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Bad Bob Rohan 2009 Radio Interview

Hear the Interview with Bad Bob by Country Rose!


PETE SMITH - REVIEWS - BAD BOB ROHAN - promoted by RhonBob Promotions

by Pete Smith on June 13, 2009

MANY THANKS PETE SMITH FOR A GREAT REVIEW on a very talented man that sings, writes, entertains, is funny, and also a cartonist...HE HAS IT ALL !!!!!   We at RhonBob Promotions are very blessed to promote BAD BOB ROHAN....May his star shine forever.  Rhon

“The Advertiser” (UK) 12 June 2009

Bob Rohan is Texas through and through. Known in his native state as Bad Bob, Rohan has been fiddling and singing for more than three decades opening shows for such luminaries as Carlene Carter, John Conley, Charlie Daniels and Merle Haggard and playing in bands for Jack Greene, Ray Price, Hank Thompson, Pam Tillis and Dale Watson. Bob is also a talented song writer and cartoonist, a talented that has garne red several nominations for major awards.

Bob first started playing the fiddle whilst still at school, learning to play by ear. He later learned to read music and was soon playing in bands for his junior high and high schools and the Kiwanis Youth Symphony. Bob played his grandfather's fiddle making him unusual in that he, unlike his fellow school band members, owned his instrument. He also learned to play electric bass because good bass players were in-demand for country bands.

Rohan arrived in Texas late in 1975 and immediately fell in love with the “Lone Star State”.It was, of course, the home of his great hero Bob Wills and this inspired him to perfect his performance of western swing. He adopted the name Bad Bob after hitting a bum note on stage and his guitar player remarked “That was bad Bob!”. The name remained with him.

Throughout the years Bad Bob Rohan has remained extremely popular, particularly in Texas, the West, Mid-West, Canada, Spain and France though his recordings are surprisingly few. That is why “Prairie Rose” is so important. The twelve performances show just what a talented fiddler Bob is as he turns his bow to jazz (“Sweet Georgia Brown”), sweet dance music (“Robyn's Waltz”), popular favourites “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”) and western classics (“Red River Valley”) and Cajun (“The Ballad Of Harry Choates”). Western music though is dear to Bob's heart a fact emphasised on “Prairie Rose”, “Out Where The West Winds Blow”, “Don't Fence Me In” and “Happy Rovin' Cowboy”. Completing the track listing for this superb album are the story songs “Live Every Day” and “The Angels Finally Came” and the jazz/blues standard “Four Or Five Times”. Supporting Bob's vocals and fiddle are a dozen Texas musicians who provide sterling guitar, banjo, steel, bass and drums support.


Bad Bob - "Prairie Rose"

The Tex Mex Folk Twin Fiddle Swing Honky Tonk CD "Prairie Rose" is, to put it mildly, quite a study in styles!! And it's not your typical gussied-up or slicked-down variety of any of it. This is the stuff that drifted over the rise from the neighbor's barn dance. It's the stuff that makes Western show hosts who "get it" jump up and hoot 'n' holler! It also the stuff that makes your run of the mill Country Music programmers say "huh?" and scratch their heads. Well, at least that way something gets to their heads…

"Bad Bob" is otherwise known as Bob Rohan, the cartoonist of the strip "Buffalo Gals." His performing and love of roots swing sort of lines him up with underground comics legend R. (Robert) Crumb who performed with friends in a folk & jug band. Obviously they're both artists of "note!"

At times Bob's voice seems to ride in the Red Steagall arena, although he handles it differently. Top tracks on the CD include a Cajun style original "Ballad Of Harry Choates," a gut bucket take of "Four Five Time," a swing instrumental "Red River Valley" and the Yellow Rose of Texas-inspired title track. Other Western standards include "Happy Rovin' Cowboy," "Don't Fence Me In" and it's nice to see a warhorse done by Rex & Bonnie Allen taken for a trot "Out Where The West Winds Blow." It's fun, yet not all fun and games. There's some surprisingly serious lyric content in a couple of songs, but some folks can swing anything!!

CDs: $15 ppd through www.backfortybunkhouse.com

- by Rick Huff



From Bernard Boyat, France:


From Joe Sixpack's New Country Record Reviews:

Bad Bob & His Good Friends "Bad Bob & His Good Friends" (Self-Released, 2001)

Good-timin' western swing and the local spirit of independent Texas music are alive and well, as heard in this fun album by fiddler and songwriter Bob Rohan. He pays dutiful homage to the spirit of Bob Wills in a rousing version of "Deep In The Heart of Texas," and on his original tune, "When You Play The Fiddle In Texas (You Better Know All The Tunes!)" It was the charm of his original material that caught my attention -- especially on great novelty tunes like "She Took A Blowtorch To My Workbench" and the similarly-themed "Daddy's Pad (When Momma's Mad)," which extols the virtues of sleeping in the cab of your truck when domestic tension looms. Fans of humble, obscuro alt.country greats such as Deadly Earnest, Alvin Crow, Chuck Wagon & The Wheels, or Cornell Hurd will find a lot to celebrate in this album -- this ain't super-slick Nashville pop, it's just a guy with a friendly-sounding voice and a bunch of pals who can pick some nice country music, and it's pretty cool. This is the kind of independently-produced album you used to hear a lot more often; nice to know someone out there still has the magic formula.


From April Rapier:

Bad Bob & His Good Friends

Hey, Bad Bob!
I got the CD, played it and WOW! You're the real deal, bud! Thanks so much for sending it my way. I get strong hits of Johnny Cash in his heyday, a wonderful mix of raw and polished, wild and serious, dignified and totally out there. I'm especially partial to shuffles!!! The female voices are lovely and traditional, perfect choices! I could go on from my various points of view (producer, player, voice coach, etc.) but the bottom line is very, very cool!
You da man...
All best, April


From Lonestartime.com:

Bad Bob and His Good Friends - Bad Bob
Gianluca Sitta

Quando fare musica è sinonimo di puro divertimento è il momento di artisti come Bad Bob, simpatico musicista Texano dal violino indiavolato e dalla belle voce. Bad Bob e i suoi buoni amici (fra cui spicca il nome del honky tonk hero Dale Watson) non si risparmiano e ci regalano 13 momenti di grande Texas country music . Brani come Stars On The Sidewalk, Deep In The Heart Of Texas, Orange Blossom Special o Texas Home fanno sempre la loro grande figura, questo è indubbio, ma interpretati da quel “ragazzaccio” Bad Bob acquistano nuovo smalto e colore. Probabilmente dipende dal fatto che l’artista (e i suoi buoni amici) lavorano con grinta ed entusiasmo e siccome l’entusiasmo, si sa, spesso è contagioso, alla fine anche chi ascolta questo dischetto si ritrova contagiato e travolto dalla cascata di note. Questo naturalmente non va a discapito della professionalità del prodotto che rimane suonato e cantato in maniera molto puntuale ed arrangiato con grande attenzione. A questo punto vi è poco da aggiungere: procuratevi questo Bad Bob and His Good Friends e buon divertimento nel profondo del cuore del Texas.


Title of Article: "Prairie Rose" CD of the Week by Jordi Guasch
(Translated from Spanish to English)
Special Thanks to John Conlon

Just yesterday I received Bob's more recent CD Rohan: “Prairie Bob”, recorded last summer in Houston. It doesn't lack the instrumental accompaniment of remarkable musicians: Jim Moratto (banjo and guitar), Ricky Davis (steel guitar), Jim Black (piano), another banjista (Ron Rebstock), more guitarists (Curtis Davis, Joe Kirkpatrick, Randy Meadows), etc…

The disk is in the same line of superb quality like the previously mentioned one and Bob's elegant fiddle it highlights as always. Nevertheless, an evolutionary step is appreciated here more when containing a song so unaware to the Country as “Over The Rainbow”. many will remember it because she appeared in the film “The Wizard of Oz” sung by a candid Judy Garland that moved away from its farm in search of the dog that had lost. An entire success became in the Pop lists of the time and in this occasion, Bob's fiddle transforms it into Country. The banjo man and vocalist John Hartford also made the same thing in 1977 recycling the basic topic of “Doctor Zhivago” titling it “Somewhere My Love”. In that occasion he played the fiddle the unmistakable Benny Martin style and the same as the “Over The Rainbow” of Bob, it begins to slow rhythm to reach a frantic one finally galloped that it impels us to move the feet. A traditional resource in those “Zsàrdas” of the gypsies from the Europe of the This whose influence arrived in Texas with the immigrants of the Old World.

“Prairie Rose” it is a beautiful ballad, as beautiful as the “Robin's Waltz” although, the truth, the whole CD is a masterful combination of rhythms and sensations prevailing, as of habit, the festival tone. I love Bob's voice and of course its way to slip the arch, granting that sound clarity that Benny Martin possessed. In fact, at general level, the Texan violinists have always been characterized to have a less rude sound that that of their predecessors, those “hillbillies” of the mountains Appalachian Mountains and Ozarks. Bob makes Gallic of his loyal passion for the Country Music contributing more versions of immortal topics. “Don´t Fence Me In” it sprang from the imagination of somebody so urban and linked to the universe “Pop” of Broadway like Cole Porter but from the stage of those “Singin´Cowboys”, it has been so versionada for the crooners country of wide wing and you bounce that already forms part of the Olympus Western. And what to say of “Red River Valley” whose melody has sounded until in the Camp Nou when the Stadium of the F.C.Barcelona, surrendered a minute of silence to some died person of fame very linked to the Club. Their first register Country they made it: Carl T. Sprague (pioneer in recording the style cowboy) under the title of “Cowboy's Love Song”y Bascom & Blackwell Lunsford (in the slope characteristic of those “backwoods” of the southeast) as “Sherman Valley”, both in 1925.

It was in 1927 when you began to call “Red River Valley” thanks to Hugo's recording Cross and Riley Puckett (guitarist and blind singer of the “madwoman” string band: Skillet Lickers). This song has had many names and in spite of having been written by a certain J.Kerrigan toward 1889, its history is more remote. In accordance with certain musicologist, “Red River Valley” a British soldier composed it during the wars of the Canada…. Much later, that river of the North “he would transform” in the Red River located between the frontiers of Texas and Oklahoma and Texas with Arkansas moving to the southeast for Louisiana obeying the route of the Mississsippi. In 1821, the river was one of the several roads that led to Texas and for that reason, the colonists, maintained in its memory this transcendent step. We could write an entire book with the versions Country of this melody but I cannot avoid to mention some of the best interpreters in singing it: Lynn Anderson, Gene Autry, Marty Robbins, Michael Martin Murphey, George Strait, Riders In The Sky…. In short, I dare to include Bad now Bob. “Red River Valley” the planet traveled starting from that artists “Pop” as The Andrews Sisters or Connie Francis the displaces from the prairies to the suitable metropolitan living rooms.

“Four Five Times” it is another prodigious version of Bad Bob on a topic “Western-jive” that I discovered in the album of the Big River Band. “Happy Rovin´ Cowboy” it is an appeased piece western that even Hank Williams interpreted during his radio broadcasts for Hadacol Medicene. Of the most current versions, apart from that of Bob, I recommend the one made by the Sons Of The San Joaquín, worthy heirs of Sons Of The Pioneers.

To put the cherry to the flavorful cake, I make special mention of “The Ballad of Harry Choates”. Bob wrote it as homage to his admired Harry Choates, singer, guitarist (included steel-guitar) and especially fiddle of the slope more Country of the Cajun. Born in 1922 in Lousiana it was the pioneer in popularizing with more success the classic “Jole Blon” catapulting it to the fifth position of the commercial lists of the Country Music, in 1946; something not very average being a topic Cajun. Nevertheless, many doubts exist regarding the responsibility of this marshy ballad although it is for sure the melody goes back to the XIX century and that the author of the letter was Angelas LeJeune, for the 1910 '. Servant in Texas, Choates entered in Leo's band Soileau, another pioneer of the recordings Cajun that Country also lives in the Olympus. Soileau registered “Jole Blon” in 1935 as “It Waltzes Him of Gueyden” and it is very commendable that Choates is inspired in this variant of the waltz.

The success that Choates obtained with “Jole Blon” it didn't prevent him from wasting his talent by getting drunk in the Texas honky-tonks. His death is mysterious and in 1951, after being imprisoned to refuse the support to its wife and children, he died. Some say that it was due to the “delirium tremens” alcoholic and others go through and that he fell into a coma having suffered an epileptic attack. The case is that as other big of the Cajun and the Cajun-Country, it continues to live in the instant in that somebody rescues its original material, he plays versions of its topics or like Bad Bob, he has composed a superb song of the soul.

“Prairie Rose”, the last of Bob Rohan, is unquestionably a work 100% impregnated Country of authentic Western-jive, Honky-Tonk and Western adding that offering brushstroke to Harry's Cajun Choates. In enough occasions, fed up with so many titles “made in Music City” plagued of soporific ballads “pop-almost country” and other anodyne topics subject to a certain commercial formula, I accustom to hear those groups and interpreters that Country offers me Music in pure state or I clean old jewels of the gender. Bad Bob recovers the freshness and the artist's honesty Country that this music adores and he doesn't surrender before the mercantilist condicionamientos.

I am not a rash one if I dare to say that any fond of the gender will be happy with this work and he will lift him the spirit. “Prairie Rose” it restores the virginity of the Country Texan insuflándole renovated airs. For if it was little, he translates the simplicity and a versatile artist's nobility that it travels the modern paths of the gender carrying their low fiddle the arm and without stopping to step the roots that many of their union and condition have already forgotten…


Interview: RealCountryMusic.org

RASCALITA: Thanks for agreeing to visit with us, Bob. When and how did you start playing fiddle?

BAD BOB: I started playing the fiddle in 4th grade. I started almost immediately playing by ear and they told me that I would need to read music, which I did and I performed in my Junior High, High School and The Kiwanis Youth Symphony and now I am back to playing by ear again. My grandfather left me his fiddle and that really bonded me with the instrument because it was mine and I wasn't renting my instrument like the others. I started out with a full size violin and literally grew into my instrument. It is a difficult instrument to play because of no frets on the finger board. I know I must've drove my Mom crazy squeaking and squawking all those formative years but she helped develop a talent and skill that no one can take away and it has enriched my life many times over. She would be doing dishes and I would be practicing and she always would say "Sounds good Bob!" and that always encouraged me to stay with it, even through the bad notes.

RASCALITA: What other instruments do you play?

BAD BOB: I started playing the electric bass guitar in country bands because they always needed good bass players and it wasn't that difficult to learn. In one band, they asked me if I would play some fiddle and so the lead guitar player would play bass and I would fiddle and it always went over great and so I eventually went to playing fiddle full time.

RASCALITA: We know you worked with Dale Watson in the past. How did that come about, and can you describe the experience? [ read more...]


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