Heybale! and The Cornell Hurd Band

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Heybale!

Continental Live

The Cornell Hurd Band

Live at Jovita's (Behemoth)

A pair like this is as good as two aces from a clean deck. You know the game's good when Heybale! opens with Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk Revisited," the all-star Austin quintet featuring pianist Earl Poole Ball, standup bassist Kevin Smith, red-hot pickers Gary Claxton and Redd Volkaert, and drummer Tom Lewis. There's plenty of boot-scootin' in the group's 14 covers, including weepers ("Farewell Party"), traditionals ("Sally Goodin'"), and bouncy rockers ("Good Deal Lucille"), yet the beauty of Heybale!'s music is that it's unadorned country that doesn't pretend to be anything but good. The favorites are solid as a full house -- Charlie Rich's "Sittin' and Thinkin'," Roger Miller's "King of the Road," Johnny Paycheck's "Apt. #9," and Chuck Berry's "C'est la Vie." No less a classic hand but played with tongue decidedly in cheek, the Cornell Hurd Band's Live at Jovita's ups the ante with "country music's worst nightmare." It's easy enough to dismiss CHB as country clowns on their songs alone ("I Don't Care What It Is That You Did When You Lived in Ft. Worth," "The Genitalia of a Fool," "Tell Your Shrink I Said Thanks for Nothin'"). Yet the 24(!) tracks here display a staggering musical proficiency from the 19 band members and guests such as perennially underrated local guitarist Paul Skelton ("Texas Nite Train"), moonlighting artist Blackie White ("Nyquil Blues"), and dynamite shouter Dee Lannon ("Hoy, Hoy, Hoy"). Still, you can bet on Cornell Hurd, whose vision, charisma, and boss-man talent lay down the cards for this winning live recording. Shuffle and lay out another one, dealer.

(Heybale) **.5

(Cornell Hurd) ***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

Texas Platters
The Beaumonts / Hickoids
This Is Austin, All the World's a Dressing Room (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Cornell Hurd Band, Paul Skelton, Blackie White, Dee Lannon

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle