This bit of music sounds as if the makers should come from deep in the heart of Texas, but in fact The Rockingbirds were a London-based outfit formed in 1990.
mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Gradually Learning
They were first signed to Heavenly Records but no mainstream success came from any of their four singles/EPs or their 1992 self-titled debut LP. Some of the band left after this initial burst of activity, but a new line-up inked a deal with Cooking Vinyl and an LP was recorded with Edwyn Collins at the producers desk. But still The Rockingbirds remained too square-dance to be hip and by 1995, they called it a day.
However, there was a very brief reformation in 2008 to play a show celebrating the 18th birthday of their first label and then some more gigs in 2009 to support the re-release of a remastered and extended version of the debut LP.
One of the band members was Andy Hackett who has long been a sidekick of the afore-mentioned Edwyn playing on his records and being part of the various tour bands.
Here’s the other tracks on the CD single:-
mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Where I Belong
mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Love Has Gone And Made A Mess Of Me
mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Gradually Learning (full version)
While here’s another of those early singles on Heavenly – a tribute to a very talented singer-songwriter from Boston who featured just yesterday on T(n)VV:-
mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Jonathan Jonathan
mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Time Drives The Truck
mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Older Guys
The last of these tracks is a cover version of a song by The Flying Burrito Brothers and was co-written by Gram Parsons. It was also covered, in 1993, by Teenage Fanclub and featured as one of the b-sides to Norman 3:-
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Older Guys
Here’s an update on The Rockingbirds as provided by the man who is sitting on the horse on the sleeve of Gradually Learning:-
“Hi, Andy from The Rockingbirds here, just to add we’re still going strong and are currently finishing our 4th album provisionally titled ‘More Rockingbirds’ as we speak. We also released an album called ‘The Return of the Rockingbirds’ a couple of years ago, which like all of our albums is still available.”
I’m off to track down a copy….and hopefully the band will take to the road later on in the year to promote the upcoming 4th album.