The Texas Gentlemen are rather like those legendary studio session bands of old: a tight gang of professionals who can turn around astounding performances in the blink of an eye. TX Jelly came out of four days of live-in-the-studio playing, and shines with authentic American quality. TX Jelly is released by the New West label.
LP £15.99 NW5213
LP on New West.
- Shipping cost: £3.15 ?
CD £7.99 NW6407
CD on New West.
- Shipping cost: £1.00 ?
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Good front cover for a band that could in another life be a jam band. Absolutely a rock ‘n’ roll outfit and don’t you forget it, the Texas Gentlemen go defiantly American and dearly referential through the eleven songs on ‘TX Jelly’. To quote Ben Wyatt in all his sincerity and confusion, it’s fun, it’s just fun, it’s… it is fun. Their mix of twanging country, Southern rock and big, beaming organs of any and all genres makes them a loud, proud amalgamation of the old-school.
And they can also be a bit weird: though it may sound a little honky-tonk and firmly structured around Americana, there’s a strange tremble in the choruses of “Pain” that puts it a bit off-kilter -- whether it’s parody or an update to the sound they love, they make the most of it. “Dream Along” is a lovely folk country number whose twang is a melancholy whinge and whose Hank Williams-esque vocal walks about next to an unfolding picking pattern. These sparse, slower moments suit them better: “My Way” and its low-key lounge atmosphere gives them the space to whinge and howl like their favourites liked to -- as it speeds up a lot of the intricacy are lost.
I could easily listen to the sadder Texas Gentlemen songs on loop -- they strike through nostalgic melodies and group harmonies so lovely you feel nothing else in music need exist. The production, light and clear like a cloudless day, suits the slow and self-pitying, and makes every flourish of “Pretty Flowers” a new reason to sigh. Goodness, are they a cliche -- but sometimes it’s all too easy to fall for one of those.
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