Eve Monsees & the Exiles

Texas platters

Phases and Stages

Eve Monsees & the Exiles

(Serpent) Opening her debut with "Surprise, Surprise" is a canny move for Eve Monsees. The song was only one of four Jagger-Richards originals on the Rolling Stones' third album, part of an era when artists cut their musical teeth playing covers. With 11 covers and three originals, Eve Monsees & the Exiles introduces the native Austinite as her own surprise from among the city's coterie of promising but oft-overlooked female bluesicians (Erin Jaimes, Joanna Ramirez, Donna Taylor). As a guitarist, Monsees has wisely surrounded herself with veterans Mike Buck, "Guitar" Grady Pinkerton, and Speedy Sparks, all of whom amp up her solid, studious playing with seasoned panache. The result is quite delightful. Monsees possesses a limited range, but uses it advantageously with stylish chant-singing, especially on the weakest cut, the Stones' "Stupid Girl." That's the worst that can be said for this joyous celebration of backroom R&B and Texas girl grit, songs chosen with a collector's touch. There's Sugarboy Crawford's "Ooh Wee Sugar," Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "Lonely, Lonely Nights," Bo Diddley's "Deed and Deed I Do," James Brown's "Lickin' Stick," and the Searchers' "Needles and Pins," with Charlie Sexton on 12-string. Monsees' own songs, the dreamy "Never Let You Go," Buddy Hollyish "(I've Got a) Thing for You," and swamp poppy "Don't Ever Say Goodbye," stand up well in such lustrous company. This album belongs, with deepest respect and admiration, in 1966.


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  

More Music Reviews
Review: Holy Wave, <i>Five of Cups</i>
Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups
Five of Cups (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2023

Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, <i>Emergency Leisure</i>
Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, Emergency Leisure
Emergency Leisure (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 4, 2023

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


Eve Monsees

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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