Tex Rubinowitz and Bob Newscaster’s Original Dixieland Rock ‘N’ Roll Band is the result of an idea nurtured over twenty years. Tex was a superstar in Washington D.C. Rockabilly circles back in the 70s and 80s. His hit, “Hot Rod”, was featured in a television commercial and the movie “Roadhouse 66.” It seemed like his group, trading on the incongruity of his name, might make it to the big time. But when he realized the recording execs weren’t going to come knocking he hung up his ax for a while and got on with life. While he made fine guitars in his garage 20 years rolled by. His legend though never went away.
In 2012, as he neared 70 he figured it was now or never to get back on the horse. He had an idea for a band with Dixieland horns and a rock rhythm and recruited his old partner and fellow guitarist Bob Newscaster to join him in a roots band with a unique sound. ODRB was born.
They recruited some experienced musicians and backup vocalists from the DC area and took their time recording this album with professionalism through and through, releasing it in 2017. The town welcomed Tex back eagerly and the band appeared at several public events, they even got a profile in The Washington Post and an eight page retrospective of their careers in Blues Rag titled “The Last Hurrah”. They sure aren’t Dixie but I have a feeling they’d be a hit with a certain segment of our crowd.
They cover classics including, Jimmie Rodgers’ “Blue Yodel #9” & “Brakemen’s Blues”, “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”, and “St. James Infirmary”. Tex and Bob also wrote ten originals, some of them quite good. Nice tunes and clever lyrics. Rubinowitz is in control vocally, he didn’t lose the star power over his long break. The title track, “The Old Man Mississippi” is a mission statement of sorts. It’s the idea of the delta as America’s musical cradle that they are drawing from.
It’s an interesting crossover sound. The guitar style is on the Carl Perkins side of 50s rock, but they aren’t going for the heat of rockabilly. They lay it back and leave time for solos. The horns are a nice addition. Trumpet, trombone, and clarinet, not the saxes you might expect. It makes for a nice jam, with a bluesy classic country feel. At times it would be hard to say it wasn’t straight jazz, other tracks are essentially country with some horn overlays. Its a great final fling for an old pair of greasers.