Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Levee Town reviewed by Steve Jones

Levee Town
Levee Town
14 tracks

What do you get when you make a band that is one part Crisco-dripping fried chicken Southside Chicago blues, one part channelers of the Stray Cats, one part British invasion rock and roll, with a little Freddie King thrown in for good measure? You get a band from Kansas City called Levee Town , who plays high energy blues and rock with reckless abandon! They were 2007 and 2010 finalists at the IBC; these guys play some great blues on their third CD offering. The band features Brandon Hudspeth on guitar and vocals, Jacque Garoutte on bass and vocals, Jimmie Meade on harmonica and vocals, and Jan Faircloth on drums and vocals. They also occasionally add in Mike Sedovic on keys for a little more spice and flair. These guys are a tight little group and play some darn good music.

This band’s namesake CD is their third and features fourteen original cuts written and laid down here by the band. The songs often hearken back to the sounds of dark little Southside blues clubs and the old rockabilly songs played on AM radio, but with a new edge to them. The guys also really write some interesting lyrics to their songs. They open with a bouncy rocking track called “I’m Not Broke” with the tag line, “I’m not broke but I’m badly bent” providing an amusing choral backdrop to this rocking tune. They transition to an upfront, slightly softer rocker in “Three Sides” where they tell us about how there are three sides to every story- hers, yours, and someone else’s (AKA the truth). The solos pick up quite a bit here, giving it some true grit. By the third track, “You Mean”, the full, greasy spread of Chicago blues is opened up for all to enjoy.

The songs these fellows have written for this CD often remind me of older sounds from the 50’s and early 60’s. “Chicken Truck”, the lone instrumental, “Rock Me Baby”, “Hullabaloo” and “Why Why Why” could all easily be songs readers who are around my age heard on AM radio growing up. That’s certainly not a bad thing, these songs would hold their own in any era.

If you like your blues rockabilly styled, this is an album you need to listen to. Sample some of their wares over on http://www.myspace.com/leveetown or over on CD Baby and you’ll see why this is a great band to listen to! Their gigs appear to be spread out between Missouri and Minnesota , with a couple of stops here and there further to the south in Illinois . They are well worth the time and effort to check out!

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