham recorded the original. John Worthan's 'The Cats Were a-Jumpin' was another stand out number.
Then came a change of singer, Garry took lead vocals on Jimmie Piper's 'Don't Play Around' (I bet his guy does a mean Johnny Cash impersonation).
The trio turned into a duo on the next number 'Burning the Wind'. Garry was back on lead vocals (and wiggly hips) on 'Baby Let's Play House' then it was back to Glenn on vocals on Hank Mizell's 'I'm Ready' and their final song, Junior Thompson's 'Raw Deal'.
Bob Butfoy from 'Jack Rabbit Slim' joined the guys for three songs; 'That's Alright Mama', 'Tear It Up' and 'Shake Em' Up Rock' They were cool, well performed, tunes that filled out the set. I was very impressed and Glenn assures me the set list will get bigger. Choosing the right material is what Glenn is deciding on, he does not want to play the standard set of rockabilly numbers. 'Dry Run' and 'Burning the Wind' are testaments to that.
I feel the 'MontgomeryMusic Makers' need to play to a rockin' crowd. Somewhere like the downstairs stage at the 'Rockabilly Rave' or in the 'Queen Vic' at the same venue would be ideal. It's true that they do covers, but they play the rare ones, and they play them very well.
Greaser Leo from the 'Hillbilly Hop' summed them up when he commented on their 'MySpace' page "Raw…just like we like it", and I have to agree with him.

2nd appearance at the Rockabilly Rave no 13
Photo by FatsGeordiemo

1 comment:

  1. When and where are Glenn and the boys going to be rockin again?