The Cornell Hurd Band
Reviewed by Jerry Renshaw, Fri., July 26, 2002
The Cornell Hurd BandSong of South Austin If there's one thing that Austin's Cornell Hurd and his crew of cowpokes are good at, it's making Western swing/honky-tonk music that's alternately goofy and gorgeous, and this latest disc is no exception. Goofy: "Rubboard Playin' Man" (a nod to Danny Young), "Nyquil Blues," "The Garbageman." Hurd & Co. always know when to get off the schtick, though, and keep from crossing over into joke-band territory. Gorgeous: "I'm Not Drinking to Drown My Sorrows (I'm Just Taking Them For a Swim)," "Texas Nite Train," "The Heart of a Clown." Frequent collaborator Marti Brom puts in a torchy appearance, not surprisingly, on "Maybe I Do," while Johnny Bush drives up I-35 from San Antonio for "Jealously Insane." As always, the band is spot-on, with Herb Steiner's impeccable steel work, longtime Hurd string-bender Paul Skelton's jazzy/country guitar, and the always-present multi-instrumentalist Howard Kalish filling in the gaps. The CD's inside sleeve is full-up with affectionate liner notes from Hurd himself, prose that has the same gum-chewing wisecrackery of his on- (or off-) stage persona. The disc's closer is "Don't Wipe Your Face on Your Shirt," featuring the Hurd young'uns, a song that's also included on Bloodshot Records' new kids' compilation, The Bottle Let Me Down.