Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pages of Paperwork reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

Pages of Paperwork
Levee Town
Self produced by Levee Town
14 tracks / 54:57

Levee Town is a hard hitting rocking blues band out of Kansas City. Since their beginning, in 2002, the four musicians have made quite a name for themselves. This is evident by the fact that they have released four recordings, play over 200 shows a year and also have been a finalist in the 2007 International Blues Challenge.

This band has very talented musicians dedicated to tight sound, great song writing and taking chances with their interpretation of the blues. This band includes full blown blues, funk, rock-a-billy, rock and boogie in the mix of their tunes. Brandon Hudspeth takes command and plays outstanding slide guitar, sings powerful vocals and also brings song writing to the bands mix. The harmonica ace for Levee Town is Jimmie Meade who also adds vocals and lyric writing. Joining these two to fill out the band are Jacque Garoutte on bass, vocals and writing tunes and a very strong drummer, Jan Faircloth, with his strong drum line and added vocals. This is one solid hard charging band.

“Pages of Paperwork” contains 14 originals penned by the band members. These songs feature a bunch of great lyrics about loves gone wrong which is after all what the blues are about. The opening tune, “Paperwork,” is just one of these songs. Jacque Garoutte wrote this song, a slow blues tune that showcases his vocals as well as his lyrics. He tells a tale of a love gone wrong and broken vows. “Ya say it’s not about the money but I’m not sure – it’s all over but the paper work.” are some heartfelt lyrics that Garotte really wraps his gnarly, gritty voice around. This tune showcases Jimmie Meade who plays some really mean harp and Brandon Hudspeth is left tons of room to show off his guitar licks. This is the way to open a CD. To me this is probably the best track on the recording.

Brandon Hudspeth’s tune, “Hurt But Strong” is a slow boogie that showcases his lyrics, guitar work as well as his vocals. This tune is filled with searing guitar soloing as well as more love gone wrong lyrics. Again Meade’s harp is very apparent here. He is really one fine harmonica player. With lyrics  like “ I’m hurt but strong, I weep and moan” and  “I called her honey and now she won’t pick up the phone” we have a real tale of the blues.
“Pages of Paperwork” is a great recording that really show all the talent that the Levee Town band possesses. This CD is packed full of a real variety of tunes showcasing all the players attributes. This band is powerful, entertaining and right on the mark as they present their music to us. Hudspeth’s guitar playing stands out as it highlights the vocals and harp playing.  Jimmie Meade is ever present blowing a whole mouthful of harp and also adds vocals well done. Garoutte’s bass playing is rock solid backing up his vocals. Jan Faircloth’s drums drive enhances the sound of the bands travels though out the whole CD, nice job here. I find “Pages of Paperwork” to be a very enjoyable recording with something offered for all us blues fans.

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