Kevin Smith and High Noon

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by Slaphound, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    I have heard of him but never heard him play. I never heard of his band High Noon. A rockabilly trio.
    I was reading about Wayne Hancock and how he started out and all. He mentioned that as he was developing his style he was looking for the Chung sound that made the guitars go Chung, Chung Chung and realized that it was the upright bass that did that.
    Then I was listening to Djordje on his Youtube channel interviewing Kevin Smith. Then I got a the first High Noon album and listened to it. Excellent music. Really good stuff that incorporates some fine songwriting.
    If you haven't listened to any High Noon and your a fan of Wayne Hancock, then you're in for a real treat. I think so anyway.
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  2. Keith Rawlings

    Keith Rawlings Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2019
    Kevin Smith is unbelievable and Djordje's interview with him is great! He and Ric Ramirez are two of the most influential slap bass players of the last 30 years in my opinion. Before YouTube and the internet if you wanted to know anything about slapping a bass and lived and gigged across Texas, you would ask him or Ric about it if you crossed paths.

    I started slapping the bass after seeing a High Noon show at the Black Cat Lounge in Austin back in 1995. He was nice enough to speak with me for about a half hour after the show and he let me mess around on his bass. He gave me tips on what strings to start out with and how to use Johnson & Johnson Coach Tape until my calluses formed (which I still use when needed). I had been an electric bassist strictly before that, but my band was gradually transitioning from a blues band to a rockabilly band with some Stray Cats and Elvis covers. I got my Kay soon after that High Noon show and I’ve never looked back. He was so helpful to me (and many, many others, by the way) as there was nobody in my town in those days who knew anything about upright bass - let alone slapping a bass. He and Ric always offered up advice and tips on technique at a time when this kind of information wasn't available. It's funny how both of them ended up playing with Wayne, who is legendarily hard to play with. He just calls out slap bass solos two or three times per song sometimes!
    Slaphound likes this.
  3. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    Kevin Smith is good, i love every one of his movies
  4. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Very cool story Keith. I love what Ric Ramirez recorded on Waynes records. I also admire Huck Johnson of the Jackknives and Todd Wufmeyer. The two of them played a few covid shows on Huck's Facebook page live. Huck plays guitar there but he also recorded with Wayne (Wayne calls on Huckleberry on the recordings) on upright bass. Excellent bassist. Zack Sumpnor is another master at the art of slap bass. I had a hard time sitting through Djordje's interview. Its very long and a bit slow in developing but thankfully its up on Youtube still so I can digest it slowly a piece at a time.
    The band I play upright in now is also a blues band and we cover a lot of Grateful Dead, Allmans and some classic rock. I can't say we are a great band in the mold of High Noon or Wayne the Train but we are doing it none the less. Plus we have a drummer who we brought in to play with us that had absolutely no experience playing drums. He had taken a few lessons maybe. Long story how we ended up with him. He makes it hard sometimes to really feel confident in the bands performance. But we keep (or I do really) trying to guide him. Just the other night I had to tell him to lay off the high hat so much. He was taking up the click parts with his high hat. And His timing can be off. Really tough sometimes. But we got a gig on Friday night coming up. I run a hard practice sometimes like last week. We ran through about 15 songs ranging from Doc Watsons, "Deep River Blues" to Waynes "Johnny Law" at a breakneck pace. The songs do sound best when we play them at the tempo that the artist recorded them in. Sometimes my band leader drags his tempo down and I'm thinking, "This sounds like we are on Heroine." For real. I gotta remind them that the pace is HERE and not here.
    I imagine myself getting down to Austin to meet these guys and maybe get a few lessons. Something to help with some solos or just some general information and technique improvements. I'm sure I could be well served by hanging a little bit with the masters.
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
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