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The Paper Hearts The Paper Hearts Clunk Records
The Paper Hearts
are a good band with some real potential. Their debut record
is essentially an EP with only five songs, but it's a good deal
more than a demo-CD and better than most debut records I've heard.
The record opens with "Eyes Dry," a smart country-rock
ballad that I find myself reaching for again, and again like
the right girl's hand.
I hear undertones of Toad The Wet Sprocket on "Crasymaker,"
which, it almost goes without saying, is cool. The influence
of the Jayhawks is evident here, too, especially on "Eyes
Dry," and "Is One Girl Worth The World?"
Is one girl worth the world?
With a smile that shines as brightly as the sun,
I don't think I'll ever be done with her,
But is one girl worth the world?
Hell yeah, dude. Isn't that what rock music is all about?
But, that title is only a rhetorical question and they clearly
know the answer. It's a nice tribute to crazy love and a good
This band is tight, and their songs have an easy, catchy charm
about them. The Paper Hearts' long suits are guitars and rhythm,
and the only place this record falls short is in length. There
is also plenty of lyrical depth in these songs; there just aren't
enough of them to quench the palate. I could use another song
like "Eyes Dry."
Your eyes are shining, like the flames in my heart.
Your lips are on fire, but that's nothing new.
And that's the last time I'll ever kiss you
And that's the last time I'll ever let you rip my heart in two
You got a piece of my soul, but it's too late.
I never wanna see you again.
I'll take a whole record full of that, please.
The Paper Hearts are bringing out a brand new release, called
Plans for the Past, and I'll race you to http://www.thepaperhearts.com for it. -SLW
Various Artists, Happy Birthday, Buck. Texas Round-Up Records
Talk about a can't
miss concept. A tribute to Buck Owens. Not liking Buck Owens
is probably more likely to get you the death penalty in Texas
than killing your wife, you banker and an Enron exec in one fit
of furious frustration.
Eleven years ago, Austin vets Caspar Rawls (LeRoi Brothers,
Toni Price) and drummer Tom Lewis (Jim Lauderdale, Wagoneers)
began an Austin tradition of celebrating Buck's birthday (August
12th) with a huge impromptu package show at the Continental Club.
What began as a simple homage has continued for over a decade
now, and requests to participate have grown to a point where
it now takes two days to celebrate Buck's one special day.
Happy Birthday, Buck is a collection of studio takes
that combines Buck's most famous tracks like "Under Your
Spell," "Buckaroo," "Think of Me," "Palm
of Your Hand," and "Before You Go" with obscurities
like "Made in Japan," "We Split the Blanket,"
and "Mental Cruelty." Owens was a master at hilarious
novelties, and one of the true highlights of this 22-track album
is Cornell Hurd's version of "Big Game Hunter." Toni
Price's rockabilly treatment of Owens' "Hot Dog" is
the epitome of a loose Texas roots rocker, while Jim Lauderdale's
"Sweet Rosie Jones" shows why a Grammy sits on his
shelf. In fact, the range of treatments, from straight up country
take s like David Ball's "Made in Japan," Rick Trevino's
"How Long Will My Baby Be Gone" and The Derailers'
spot-on rendition of "Under Your Spell" to Rosie Flores'
edgy take on "Down to the River" to the Geezinslaw
Brothers teary "We Split The Blanket," Buck's material
proves adaptable across a range of Texas interpretations.
Bonnie Bishop, Bonnie Bishop. Self Released
Lloyd Maines plays
steel guitar. Acoustic and electric guitar are credited to John
Enman. I might have double-checked that one; shouldn't it be
John Inmon? But why bother? What really matters is it sounds
like it could be. Bishop and producer-keyboardist Riley Osborne
found some top-notch Austin musicians to play on this four-song
EP. No complaints there. Ain't anything wrong with Bishop's singing
either. This combination might have been pretty good with different
Bishop's cover of Austin singer Leeann Atherton's "Only
Glory" and "Goin' Back to Texas" (a Bishop co-write)
aren't exactly sappy, clichéd, country ballads, but they're
trying real hard to be. The remaining songs, both written by
Bishop, are a bit better. "Men Are Like Buses" is enjoyable
country-pop to cheer heartbroken women, however it may leave
the remainder of listeners wanting.
The disc closer, "Send Me a Cowboy," is easily the
best of the bunch. The musicians get their best chance to stretch
out. Lots of steel guitar from Maines. The rhythm section of
drummer Eddie Cantu and Chris Maresh on bass maintain a rock
steady beat that keeps the energy level high. This will have
the women singing along ("send me a doctor or a hillbilly
rocker / I don't care what he does / just so long as he's good
enough to be my man") and the guys hoping they pass muster.
Here Comes The Sun: A Reggae Tribute to The Beatles. Madacy
Here Comes The Sun is a supposed tribute album of twelve
reggae/ska/rap bands covering as many classic Beatles tunes.
This whole idea is so fundamentally stupid that it takes my
breath away. I first thought this project could only have been
spawned by the addled minds of those two notoriously musically
impaired money-grubbers, Yoko Ono and Cedella Marley. But no,
this comes from "Henry K," the same producer who apparently
peddles a whole series of these things.
I'm a Stones man, so I don't really care how many Beatles
songs are desecrated. But, hundreds of millions do and this should
piss off every one of them.
How does this suck? Let me count the ways.
One, reggae does not rock. It isn't meant to. Two, rap is
no substitute for ska. Ska is clever and cool. Rap sucks. Three,
there isn't enough soul and rhythm in the entire Beatles catalog
to provide the raw material for one decent reggae tune. The Beatles
were melody makers.
One song proves my third point and overturns this whole rickety
boat. Wayne Arnold does "Norwegian Wood," in a pre-reggae,
Rock Steady style that works beautifully. It's a smooth, melodic
and interesting interpretation of the original.
The rest is mainly uninspired, formulaic pabulum; just some
steel drums, call-and-response choruses, some idiotic rap and
someone dropping phony Patois into the breaks.
"Yeah, Mon. Hey, hey. Ima get high with a little help from
my friends." Ridiculous.
This Club Med, frat-party, Reggae Lite nonsense isn't a tribute
at all. It's an insult. All style, no substance. - SLW
The American Cowboy (A Fast Livin' Slow Dyin' Breed)
a compilation record to warm the hearts of Western fans everywhere,
though some of its efforts should probably only warm the somewhat
reddened ears of the cowboys and cowgirls performing the tracks.
The record, a combination of tribute to the late Lane Frost and
fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, comes out of the
chute nicely but manages to hit the dirt rather spectacularly
a time or two as well. Released by NLT Records and available
in Western wear stores and online, the effort might not put bushels
of shekels in the pot for cowboys in need, but it's a nice thought
nonetheless. And hey, who knew Larry Mahan could sing? His efforts
on the title track written by Red Tuck say the Hall of Fame bullrider
and six-time PRCA All-Around Cowboy might've actually missed
his calling. World class calf roper and the PRCA's first-ever
African-American All-Around Cowboy Fred Whitfield, on the other
hand, lets "Calf Ropin' Son of a Gun" tell the world
he's right where he was supposed to be when he's a good piece
away from the mic. His nasal Gary P. Nunn territory vocal won't
win many contests. Sherry Cervi puts her heart into Chris Wall's
"Rodeo Wind," dedicating it to her late husband Mike
Cervi Jr., lost at the age of 30 in a plane crash in Wyoming.
The subject matter fits and rodeo fans who appreciate the Cervi
legacy and history in the sport will find it a touching tribute.
Those not familiar with the above may wish to skip this track
in favor of Wall's original or Jerry Jeff's perhaps more familiar
version on the Live From Gruene Hall album.
Saddle bronc champ and Hall of Famer Monty Henson showcases
a suitably worn and serviceable baritone on "Nuevo Laredo,"
and benefits considerably from Stu Basore's work on the steel.
Donnie Gay on the other hand, perhaps as proof that experience
is essential when sidestepping cow patties, goes for a spoken
word tribute to the guys in the funny clothes with "God
Bless the Rodeo Clown." Mahan makes a second appearance
on a duet with Ronnie Twist on Cheryl Durham Owens' "He
Didn't Hear the Thunder." It's a touching tribute to Lane
Frost and memory of his last ride borne along by a sad weeping
fiddle and avoiding sap by virtue of heartfelt interpretation.
Dan Mortensen closes things out with the traditional spoken
word "Cowboys Prayer" and puts a nice bookend on a
warm compilation. Rodeo fans enjoy, it's a thrill to hear some
of your heroes singing about the life they live and love.
The record is available online in three places: