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What the media has been saying ::
A SERIOUS PEDIGREE
With a name like THE YEEHAA BOYS, it's hard at first glance to take Australia's newest Country Swing sensation seriously.

But scratch the surface a little and you soon discover that this band has a pedigree as long and impressive as any act on the Australian music scene.

The Yeehaa Boys feature some of the brightest stars of iconic Oz bands like NOISEWORKS, THE RADIATORS and the TED MULRY GANG, and as spokesman Chris Fitz-Gibbon points out (tongue firmly in cheek), they are indeed serious - about having fun and making sure their fans do the same.

"Our name is a bit of a giveaway - clearly we're not going to be singing about depressing childhoods and being miserable. No - we're following that great Western Swing tradition of singing about girls and cars and the good times in life," Chris said.

The Yeehaa Boys came together two and a half years ago after songwriter, singer and keyboard player Mick Buckley returned to Australia after six years performing in the South of the United States. His experiences in places like Texas, New Orleans, Florida and Nashville inspired a whole swag of songs, and he was eager to see what he could do with them. So he got together with old schoolmate and bandmate Steve Balbi, from Noiseworks, and they pulled in the talents of another friend, Artie Taylor, best known for his work on the Buddy Holly Show. That's when Chris Fitz-Gibbon entered the picture. "I'd played with the Ted Mulry Gang for many years, and when Ted passed away, I kind of hung up my guitar - I thought I was a bit past the whole rock thing. But when I got talking to the boys about this idea, I realised it would be a very different kind of band, and I got really enthusiastic about it. It's turned out to be everything I hoped," Chris said.

"Musically it works brilliantly, as we all have some kind of background in Western Swing, and we all love that style of music. The response we're getting from the fans - particularly from our CMC clip, released recently, shows the fans love it too." Enthusiasm is definitely the calling card of The Yeehaa Boys. These guys are clearly loving every minute of their new musical adventure, and it comes through in their catchy, appealing songs, their slightly over-the-top on-stage personas, and most of all their irrepressible, powerful delivery.

"We were determined to do this right - it's a different style of music for us and for the country audience. So what we deliver is a whole lot of energy, a great vibe and plenty of enthusiasm and fun," Chris said. They also deliver some remarkable musicianship, honed over decades in the competitive rock industry, where they're all held in enormous esteem.

The Yeehaa Boys have released two singles to date, Playin' 8 Ball in mid-2006 and more recently Shake Baby (Do Ya Stuff). Now they've completed their first album, the self-titled The Yeehaa Boys, which will be launched with a huge gig at Sydney's The Basement in early May. The album features both of their previous singles, along with tracks like Dancin' Legs, Can Ya Feel It, Chatter Chatter, Bench Seat, the very cool and catchy Texan Chilli Stew and probably their best song, Hit That Drum.

They've recently recorded several brand new songs to include on the album, amongst them It's a Dog's Life, Red Wagon and an unashamedly over the top cover version of the classic Rawhide that evokes memories of zany Perth band THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Other tracks - all of which capture the sparky, irreverent joy of the band and its music - are Knocking Boots and Operator. And if you thought the name The Yeehaa Boys was intended to take the mickey out of the country scene, that couldn't be further from the truth.

"The name's my fault," said Chris. "I've always said 'Yee haa!!' So when we had to come up with a name quickly, we chose ''The Yeehaa Boys'. It wasn't meant to be permanent, but after a while we decided we liked it - and it stuck. It works for us because it really reflects what we're doing - taking the fun element from that amazing Western Swing sound and really going with it, to create a sound and a style that people really relate to, and just can't get enough of."

By Susan Jarvis

COUNTRY MUSIC CAPITAL NEWS
APRIL 2008

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