Flyinshoes Review

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THE TEXAS GENTLEMEN —TX JELLY (New West Records)

 

www.newwestrecords.com

 

www.thetexasgentlemen.com

 

 

The Texas Gentlemen are a new ensemble to me, and in TX Jelly their debut album this band made up around the core quintet of Beau Bedford, Nik Lee, Daniel Creamer, Matt McDonald and Ryan Ake the boys recorded this cornerstone piece at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The music reflects the varied players used, and eclectic tastes as blues, soul, folk, country, rock and gospel are illustrated. Rich in style, energy and good old fashioned straight off the cuff entertainment the 11-song recording sounds like it is live. Recorded over a 96-hour time span alongside another 17 songs that weren’t used, leader Beau Bedford (producer) over sees the music as a bunch of guests drop by; Paul Cauthen, Noah Jackson and Keite Young as vocalists. Lee does a great job on “Dream Along” (arguably the best vocal cut) and impress when Cauthen guests on “Gone”; here you have a strange mix as hints of old trucking and a jaunty happy go lucky feel establish part of what they are about. “My Way” is more sophisticated, and mellow as piano and harmony vocals see him home, or it is that way before the band, cleverly introduce a rockabilly-esque tone or two.

 

Of an eerie feel you have “Superstition”, and a dream-like feel as 1970-1980s pop filters through.Although it possesses a lasting feel it isn’t because I particularly like it. Likewise goes for the jam-like rock number, instrumental track “TX Jelly” as they throw everything into the melting pot. Albeit some of it does sound okay, and has grown on me after a number of plays. Next up you have heart-tugging ballad “Pretty Flowers”, written and performed by Dan Dyer (also see “Trading Paint”, and co-write with Cauthen “Gone”) on vocals it has traditional country written all over it. What a fantastic little honky tonk number it is too. Next up is an unexpected and fiery cover of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates 1960s hit “Shakin’ All Over” , and it contains some serious jamming by all and sundry. To close it is more from the excellent Dyer, and he doesn’t disappoint. This time he speaks of him not being a real hillbilly, and with some glorious harmony vocals and stripped down accompaniment the listener gets to sample, and enjoy a wondrous piece of storytelling. The lyrics speaks of how the character in the song drives an old Subaru, and the guy following too close is about to trade with him some paint. With song wry lyrics it speaks of how it pays to be polite when you are out on the road, because you just don’t know who might be driving that Subaru!         

 

The Texas Gentlemen have backed a bunch of Texas based, and otherwise acts. With the loose association of  guests coming and going and this in mind they found inspiration (and, or modelled themselves) on such combos as The Wrecking Crew, The Muscle Shoals Swampers, Booker T. and M.G’s and Bob Dylan’s one-time backing unit, The Band among others. It will be interesting to see where they go next; fans of the band already include those who have been backed by them as in Terry Allen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Kris Kristofferson, Jack Ingram, Ray Benson and Texas singer-songwriter Joe Ely. Ely rates them as the best ever set of players that have accompanied him on stage. When it comes from Joe people tend to sit up and take notice, and check out what he's talking about.  

 

                                                Maurice Hope       

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1
Rod Picott
70 pts.
Out Past The Wires
Welding Rod Music
GC,AN,LM,SZ,TK
2
JW Roy & The Royal Family
62 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,PJ,DH
3
Steph Cameron
61 pts.
Daybreak over Jackson Street
Pheromona
ML
4
JD McPherson
54 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
AR,RK,LK
5
Sarah Morris
53 pts.
Hearts In Need Of Repair
Independent
 
6
Turnpike Troubadours
52 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
MA,GF
7
Chris Hillman
51 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
 
8
Hayward Williams
39 pts.
Pretenders
Why River Records
KG,JB,JBO
9
Joe Henry
38 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
 
10
Jim White
37 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
JJ
12
Margo Price
35 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
 
11
Mark Martyre
35 pts.
Rivers
Independent
MF
13
Mavis Staples
32 pts.
If All I Was Was Black
Anti
HO
 
Peter Oren
32 pts.
Anthropocene
Western Vinyl
RB,HB
15
Fred Wickham
29 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
 
16
Jeffrey Martin
27 pts.
One Go Around
Fluff & Gravy Records
HDB
17
Blitzen Trapper
25 pts.
Wild and Reckless
Lojinx
JDO
 
Jeff Crosby
25 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records
FCE,FC,JS
19
Dori Freeman
24 pts.
Letters Never Read
Blue Hens Music
 
 
Hardpan
24 pts.
Hardpan
Blue Rose Records
WR
21
The Deep Dark Woods
21 pts.
Yarrow
Six Shooter
JF
22
Lilly Hiatt
20 pts.
Trinity Lane
New West
TJ
 
Tom Russell
20 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
JAB
24
Eilen Jewell
19 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
MW
25
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
FS

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