Date: 10/27/2010 Print This Post

KARLING Revives The OC’s Rockabilly Scene with her Wednesday Night Review at Big’s Bar & Grill



OC’s Latest Musical Coup Follows In The Region’s Exciting
Tradition of Being a Hotbed
For The Hottest Sounds of The Day—From Surf Music in
the Early ‘60s to Punk Music in the Late ‘70s-Early ‘80s

Let’s hear it for the OC, the Rockabilly Revival Capital of the world!           

Carrying on Orange County, California’s exciting tradition of being a bellwether of emerging national musical trends, Karling’s electrifying weekly performances at Big’s Bar & Grill in Fullerton are singlehandedly making the region a hotbed of Rockabilly and Americana Music.

Karling is bringing the rhythmic joys of Rockabilly to a whole new generation of fans that were born after the world did “Stray Cat Strut” in the early 80’s. Word of her shows, part of a long term residency featuring the rising singer/songwriter’s “Karling’s Rockabilly Review,” have inspired acts in these genres from all around the country to make Big’s an important stop on their national tours. Some of these bands perform with Karling, while others have headlined their own shows.           

Each week, the U.K. born singer surprises the crowd with a new line up of events starting at 9 p.m, including the occasional ‘Rockabilly Karaoke’ with the house band and much more.

Longtime and new fans alike are showing their love for Karling’s new album Bound For Nowhere, which recently claimed the #1 spot on           

During her extensive summer 2010 tour, the heiress to the Rockabilly throne came in second at the West Coast Rockabilly Showdown held at the Orange County Market Place this summer where she captivated the crowd with her energetic line-up of music.           

Karling, who was recently nominated for a 2010 Hollywood Music In Media Award in the Americana/Roots category for her clever track, “Miss Fortune,” is known for her eclectic sound, earning her comparisons to Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette and June Carter. She has even been described as “Wanda Jackson meets Gwen Stefani, who puts in a conference call to David Bowie who’s lunching with the Stray Cats.”

Her 2006 self-titled debut, a critically acclaimed shout out to traditional honky tonk country that earned comparisons to Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette and June Carter, won three L.A. Music Awards: Rockabilly Album of the Year, Rockabilly Artist of the Year and Female Americana Vocalist of the Year.           

“The cool thing about performing at Big’s is that it’s great for diehard Rockabilly fans and also a place where regular music fans can go and feel comfortable, and have a good time with us,” says Karling. “It’s near Cal State Fullerton, it’s a huge club with a friendly staff, has an amazing sound system, and the owner is a Rockabilly fan himself. The most exciting thing about all this is that a lot of bands do weekly residencies that don’t take off like they hope – but we’re always exceeding our expectations. I love the fact that I have a regular place to play so that fans of the band who haven’t made it out yet can come anytime and enjoy the show. It’s also been fun to vary our set and play with different musicians, like Big Manny from The Blazers. I’m also excited about the idea of incorporating a Patsy Cline segment into the set.”           

The charismatic performer’s overwhelming success with her weekly shows may remind Southern California music fans of another musical revival which took place in the 90s. In a thriving club scene memorably captured by the film “Swingers,” groups like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Royal Crown Revue did residencies at The Derby in Los Angeles, which sparked a national craze for all things swing.           

Karling’s nearly singlehanded revival of Rockabilly/Americana is just the latest chapter in OC’s rich musical history and its impact on our musical culture. The same way she holds sway over hundreds of fans, legendary surf guitarist Dick Dale created a national sensation from the moment he first played the famed Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa in 1960. Until his arrival, the ballroom drew an average of two to three hundred patrons on a weekend night. Dale’s fascinating vibe, which was part of the era’s “surf music” craze that gave rise to bands like the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, drew close to 4,000 teens with every performance. Dale held court at the Rendezvous for two full years.           

Twenty years later, Orange County was the punk rock center of the universe, with local bands like Social Distortion (from Fullerton) and Agent Orange (the first to mix surf music with punk) ruling the roost. The hot punk club at the time was The Cuckoo’s Nest in Costa Mesa, which hosted shows by groups like Social D, 999, The Ramones, XTC, The Damned, New York Dolls, Circle Jerks and Black Flag. The venue was memorialized in the Vandals’ song “Pat Brown,” about a clubgoer who actually tried to run the cops into the ground.            

“Punk was big in OC in the eighties, but at the same time, Rockabilly was riding a big wave there, with fans into their classic music and old cars having a great time,” says Karling. “There haven’t been as many good venues in recent years, so it’s not surprising that the popularity of the music goes in waves. I think Rockabilly’s ability to touch people of many generations comes from its being the root of rock and roll. While metal and punk are derivative of that basic rock element, Rockabilly’s history is tied to the organic sound of early rock, which is the foundation of so many other styles. What we play is just honest, stripped down rock and roll.”