Songs of Life and Death: An Izzy Cox Tribute Album, Vol. 1

Songs of Life and Death: An Izzy Cox Tribute Album, Vol. 1

Texas Platters

Izzy Cox's voice spanned postwar jazz, Southern blues, and outlaw country atop twanging, hollow-body guitar slides and old-time roots on originals such as "Bad Bad Woman." On the sprawling Songs of Life and Death: An Izzy Cox Tribute Album, Vol. 1, Joleen Heilman begins the song somber, her voice steadily unfurling into a howl ("I let you in my heart again") suspended over steely acoustic strums. It's a fitting lamentation and rendition beginning a 24-track compilation that combs through the oeuvre of the Austin-based French-Canadian singer, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer on March 24, 2017. "The Murder Ballad Queen" captures Cox in a song, her odes to love laced with woman-scorned tales, psychotic lonesomeness, and hellish lust. The same brew inhabits all these tracks vocally and instrumentally. Wide-eyed and frazzled, the vocal timbre of Gabriel Lopez (aka the Texicano Folk Rock Punk) shakes audibly toward the suicidal on "Thorazine." Mary Panjoma and Aaryn Russell's sugar-sweet interplay coats the lines of billet-doux diary entries in "I Love You My Dear." Raucous chords and bedroom-brawl progressions wrestle a corporeal take on "Fighting/Fucking" by Moose's Last Stand. Highway 90 Americana ("Lying Eyes Cheating Heart"), Fifties rockabilly ("Bang Bang Pow Pow"), punk brazenness ("Had It Coming"), and swamp jazz ("Ain't It Funny") all bristle with the eclectic range Cox summoned on her Love Letters From the Electric Chair (2007) and Killing My Kind (2010). Whiskeydick, White Ghost Shivers, Sabbath Crow, That Damned Band, and many more ensure that the "Voodoobilly Jazz Queen" lives on through song.


The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 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 Izzy Cox
Texas Platters
Izzy Cox
Love Letters From the Electric Chair (Record Review)

Margaret Moser, Aug. 1, 2008

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Alejandra Ramirez
Review: Jamestown Revival
Review: Jamestown Revival
On Robert Ellis-produced fourth LP, Young Man, the Austin folk duo lays bare their intimate harmonies

Jan. 14, 2022

What We're Listening to Right Now
What We're Listening to Right Now
Ayo Tamz, Blushing, Whookilledkenny, Chief Cleopatra, and more have us dialed in

Dec. 17, 2021


Izzy Cox

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