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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November 2017

1
JW Roy & The Royal Family
80 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,BH,RST,LK
2
Chris Hillman
79 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
BP,FS,HD
3
Turnpike Troubadours
46 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
HM,TK
4
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton
36 pts.
Wildflower Blues
Cinquefoil Records
TJ
5
Eilen Jewell
34 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
 
6
Lucinda Williams
31 pts.
This Sweet Old World
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers
BR,MW
7
JD McPherson
29 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
JS
8
Mark Martyre
26 pts.
Rivers
Independent
FC
 
Tom Russell
26 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
SP
10
Anna Tivel
25 pts.
Small Believer
Fluff And Gravy Records
MG
 
Margo Price
25 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
JB
12
Fred Wickham
22 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
RK
 
Joe Henry
22 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
HVB,PJ
 
Whitney Rose
22 pts.
Rule 62
Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers
 
15
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
HDB,JJ
 
Jim White
18 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
LM,SZ
 
Peter Gallway
18 pts.
Feels Like Religion
Gallway Bay Music
CVL,DHO
18
Thomm Jutz
17 pts.
Crazy If You Let It
Mountain Fever Records
 
19
Kris Delmhorst
16 pts.
The Wild
Blue Blade Records
 
20
Daniel Crabtree
15 pts.
In The Shadow Of His Wings
Independent
 
 
Jeremy Pinnell
15 pts.
Ties Of Blood And Affection
Sofaburn Records
 
 
Julien Baker
15 pts.
Turn Out The Lights
Matador
EZ
23
Amber Cross
14 pts.
Savage on the Downhill
Independent
 
 
Chris Blevins
14 pts.
Better than Alone
Horton Records
 
 
David Rawlings
14 pts.
Poor David's Almanack
Acony Records
 
 
Grainne Duffy
14 pts.
Where I Belong
Independent
GC,RW
 
Jeff Crosby
14 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records

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