Reviews 'n Interviews 'n Articles
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
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:
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
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
Bad Bob and His Good Friends - Bad Bob
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 lartista (e i suoi buoni amici) lavorano con
grinta ed entusiasmo e siccome lentusiasmo, 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
(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 Songy 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
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
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
Thanks for agreeing to visit with us, Bob. When and how did you
start playing fiddle?
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
What other instruments do you play?
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.
We know you worked with Dale Watson in the past. How did that come
about, and can you describe the experience? [ read