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home : music : music August 28, 2015

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4/4/2013 5:55:00 PM
Cadillac Angels: Still on the Road
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Patrick Whitehurst

The Cadillac Angels know how to rev up a room.

Their mix of rock and roll, rockabilly, and energetic style have stuck in the minds of music lovers for decades. And, like any fine-tuned engine, they know exactly how to get things moving.

Cadillac Angels front man Tony Balbinot started the band more than 20 years ago. Since then they've released 19 albums in vinyl, cassette and more. The band has been involved in movies and appeared in two films. They've thrilled audiences in more than 35 states and in seven countries.

"We've been plugging away for a while," Balbinot said.

While Balbinot is based out of Santa Barbara, Cadillac Angels has roots in Arizona. New drummer Bob Balazy calls the Grand Canyon home, while bass player Mickey-Rae lives in northern Arizona as well.

In Prescott, the band can typically be found at the Windsock Lounge, where they get a lot of local attention from their tri-city fans.

"It's kind of our main place to play here. Connie Doherty, the owner, is very supportive of live music and treats us very well," Balbinot said. "If we're playing the Spirit Room in Jerome on Saturday and Sunday, we're playing the Windsock on Friday. Every month we play at the Spirit Room, so we play here at the Windsock at least once a month. People find this venue comfortable. I know it's not on Whiskey Row, but I think it appeals to people because it isn't."

The Angels latest album, "Deluxe Accommodations," is available this week. The album cover features an old neon sign of a Cadillac Motel, which Balbinot said was altered to read the name of the band. The album itself was recorded in Jerome at Ghost Town Studios.

"It was fun to record in Jerome. The album has kind of a darker edge to it, which fits the place," Balbinot said.

More information on the band can be found online at www.cadillacangels.com. Their CDs can also be purchased online at cdbaby.com.

"The Internet has really leveled the playing field for us," Balbinot said. "When I first started, if you didn't have a record label, everything was being sold out of the trunk of your car. Now you can still sell off a stage, but more and more our Internet presence, through Youtube and Cdbaby and Facebook, that's all really changing the exposure level for us. We've got fans of the band in Sweden, Norway, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Italy and Japan."

Balazy joined the Angels in 2012, and it took him a couple of months to learn the band's repertoire. Balazy, along with Balbinot and Mickey-Rae, can be heard on the band's newest CD.

"I hooked up with Toni last August. The audience seems thrilled and they think I'm a good fit for the band," Balazy said. "This style is really fun to play, especially in a three-piece. I'm the baby in the band, at 54 years old."

Balazy described the music of Cadillac Angels as "Americana music."

"It's a cross between rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, cowboy surf, 50s; it's the root of American music and very appealing to all audiences, young and old," he said.

The band will be back at the Windsock on Friday, April 19 and at the Spirit Room on April 20 and 21.

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