For a guy from Dallas, I will admit to feeling pretty lucky about the great music I have available to me throughout the Dallas, Ft. Worth and Denton area, no doubt. I will also admit that I sometimes get twinges of jealousy of the music lovers in my state’s capitol. Austin is obviously home to so many great bands, clubs and festivals, that I am not breaking news here in any way by saying that Austin is quite the place for awesome tunes.
The most recent band that has made me feel that sickly shade of green are The Texas Sapphires (Official / Myspace). Their upcoming sophomore CD, As He Wanders (Ike) is an absolute gem (get it? Sapphires, “gem”…yeah, I’m hilarious). The vocals and harmonies between Rebecca Lucille Cannon and Billy Brent Malkus are reminiscent of fellow Austin co-ed honky-tonk harmonizers Josh Zee and Teal Collins from The Mother Truckers, especially on the opening track, “Nashville Moon”. While not as rambunctious as the Truckers, the Sapphiers possess an old school ethos as many of the album’s tracks would feel at home on some of the sparsely produced greats from 1970’s Red Headed Stranger-era Austin. In fact, after listening to the album a couple of times, I felt as though the band itself would also feel rather at-home in that era, gigging at the World Armadillo Headquarters perhaps.
“Riddled Days” displays a spry and sweet simplicity while the pedal steel elevates many of the songs as it dances ever-so spiritedly through the up-tempo numbers and then wafts lightly as it cries through the slower tunes. Hey, two of the players here also play with Dale Watson, so that’s awesome and needs no further explanation. While the label “Honky-Tonk” has been overused, this band’s sound is tailor-made for shuffling around a dusty floor with a brew in one hand and a pretty lady in the other.
About the author: I likes me some wine, women and waffles, not always in that order (but usually). Chaucer is cool, but fart jokes are even better. You feel like spikin' your country with a little soul or mix in a little rock without the roll? Lemme hear from ya!!