Royal Crowns Volume 3
By Kerry Doole
There’s no sign of a rockabilly revival on the horizon, but, along with the likes of Ronnie Hayward and Alistair Christl, the Royal Crowns are keeping the flame burning in Toronto. With 21 years under their belts, they qualify as veterans, though this is just their third album. They recently downsized from a quartet and the trio format keeps things simple. The fact that guitarist Danny Bartley and drummer Teddy Fury (ex Bopcats) both write and sing adds a pleasing variety to their sound. There’s Buddy Holly-style sweetness to Fury’s “Could It Be” and his sense of humour is showcased well on “Butterball Baby” and “Pill Poppin’ Poppa.” Bartley channels Elvis vocally on the pleading “Please Stop,” his fluent guitar style incorporating swing, jazz, country, blues and surf elements very effectively. As well, he shines on cool instrumentals “Pickled Beats” and “End Run.” Volume 3 was co-produced and mixed by John Critchley (13 Engines, Dan Mangan), and he captures the group’s sound cleanly and without fuss. Volume 3 delivers the goods in authentic fashion.