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WRIU Folk & Roots

CD Reviews for 2/5/08 - Larry Lange & His Lonely Nights, Reverend OrganDrum

Compact Capsules for 02/05/08
by Dan Ferguson


Larry Lange & his Lonely Nights
Crazy, Crazy Baby
Texas Jamboree Records TJCS6901


To understand the music of Larry Lange & His Lonely Nights, all one need do is skip ahead to track #17 on the debut platter from the band called Crazy, Crazy Baby. It’s a cover of the Gene Thomas tune “Sometimes” done up in classic swamp pop style. More importantly, it’s the two minute intro to the song from Lange where he recalls his influences, namely the regional fare coming from the dance halls and clubs that dotted U.S. Highway 90 stretching between Lafayette, Louisiana and San Antonio and that heard countless times on the jukebox and radio while growing up in Victoria, Texas. The Gulf Coast sound from the king cats of the circuit like Thomas, Eddie Bo, and the list goes on and on was all Lange wanted to play when he was a kid. Now well into his adult years with a resume that includes playing bass for the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Delbert McClinton, Angela Strehli, and Doug Sahm, it‘s safe to say that Lange has paid his dues with some of the best in the business. When it comes to the Gulf Coast sound, he could not resist the yearnings. When he formed his Lonely Nights band in 2005, the Austin-based musician’s goal was to recreate the music he was weaned on, that “Highway 90” sound. That's exactly what he does on Crazy, Crazy Baby. The 18 offerings are a coterie of circa-1950s and ‘60s Crawfish Circuit classics readymade for the dance floor spanning the title track, “Try To Find Another Man”, “Shirley” and “No One Else Will Do” to the South Texas border sounds of Steve Jordan (“Falta tu Amor”) to San Antonio's West Side ala a cover of Sunny & the Sunliners' “Carino Nuevo”. Close your eyes and soak in what Crazy,Crazy Baby has to offer and I swear it feels like some long lost swamp pop gem. About the only thing missing is a fried seafood platter and a few Dixie beers. (Texas Jamboree Records, 914 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703, or visit www.larrylange.com.)

Reverend Organdrum
Hi-Fi Stereo
Yep Roc Records YEP-2179


The recipe is a simple one. Take a trio of musicians and gather a bunch of nuggets from the surf, cinematic, rock, roll, R&B, jazz, and soul world and give them the instrumental treatment. The tools are equally as simple: guitar, drums and organ. Want a reference point? Think Reverend Horton Heat, but scale back the din of psychobilly mayhem and substitute soulful swells of Hammond B-3 and it gives one a bit of an idea of what Reverend Organ Drum is all about. One of those albums you throw into the CD player and just let it work its magic, this side project from the Rev wielding his trusty Gretsch finds him joining forces with organ man Tim Alexander and drummer Todd Soesbe to get his Memphis-and-beyond ya ya’s off with a collection of tried and true tunes cooked up in ultra-satisfying party starter style. (Yep Roc Records, P.O. Box 4821, Chapel Hill, NC, 27515, or www.yeproc.com)

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at boudindan@cox.net.)


posted by Boudin Dan, 02/05/08

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