Flat Duo Jets

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self-titled , 5/10
Go Go Harlem Baby , 6/10
White Trees , 6.5/10
Introducing , 6/10
Red Tango , 5/10
Lucky Eye , 5/10
Dex Romweber Duo: Ruins Of Berlin (2009), 5/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

The rockabilly genre had its umpteenth revival in the 1980s thanks to the Flat Duo Jets of Chapel Hill (North Carolina), led by a "retro" genius like Dexter Romweber. The EP In Stereo (Dolphin, 1985), although devoted to re-editions of period classics, already highlighted the singular compositional and performance skills of the leader (at the time only seventeen) in the instrumental Theme For Dick Fontaine.

Flat Duo Jets (Dog Gone, 1990) is still largely a gallery of obscure "oldies" but one begins to notice the tormented persona of Romweber, who seems to find in rockabilly music the cathartic vehicle for his neuroses (Chiquita the new instrumental).

Rockabilly is indeed the religion of second album Go Go Harlem Baby (Sky, 1991), which spans the whole field, from Jerry Lee Lewis' boogie to Cramps' voodoo.

Maturing and gaining confidence in his means, Romweber finally came up with a collection of all original songs, White Trees (Sky, 1993), not surprisingly also the most rustic of his albums. The stories are called Daughter Of The Jungle, Michelle, White Trees and draw heavily from the traditions of Nashville, Memphis and the Delta. The passionate boogie of Old Soul and the comic country-rock of Husband Of A Country Singing Star take him away from rockabilly.

Safari (Norton, 1993) collects unreleased tracks. The Flat Duo Jets, always the missing link between the Stray Cats and Reverend Horton Heat, continued their solitary saga with the wild and young at heart Introducing (Norton, 1995), whose Theme, Torpedo and Golden Strings are among their classics, and the refined Red Tango (Norton, 1996), that includes Tell Django and Baby Are You Hiding From Me. Wild Blue Yonder (Norton, 1998) is a live album.

Lucky Eye (Outpost, 1999), another generous dose of rockabilly and boogie woogie, adds string and horn sections, but still excels at Romweber's classic retro tricks (Lucky Eye).

Dexter Romweber joined his sister to form the Dex Romweber Duo and release Ruins Of Berlin (Bloodshot, 2009), a relatively subdued work that mainly relies on high-class duets (Cat Power, Neko Case, Exene Cervenka and Rick Miller of Southern Culture On The Skids).

Romweber died in 2024 at the age of 57.

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