The Cobras

Record Review

The Cobras

Live & Deadly (Armadillo Records)

Consider Live & Deadly a snapshot of the moment in Austin music: It's November 1979; the decade is turning. Here's the mighty Cobras, the band of mostly-Dallas refugees that picked up old-school blues in Austin in the early 1970s and set the standard followed by the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Double Trouble. The band's legacy as a mixed-race R&B outfit spins full-tilt on the Armadillo stage, in effect an aural history of the band (minus its most famous alumnus, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and its greatest hits. Cobras founder Paul Ray comes on smooth and creamy on "Cryin' Towel," "Further on up the Road," and soul singer Larry Williams' brief tenure in the band shimmers on "Heartbreak" and "House Party." That's also where Denny Freeman, the once and future lead Cobra, steps up and wraps his guitar muscle around the big blues band sound of the brass and rhythm sections, featured on "Can Opener" and "Theme From Peter Gunn." The addition of Angela Strehli ("Boogie Like You Wanna") gives the recording a classic – and classy – big-band-revue feel. The only thing wrong with this disc? It came out 30 years late.


  • More of the Story

  • Ten Fingers

    Denny Freeman's 40-year Austin arc

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 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
Texas Platters
Bright Light Social Hour
Jude Vol. 1 (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 8, 2019

Texas Platters
Charlie Faye & the Fayettes
The Whole Shebang (Record Review)

Libby Webster, Feb. 8, 2019

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

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

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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