Review: Leo Hull – The Texas Blues Machine – Bootleggin’ The Blues

Posted on: Saturday, Sep 8, 2012

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Leo Hull – The Texas Blues Machine – Bootleggin’ The Blues

(Self-produced: BDR1202)

The band, who relentlessly play over two hundred gigs a year are; Leo, lead guitar and vocals, Buddy Whittington; guitar, Ron DiIulio; keyboards, Jerry Hancock; bass Larry Randall; saxophone with Chuck ‘Popcorn’ Lowden and Warren Dewey on drums. Originally from Oklahoma, Leo moved to Dallas in the sixties, with the memory of his father playing slide with a penknife and not much else, he decided to make a go of it there.

This is their latest opus; a mixture of Jimmy Reed influenced barroom cautionary tales and hot to trot floor burners, the underlying Texas roadhouse blues and boogie feel, is fused with clean crisp rockabilly sensibilities and raw rock and roll, fuelled by an energetic barrelhouse swirling, rolling piano and organ that races like a supercharged dragster. The mood changes and leads to more sombre thoughts on “Between You and Me,” where we are treated to slow meaningful guitar picking juxtaposed with a sympathetic but nonetheless brooding and insistent organ.

The title number is a no nonsense rollicking guitar and piano footstomper recounting a life of growing up in a jukejoint. While, “The Hustle,” is a comfortable shuffle that recounts the sordid tale of an aspiring young actress and her pimping boyfriend. Larry Randal’s sleazy and enticing saxophone leads on “Blowtorch Baby,” an evocative tale of a nicely loose lady; it is backed by pumping piano rolls and sweet, crisp ringing guitar work.

Also, infectiously sweet and insistent piano work is featured on the burning “Whiskey and Women.”  “The Road,” features a rolling, swirling organ, while the enjoyably energetic drumming effortlessly backs an urging guitar riff. The possibly true tale of “Pistol #69,” a shuffle that has a pleasantly loping piano and guitar, the number warns of the possible pitfalls of fun in the night with ladies from a jukejoint. Recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.thetexasbluesmachine.com

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