New Milford Man Loves To Play Rockabilly Music: “A Hobby Gone Mad”

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NEW MILFORD – In the early 1980s, when resident Dave Del Monte was at his grandparents’ house in Port Chester, NY, he discovered his mother’s old records from the 1950s – and immediately got on with it. affection.

“I started to go through them and play them. The first album I released was Elvis Presley’s debut album, ”said Del Monte, 50, a father of two.

“Hound Dog” and “Blue Suede Shoes” were the first Elvis songs he ever heard.

“I was like, ‘This is awesome’,” he said.

From that moment on he said he wanted to learn to play the guitar.


“I liked the beat, the beat and all of that kind of music,” he said.

Del Monte’s interest is what led to his flourishing hobby as a self-taught recording and rockabilly artist.

“Rockabilly is probably the earliest form of rock and roll,” said Del Monte. “It combines rhythm and blues and old country and western music, and is generally uptempo. “

To date, Del Monte, who performs throughout the Tri-State region, has released 23 songs, 11 of which are original music. His music can be heard on Facebook, YouTube and Spotify.

The early years

Aside from Del Monte’s mother, Frances, his father Edward also loved 1950s music, and young Del Monte could hear the voices of Elvis, Buddy Holly and Dion on his father’s eight-track tape recorder in the car. when the two were driving in town.

When Del Monte was 14, he learned to play guitar on an Ibanez Artist, which he bought from Sam Ash music stores in 1983 and still owns.

“I started with a book and a record and used magazines,” he said. “I also talked to friends and listened and practiced a lot.”

A teenager in Port Chester High School, Del Monte experimented with many different types of music, such as hard rock and heavy metal “because it was popular back then,” he said.

It wasn’t until about 20 years ago that he decided to start recording the music he first fell in love with – rock and roll and rockabilly – and the one-man band “Dave Del Monte & The Cross County Boys “was formed.

“As a Christmas present, my wife bought me a four-track recorder and I started using it for recording. I started to learn to play the right base, so back then I was only using guitar, straight base, and acoustic guitar.

He began posting covers of artists such as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Charlie Feathers, Gene Vincent, Link Wray, and Dick Dale.

In the early 2000s, he released two full albums, “Folically Impaired” and “Cross The Line”, and appeared on “Rockabilly Burnout Vol. 1 “for the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Original music

About three years ago, Del Monte started to want to write his own music.

“It kind of evolved from listening and copying Elvis, Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, to writing my own rockabilly songs,” he said.

Some time ago a friend told him he should write a song called “Carburetor for Christmas” – and it marked him for many years.

“About three years ago I called him and said, ‘Check your email. Listen to this.’ I had recorded a song and released it in 2019 as part of a Christmas EP (extended play) called Yule Boogie. He has spent the last three Christmases on the radio.

From that point on, his hobby took on a new direction as he began to think about lyrics for his own songs.

Del Monte practices in a small recording studio in his basement. Sometimes a song will come to him in 10 minutes; other times it will take him a month.

He gets material ideas from anywhere and everywhere, he said.

“Sometimes I’ll get an idea of ​​a saying,” he said. “I’ll see something somewhere, like one of the songs I released this year was called“ Sloppy Jalopy. ”A friend of mine had posted something from“ Follow That Bird, ”the Sesame Street movie. Oscar’s car, there was the Sloppy Jalopy, and I was like, “Sloppy Jalopy – it’s a car song. It’s a rockabilly song.

Last July, Del Monte was interviewed by New Milford Mayor Pete Bass and performed in a town hall, playing some of his favorites – “Sloppy Jalopy,” “Hunker in my bunker” and “Don’t be Cruel “.

He also performed at the Farmers Market on New Milford Green.

He has given several concerts in New Jersey with rockabilly band Crash Gordon and artist Debra Dynamite. He has also performed with the group Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones.

Several months ago, Crash Gordon and Debra Dynamite invited Del Monte to perform with them for rockabilly legend and singer Robert Gordon.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “They supported me and I played about three or four songs with them.”

Del Monte, who works as a controller at an electronics company in Mount Kisco, New York, said he would like to make his music a full-time career if he could, “but it doesn’t ‘is not a stable income “.

A new holiday song, “Drag Racing Santa”, was released last November. This year’s releases include “Great Googa Mooga”, “Sit-Down Comedian” and “Stampede”.

‘A dream come true’

Del Monte receives reviews for his music from disc jockeys to whom he sends his music. From them, he said he learned that people prefer to listen and play original songs rather than remakes.

“They said if you wanna play your stuff, we really wanna hear from you. We want to know what you are talking about. They said the covers are cool but they really want to hear some original material, ”he said.

This is not a problem for Del Monte.

“I like being able to create music on my own terms,” he said.

His best critic is his wife Wendy, with whom he conducts all his music, to have a new look.

“I usually test songs with her before I start recording. One of the things she hammered at me is putting more of myself into it when I sing. It can be tough. She doesn’t mince words. I wrote whole songs that I thought were good and she said, ‘No, I don’t feel it,’ he said.

He said that feedback is necessary for any artist.

“When you’re working alone, whether you’re recording or just listening, you have to have someone else listening to your music. Otherwise, you just record and listen and you do it all. You might think it’s the best thing in the world, but someone else is listening to it and like, ‘listen to this again,’ he said.

He said his best performed music is a Halloween song called “Haunted Horror Howl”.

“That one was probably on about 50 or 60 radio stations and Internet stations,” he said. It will be on a compilation of vinyl records on Missing Fink Records, which is expected to be released overnight.

Del Monte plans to release a full CD in the coming year.

Regarding his lyrics and his music as a whole, he said he doesn’t take himself too seriously.

“I like to keep it fun,” he said. “I hope when you hear one of my songs it will make you smile, make you laugh, make you laugh – maybe it will make you dance.” “

Del Monte describes his musical achievements as “a dream come true”.

“It’s just a hobby gone crazy,” he said.

[email protected] 203-948-9802


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