Jeff Plankenhorn

Sleeping Dogs (Spike Steel)

Texas Platters

Frontman turns for ace sidemen always constitute something of a tightrope act. Their success depends on how much of an actual vision the player pulls together when commanding the spotlight. At best, it's revelatory of their influence on others' work. At worst, it's a cobbling together of others' influences as they search for their own voice. Jeff Plankenhorn's latest solo bow falls somewhere between. Undeniably integral in backing greats including Ray Wylie Hubbard and Joe Ely, the slide master defaults to blues-bleeding jams ("Homecoming," "Never Again") and power-pop stands ("I Don't Know Anything"). The leadoff title track circles hard, rhythmic pop into the meandering "Love Is Love" as euphemisms stand in for narrative, and the biting Hubbard duet "Tooth and Nail" leans heavily on its co-author's style. Not surprisingly, Sleeping Dogs' standout comes courtesy of Patty Griffin on duet "Holy Lightning," sharp and poignant as Plankenhorn settles into a softer, more poetic vulnerability against Griffin's trembling harmonies. More focused and restrained than 2016's Soulslide, Plank is still defining his identity as a spotlight songwriter.


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 Jeff Plankenhorn
Texas Platters
Jeff Plankenhorn
Soulslide (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, June 3, 2016

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Doug Freeman
Wizard Rodeo Wrangles a Day of Musical Magic
Wizard Rodeo Wrangles a Day of Musical Magic
Eclectic gathering returns to the Long Time sandlot field

Nov. 25, 2022

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Ruthie Foster, Booker T. Jones, Kate Kortum, Hyd, and more local shows worth braving the chill

Nov. 18, 2022


Jeff Plankenhorn

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