Star Spangled Rodeo (Oro Clasico)
Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, Fri., July 10, 2015
The showtime honky-tonk of Them Duqaines reliably moves boots across dance floors from Burnet Road's Little Longhorn Saloon Downtown to the White Horse. Throughout ostentatiously titled sophomore LP Star Spangled Rodeo, the local quintet's musical attributes thus result in a sonic spark so hot it'll brand your ass with a big, deep "TD." Stoking the fire is Jeremy Slemenda's sensational Tele pickin', a ruckus that provides slick interaction with the album's palatable pedal steel, piano, and fiddle arrangements. Along with a bullwhip rhythm section and roundtable approach to vocals, that breaks Them Duqaines from the Texas country mold. Transcending the ranks of two-step bait demands memorable songs, however, and in that pursuit, Star Spangled Rodeo lays aces and deuces. Among the B-minus material, both "Big Texas Blue" and "Over at the White Horse" suffer commercial jingle-ism and hokey lyrical sentiment, respectively. And under better circumstances (production), John Beauchamp might sound like a real country hero on triumphant opener "Wrong Most of the Time." Victories come from behind the kit as drummer Tim Petersen sings great rejection anthem "Maybe Next Time" and a compelling ode to a wayfaring rodeo clown called "Runty."