The RockinghamsLadies and Gentlemen...
There's an exciting new sound eminating from three Seattle music scene stalwarts. The Rockinghams have been performing only a short time in the Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver B.C. area, yet this trio of accomplished veterans have quite the pedigree.
Singer-Songwriter-Guitarist Jim Basnight started playing the Northwest punk-underground scene in its infancy during the late '70s and early '80s with the critically acclaimed Moberlys. He fronted them from N.Y.C. to Hollywood and points in between for 10 years. During that time The Moberlys opened for various influential punk/wave bands including The Ramones,The Police, The Romantics and Billy Idol, as well as side work with Johnny Thunders and Alan Vega.
After releasing a handful of independent albums in the U.S. and Europe with The Mobes, Jim moved on to a solo effort (Pop Top) collaborating with several noted LA. songwriters, musicians and producers, then relocated to his home base in Seattle in mid '92. Soon after, Jim hooked up with his old chum Jack Hanan, bass player extraordinaire.
Jack played in The Feelings who put out one of Seattle's earliest punk rock recordings and also opened for the likes of D.O.A., The Mentors and other twisted Northwest combos.The Feelings evolved into The Cowboys who were "picked to click" favorites in early to mid '80s,opening for X, B-52s, Split Enz, and Tina Turner. The Cowboys recorded several local releases and toured the West Coast and Northwest regions.
After The Cowboys disbanded in '86, Jack continued playing and recording with numerous local combos until reaching the pinnacle of his rock 'n' roll expenence with Mr. Basnight.
The only thing left was a kick-ass drummer. . . enter Criss Crass, an old high school buddy of Jim's. After performing and recording on drums and guitar in over 30 bands (a vernable "Who's Who" of the pre-grunge Seatlle scene), Crass moved to Southern California in the summer of '87 .
Hollywood proved fruitful for the young lad as he was an in-demand hired gun, touring North America and the Far East with legendary rockibillies Sleepy La Beef and Levi Dexter, as well as recording and performing with weirdo rockers Tav Falco and Jayne County.
In late '90, Criss helped form The Muffs who toured and recorded independently on Sympathy, Sub-Pop, and Au Go Go (Australia), and shared bills with Redd Cross, Bad Religion, Goo Goo Dolls, and Mudhoney. Eventually they released a full album on Warner Bros. in May '93, and toured North America to back it. He then left the band in the fall of '93, avoiding fires, quakes, floods and imminent doom, all the while knowing his destiny lay with Jim and Jack in The Rockinghams.
So step right up and experience the power, the passion, the pungency of The Rockhghams.
Pop TopJim Basnight, Seattle's acclaimed gritty music legend has come out with his most convincing material yet. "Pop Top" is a collection of 20 melodic tunes that, while echoing the best of the past three decades, are as vibrant and exciting as anything the music of the nineties has offered.
The project is the culmination of several years of hard work. Recorded in some of L.A.'s finest studios, producers such as Peter Buck (REM) and Rand Bishop have come up with a diverse bunch of songs held together by Basnight's aggressive acoustic guitar work and confident vocals. Musicians on the sessions include: Al Bloch (Concrete Blond, Wool), C.J. Buscaglia (Green Jello), Kelly Wheeler (Perry Farrel) and Fred Mandel (Alice Cooper, Elton John) among others.
Basnight helped introduce "new wave" to Seattle with the much revered Moberlys in the late seventies. His band rapidly achieved both commercial success and critical praise with such publications as Trouser Press, Rolling Stone and Billboard lauding Basnight's efforts. The Moberlys were located in both New York and Los Angeles for years, and played with such acts as the Police, Ramones, Billy Idol, Smithereens and the Band.
Basnight's goal with "Pop Top" is to "create a well produced album filled with catchy hard edged songs." He has succeeded. Critically compared to the Beatles, Lou Reed and Elvis Costello, his songwriting is infectious yet mature -- and each tune on this project is a future classic .
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