Texas Eastside Kings
Reviewed by Jerry Renshaw, Fri., Oct. 19, 2001
Texas Eastside Kings(Dialtone) On the front of the Eastside Kings CD is a shot of Dialtone guru Eddie Stout's aqua-and-white Fifties Ford; the back sports an image of Sam's BBQ on East 12th Street. The latter is the perfect metaphor for the Eastside Kings' music; this band of veteran Austin players is as smoky and greasy as one of Sam's rib plates, and every bit as tasty. With players like "Duck" Jennings and Ephraim Owens on trumpet, Clarence Pierce on guitar, and James Kuykendall on bass, it's hard to go wrong and even harder to find a song not to like. Things range from the pure Texas blues of "I Found Someone" and Seventies soul groove of instro "Mrs. Dee" to the rockin' jump blues of "Tell Me," Pierce embroidering the songs around the edges with T-Bone Walker/Freddie King fills. There's even a cover of the country ballad "Fraulein." The vocals may wander around the note now and then, the rhythm section may be a little loosey-goosey, the recording a bit raw, but that's what adds to the charm of this disc. It captures the feel of a blues band toiling and sweating away in a bar on some hot Saturday night. Get across the interstate and check 'em out.