Like a whiskey soaked, Southern revival tent, Rio and the Rockabilly Revival serves up spitfire Rockabilly where angels fall and sinners are welcome. Make no mistake, this is not your daddy’s Doo-Wop. It’s pure Rock & Roll with all the sin, sweat and swagger allowed by law.
The Revival draws heavily from the genres that came together in the early 50’s to form what would be first known as Rockabilly and later known as Rock and Roll: Jump Blues, Gospel, Hillbilly Swing and Rhythm and Blues. These genres came together with a “rock beat” and Rockabilly was born. Later it would be known as Rock & Roll. Blending these old school sounds with a fresh, modern, aesthetic has proven to be a winning combination for Rio and the Rockabilly Revival, appealing to traditional purists and modern music lovers alike.
Brett Callwood, MetroTimes
Their bombastic stage show whips audiences into a frenzy, featuring Rio Scafone in full-tilt, Bettie-Page-on-a-rampage persona, sporting her trademark pinup dress and worn, scrappy boots. Back it up with tight harmonies, top notch musicians and high-energy choreography and you’ve got yourself a Revival show. Their concerts have been hailed as the “Church of Rock & Roll” playing off themes of sin and redemption, driving fans to their knees, chanting, “Save My Soul!”
Front woman, Rio Scafone ignites the stage with a raw audacity that critics describe as “exhilarating” and “primal. With the slow-burn swagger of a young Elvis Presley and the wailing abandon of Little Richard, Rio is known for her larger-than-life stage presence and big soulful voice. She’s been described as “Big Mama Thornton meets Little Richard meets Freddie Mercury.”
Rio Scafone is a living, breathing force of nature. Renowned for her belting vocals and feral like stage presence she is equally known for her fierce work ethic and has been known to rehearse up to 7 hours a day to prepare for a concert or show. She is the niece of Rockabilly legend Jack Scott, but that is hardly her whole story. She literally grew up steeped in Rockabilly thanks to her uncle and her parents who filled the house with the sound of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and of course Jack Scott. Rio eventually moved to the West Coast where she dove head first into music and acting. She flatly turned down a major label record deal offered to her in Los Angeles. “They wanted me to be a breathy sex-kitten Barbie type, and I’m standing there in combat boots, with my wild curly black hair and a voice that would blow out their studio monitors. They didn’t know quite what to what to do with me back then. Probably still don’t.” She has spent the last 25 years on stages across the United States in a wide array of musical projects, professional theater, feature films and television roles. But it’s music that is her home base and while she is self proclaimed creative chameleon, Rockabilly fits Rio like a glove: the fashion, the swagger, the grit, the passion, and the rebel spirit are personified in her music and every performance. photo by Feral Fotography
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Junebug stated playing bass guitar in a Detroit suburb at the age of 15. He started playing rock and funk gigs early on, adding upright bass to his arsenal and was accepted to both Berklee College of Music and Julliard, but stayed in Detroit to pursue a Jazz major at Wayne State University. Coming out of college, he scored a spot playing for Lava/Atlantic recording artists, The Atomic Fireballs. After their breakup, he has been a band leader and side man for dozens of projects, playing a wide diversity of styles, including funk, latin, world fusion, metal, celtic, jazz, bebop, bigband and much more. He’s toured with Motor City Josh (Blues), The Town Pants (Celt Roots Rock), Brothers of the Sea (Irish) and more recently with the legendary Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses. Junebug loves little more than a-slapping and a-sweating over his big bull fiddle, and arranging music/directing the band with Rio for the Revival. photo by Chris Bjornberg
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Renee Turner was raised in a musical family. She grew up taking dance lessons and performing in community theater. After high school, she went on to earn a degree in Musical Theater before moving to New York. There she studied with legends like Ben Vareen and Jeff Goldblum. She has sung and acted on stage and television in a variety of spots, including lead singer for the Molly Maid jingle and in Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” video. Her first gig a a backing singer was with Judy Collins at the Macomb Center for Performing Arts. Stage credits include numerous productions with JET theater and Meadow Brook Theater, and she’s a stage Equity member. Renee loves the hard work and hot stage show of the Revival. photo by Feral Fotography
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Kelly has a passion for music and the performing arts. She grew up singing and dancing at school and local studios. After high school Kelly spent 3 years at Ruhala’s Performing Arts Studio studying acting, singing, and dancing. She was cast in many live performances gaining experience on stage. She recently moved to Ferndale from the west side of the state and has been enjoying getting to see the talented musicians and performers in the metro Detroit area. photo by Gary McFarland
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Nathan Montgomery started playing guitar at the age of 9. After high school he attended Wayne State University on a guitar scholarship, he graduated in 2001 with a bachelors in jazz performance. He is well regarded in the Detroit music scene as a killin’ and dexterous guitarist. Nathan Montgomery performed, written and recorded with a wide range of styles/genres with several groups including: The Motown All-Stars, Allen As Tim, Groovelation, The Fringe, Wishbone, Saoco, Grace and the Guys, Rhythm Society Orchestra and as a solo musician performing finger style “crazy acoustic guitar.”
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Eric “Squeaky” Schabo met Junebug back during the Swing revival of the late nineties as one of the founding members of The Atomic Fireballs. After the Atomic Fireballs broke up, Junebug and Eric went their separate ways for a while. When in need of an amazing sax player came up in Rio and the Rockabilly Revival, Junebug looked him up to see what he was doing. He happened to be gigging and touring with Rockabilly pioneer, AND Rio’s uncle, Jack Scott. It was clear they should be working together, and so Eric joined the band.
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David is prolific Detroit area drummer and touring musician, and he kills! His real bio will be updated soon!
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“Lish” has been working professionally as a vocalist/dancer/actress for about 15 years in addition to the many musical and dramatic productions she has worked on since childhood. Notable projects with which she has toured both nationally and internationally include The Square Pegz (lead singer), The Mega 80’s (lead and back-up vocals), Rio & The Rockabilly Revival (back-up vocalist and dancer), Danny D and the Vagabonds (lead and back-up vocals), Moose and Da Sharks featuring Da Sharkettes (lead and back-up vocals), Penumbrae (lead singer), Bus Stop Poets (lead and back-up vocalist), and Elsie Binx (back-up vocalist). She has also worked as a back-up singer for many other artists, including Johnny Preston. Lish also works as a studio musician (vocalist), and has experience in live TV performance, music videos, radio spots, radio commercials, in-studio performances, movie soundtracks and trade show performances. Write Cindee here: email@example.com
Jay Jay Ross is a multi-genre vocalist. She has worked with Ben Folds, the New York Voices, Johnaye Kendrick, The Real Group, Steve Zegree, Fred Hersch, and now Rio and the Rockabilly Revival. She spent her college career as a member of the internationally renowned Gold Company vocal jazz group; touring New York, performing for high school outreach programs, producing shows, and head-lining the Jazz Education Network conference in San Diego, CA. Jay Jay graduated Western Michigan University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance/Jazz Studies, and is also the front woman, composer and arranger of her own ten-piece swing band, Retro Pop Shuffle. Write Jay Jay here: firstname.lastname@example.org