Review: Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few, Jackpot!

Austin staple forges a connection between classic country and the Great American Songbook


Monte Warden has been a staple of the Austin music scene since leading his band Whoa, Trigger! when he was a teenager in the Eighties. And for good reason: Nearly 40 years of craft and heart have made him a tunesmith and vocalist of rare distinction. After decades of work in country music, Warden forged a connection between classic country and the Great American Songbook, and formed the Dangerous Few with loyal sidekick Brent Wilson on bass and trumpeter/arranger Erik Telford to exploit it. The group’s second album after a long-running residency at Parker Jazz Club (to which the album is dedicated), Jackpot!’s high-energy tunes like “Silhouette” and “Waxahachie Hoochie Coo” contain enough joyous swing to fit under the rockabilly or big-band umbrellas, and “Lovesong Every Day” falls from a pop tradition more Sixties than Forties. But it’s always the ballads that stand supreme in this milieu; thus, “It Was but a Small Affair,” “Outside Looking In,” and a soulful take on “Desperately,” a Warden-penned hit for George Strait from 2004, that show the songwriter’s affinity for the old school. Frankly, Jackpot! doesn’t so much prove that Warden can match Cole Porter as it does that he can do anything.

Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few

Jackpot! (Break a Leg Records)

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  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Review: Grandmaster, <i>Grandmaster</i>
Review: Grandmaster, Grandmaster
Funk prog rock supergroup lures listeners through each stage of cosmic cult indoctrination

Miranda Garza, May 24, 2024

Review: Nova, <i>NovApocalypse</i>
Review: Nova, NovApocalypse
Experimental folk-pop player Nova’s sophomore release gets twisted

Laiken Neumann, May 24, 2024

More by Michael Toland
Jess Williamson, Stay Black & Live, Babestock, and More Crucial Concerts
Jess Williamson, Stay Black & Live, Babestock, and More Crucial Concerts
Recommended shows for the week in Austin

June 14, 2024

Parker Woodland, Good Looks, and More Crucial Concerts
Parker Woodland, Good Looks, and More Crucial Concerts
Album releases, artist departures, and more recommended shows

June 7, 2024

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
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