================================================================= = Number One = + = T W A N G I N' ! = + = May, 1994 = "Both Kinds ~ ~ Of Music" ================================================================= Editor: Cheryl Cline cline@well.sf.ca.

us Sidekick: Lynn Kuehl Twangin'! is a monthly e-zine about country western music, covering what some people call "real country," others "western beat," and still others "alternative country." I usually call it "Real country, western beat, alternative country, whatever". If the names Tim O'Brien, Rosie Flores, Jimmie Dale Gilmore or Shaver mean something to you, then you're in the right place. If you're curious about bands with names like Hank McCoy & the Dead Ringers, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Voodoo Swing, or the Bad Livers, keep an eye on this space. Twangin's focus is country music, but it's a wide focus, since we see American music as more interwoven than the purists in any one camp like to allow. When it comes to musical purity, Twangin' is slutsville. We love country music, but we're unfaithful and ramblin'; we've got roving ears. So Twangin' strays constantly into the arms of the blues, folk, and rock, and we review, interview, and otherwise promote bands that do the same. ----------------------------------------------------------------Twangin' is also a quarterly print fanzine, available from Cheryl Cline, 2230 Huron Drive, Concord, CA 94519. Subscriptions are $8.00/four issues -- a bargain at 32-36 pages an issue! Ask for a copy; the first one is free. The print version and the electronic version are not identical, though material will be swapped between the two. Twangin' has gotten good reviews from FACTSHEET FIVE, TOWER PULSE, ROCK & RAP CONFIDENTIAL, SING OUT!, ALARM CLOCK, THE FEEDLOT, and MUSIC CITY TEXAS. ----------------------------------------------------------------Twangin'! is always looking for contributions in the way of reviews, interviews, essays, and discographies. We are especially interested in reports on local country, bluegrass, old-time and rockabilly scenes. ================================================================= C O N T E N T S --------------Interview: Hank McCoy talks to Jimmie Dale Gilmore Reviews: CD's and cassettes by Junior Brown, Cactus Brothers, Barbara Lamb, Del McCoury, Hank McCoy & the Dead Ringers, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Monte Warden and Dwight Yoakam. Country music 'Zines Books: Cooking With Queen Ida by Queen Ida Guillory and Naomi Wise --------------All unsigned material is by Cheryl Cline ================================================================= H A N K M c C O Y - T a l k s t o J I M M I E D A L E


-----------------------------------Jimmie Dale Gilmore's latest album, SPINNING AROUND THE SUN (Elektra) has received rave reviews across the country, and his live shows -- he has been touring pretty steadily since last August -- have received equally rave reviews. (I saw him both times he came through San Francisco, playing to a packed house at both shows.) On his current tour, Monte Warden is opening, but last fall Hank McCoy & the Dead Ringers opened for Gilmore when he played Columbus, Ohio. Hank caught a few words with him when they played at Stache's, an alternative music club in Columbus. --Cheryl McCOY: Tell me about this tour; are you playing new cities?

GILMORE: Well, Chicago I have a pretty good base in, and St. Louis is good, but some of the other ones, it's the first time through, other than the few times--I went through with Bob Dylan a couple of years ago, and that same season with John Prine--so a few of the places I've seen before. But most of them are pretty new to me. McCOY: What kinds of places have you been playing? GILMORE: It's some kind of rock clubs and theaters--it's a little bit different from the honky-tonks. McCOY: Are honky-tonks where you usually play in Texas?

GILMORE: Well, it varies a whole lot, but with a band, it's dance halls in Texas. But, I've played different stuff, you know; I've played solo folk-kinda gigs for years. McCOY: About your new album--you've said that you wanted to introduce people to your influences and such, playing less of your own material. Is that a result of things being shuffled somewhat in the move to a major label? Your records on Hightone did indicate your influences... GILMORE: Well, see my thinking was that this is the first record that's got the chance for really broad distribution. You know, my really hardcore fans have that stuff and know what I'm about kinda, you know... and AFTER AWHILE was all my own songs, and that was deliberate. That's what they asked me to do. But, I always liked doing this whole broad spectrum of stuff, I always want to do my friends' songs, and the old songs and my songs, so it was my choice. I could have gone either way; the label didn't pressure me in any way to do my own or not to do my own. They also let me choose my own producer. McCOY: What role did producer Emory Gordy play in selecting material for SPINNING AROUND THE SUN? GILMORE: What I did was, I submitted a tape of about thirty songs to David Bither at Elektra. I said I'd like to do any of these songs, so that was my choice. Then David picked out about twenty of those, and we sent those to Emory, who then boiled it down to the final thirteen and we worked on them and then got it down to

the final twelve. So it was a kind of committee decision, but the whole choice was made out of my original list. The whole thing was my choice, but with their take on what was best. Elektra has always been more prone to let the artist do their own thing, you know. And then they told me real specifically, and they told Emory in Nashville, just don't think about trying to make the hooks and the radio-friendly thing, just make the music. McCOY: Gordy's done some pretty radio-friendly production work. GILMORE: Exactly. He knows how to do it, and that's what they hire him for in Nashville normally, but Elektra's different. They say make the music and we'll find the market for it, rather than squish me into a marketable product. They perceived it as having more potential for longevity. It's smart, I think. My entire dealings with Elektra have been completely counter to what my prejudices were about major labels. McCOY: How did you come to be signed with Elektra? Was it due to the success of AFTER AWHILE--was there the intention, from the beginning, to move from Nonesuch to Elektra? GILMORE: Well, I don't know for sure, because for AFTER AWHILE it was a one-record deal...it was David Bither and Natalie Merchant who got me that deal. Between the two of them, they kind of engineered it, and I sort of think, but I don't know this, but it just seems to me that David was looking way ahead even back then. But he never said that to me, he never said, "Hey, come do this record and we'll get you a deal on Elektra." But I think he envisioned that it would work that way. I think he thought I had potential, all the way back there. And see, he's the head of the label now. But...there wasn't the kind of planning--the kind of back-room conniving--about this, at all. McCOY: The Nonesuch American Explorer series struck me--with the glaring exception of your album--to be a series that celebrated artists who, due to their ages, were closer to the ends of their careers. GILMORE: Well, I'm old enough! (laughing). I'm still a lot younger than the rest of the guys on the series. I've never had a broad-based career, I've never had any hit songs that I wrote, or anything. But I've had this very loyal following spread around the world for a long time--but it's been small. To me, at the time, Nonesuch was a major label. They don't have a big promotion budget any more than lots of other independent labels. They're distributed by Elektra, and owned by Elektra, but they operate totally independently. They put out their kind of artistic stuff --that's their whole motif. So talking about being on a major label, what that means is now there's tour support, lots of advertising. They believe enough in my potential to sink a lot of money into it out front. McCOY: What was it like to be on Hightone? On a small label? GILMORE: To me, at each step, it seemed like a big success. The first Hightone album brought my profile up, and, in a way, I've been feeling like a--a star for six or seven years, because at

each point, it raised my profile from what it was before, so each year the gigs were bigger than they were before...it's been a slow but steady progression. McCOY: Have you started thinking about the next record yet?

GILMORE: I've been writing a few songs.... ----------------------------------------------------------------Jimmie Dale Gilmore's four solo albums are FAIR AND SQUARE (Hightone, 1988), JIMMIE DALE GILMORE (Hightone, 1989), AFTER AWHILE (Nonesuch, 1991) and SPINNING AROUND THE SUN (Elektra, 1993). Hightone's address is 220 4th Street #101, Oakland, CA 94607. Gilmore appears with Butch Hancock on TWO ROADS: LIVE FROM AUSTRALIA (Virgin, 1990) and of course, on THE FLATLANDERS: MORE A LEGEND THAN A BAND (Rounder, 1992). Rounder's address is: One Camp Street, Cambridge, MA 02140. Hank McCoy & The Dead Ringers can be heard on STILL FEELING BLUE/LATELY MY LUCK HAS BEEN CHANGING (CD) on OKra Records. McCoy also appears on the recently released OKRA ALL-STARS (CD), and a new Dead Ringers album will be released this fall. Write to: Okra Records, 1992 B. North High Street, Columbus, OH 43201. ================================================================= R E V I E W S R E V I E W S R E V I E W S R E V I E W S ================================================================= ----------------------------------------------------------------Junior Brown =+= GUIT WITH IT =+= Curb Records (CD) ----------------------------------------------------------------We got a monster here. Take equal parts Ernest Tubb, Hank Thompson, George Jones, Leon McCauliff, and Dick Curliss, add just a dollop of Jimi Hendrix (maybe just a little bit more), mix well and pour into a pair of tooled cowboy boots, outfit 'im in spotless brown slacks, white nylon shirt, and brown sportjacket, top with a dazzling white straw cowboy hat, and pair him up with a recombinant double-neck guitar, part Fender Telecaster, part lap-steel, and you got yourself one hell of a monster country musician called Junior Brown. This here's the second album for Brown on the Curb label. He's been kicking around the Austin scene for many years, and this album's a bit of a breakthrough for him. OK, so now he's a bubblin' under cult figure rather than a best-kept secret. Until a few years ago, what Brown is doing was almost unthinkable to the mass market. His version of hard-bopping country pop recalls the best of a musical style that once seemed as relevant to contemporary music as the buggy whip, but has recently been stirring up the country fans (since the revival of Buck Owens' career and the success of various historic LP reissues). What Junior Brown is doing is more than mere recreation though. If he'd been born thirty years earlier, he'd have been a major star, right up there with the names I mentioned above. His own songs stand up straight and strong next to any of the old time hits, "Doin' What Comes Easy To A Fool" and "You Didn't Have To Go All The Way" could easily be lost George Jones classics and "So Close Yet So Far Away," his duet with his wife Tanya Rae, is

as good as anything George and Tammy ever recorded together. Brown specializes in hook-laden country pop songs filled with clever lyrics, witness "My Wife Thinks You're Dead" and "Highway Patrol" (which I just discovered is a cover version; it's difficult to tell, which makes my point). Yet it's his unique double-neck guitar -- the guit-steel-and his prowess with that instrument upon which Junior Brown's reputation rests. The man's a guitar monster as one listen to "Sugarfoot Rag" or "Guit-Steel Blues" will prove. The casual listener might not recognize this, most modern albums bein' the result of collaboration between lots of expert session players, but having seen Brown playing and doing it all in concert recently, I'm all the more in awe of this man's extraordinary talents. Plus, he twangs like crazy! I can continue to rant and rave about this album but you all could make it a lot easier on yourselves if you just went out and bought the thing. Junior Brown is loose and roamin' the land, layin' waste to the silly notion that the Texas two-step and truckdriver favorites are dead. He's a monster alright... there's just no stoppin' him. --Lynn Kuehl ----------------------------------------------------------------Cactus Brothers =+= CACTUS BROTHERS =+= Liberty Records (CD) ----------------------------------------------------------------The Cactus Brothers are one of those bands that combine country, pop, and a little punk in a way that sounds like none and all of the above. They've got a driving beat, they've got finesse. They've got a big sound, and a deft touch, a pop sensibility and a punk intensity. They've got virtuoso flash but never let it get in the way of a good song. They've also got seven members -- Will Golemon, John Golemon, David Kennedy, Paul Kirby, Sam Poland, David Schnauffer, and Tramp -- playing more than a dozen instruments between them, including four kinds of guitars, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, dobro, fiddle, drums and other percussion, and jews harp. With all that going on, the music could easily become cluttered, but it never does. Instead, a simple song (like "Devil Wind") is given a lot of musical depth by the interplay and layering of different instruments and vocals, with Paul Kirby's gruff lead vocals always riding on top. Their cover of "Sixteen Tons" immediately made me a convert. It's so easy to do a novelty-song take on country standards, and god knows I've heard enough punk covers of country songs, most of them served up with a sly and knowing wink. Not this one. While they pump it up to a volume that'd have Ol' Rockin' Ern spinning in his grave, it's tough and heartfelt, more along the lines of what Steve Earle might do with it than say, John Doe. Likewise, they do two traditional bluegrass tunes, "Fisher's Hornpipe" and "Blackberry Blossom" in a manner that's hardly traditional, but translated to rock (or country rock) in such a way that seems natural, not to mention damn fine. The Steve Earle comparison comes to mind with the original "Crazy Heart," a fast-rocking song about one of those guys who can't keep his heart in line. They do a great cover of the Everly Brothers' "Price of Love," then it's punk riffs kicking off "Swimmin' Hole," and a pop take on "Devil Wind." I can't name a song on here that I don't like; this is definitely one of the more satisfying CDs I've pulled out of the bins. --Cheryl Cline

----------------------------------------------------------------Jimmie Dale Gilmore =+= SPINNING AROUND THE SUN =+= Elektra ----------------------------------------------------------------Jimmie Dale Gilmore is a rawboned romantic, a dreaming twangy kind of dude. At the forefront of what he calls "western beat," he defines and redefines country music as he goes along, gently but surely prying pieces of rock, blues, and country loose from their traditional moorings and adding them to his bag. Some critics have called Gilmore avant-garde country, but I prefer to think of what he does--what all of the western beat artists do--as recombinant twang. SPINNING AROUND THE SUN starts out with some low, tough, Johnny Cash-styled guitar on "Where You Going." One of those songs reviewers like to use the C-word (that's "cosmic") on, it contains my favorite line on the album: "You can see the future, it don't make no difference / let's don't talk about it babe, you know I love the suspense." Singing hard and anguished over some nerve-jarring guitar work, Gilmore turns the Hank Williams standard, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," a song most often described as "wistful," into a howl of pain. It's the only version of the song I've heard that raised the hair on the back of my neck. Strong stuff. Other standouts are "Reunion," (written by Jo Carol Pierce) a beautiful and old fashioned duet with Lucinda Williams; "Just A Wave," written by Butch Hancock, a remake of the song Gilmore originally recorded for the Hightone album FAIR & SQUARE, and "I'm Gonna Love You," which Gilmore played on a segment of Texas Connection aired not long after the release of AFTER AWHILE, saying, "This is my favorite song that I left off of the album." I'm glad he didn't leave it off this one. Gilmore pays tribute to fifties rock & roll by wrapping that angular warble of his around "I Was The One;" his rendition probably would have given rock fans of the time the willies. But you know, a song that'd be perfect for Gilmore is Ritchie Valens' "Donna." Wonder if he's done it live somewhere... The song that instantly added itself to my inner jukebox is "Nothing of the Kind." Like "Deep Eddy Blues" and "When the Nights are Cold" (both on JIMMIE DALE GILMORE), it's an unassuming, deceptively simple song that catches you unawares and then won't let you go. It's possible that Jimmie Dale Gilmore could do a bad album, maybe in some grim, godforsaken alternate universe where the young Gilmore never picked up a hitchhiker named Townes Van Zandt. Good thing we all live in this one. --Cheryl Cline ----------------------------------------------------------------Barbara Lamb =+= FIDDLE FATALE =+= Sugar Hill (CD) ----------------------------------------------------------------Barbara Lamb steps out from the shadow of her band Ranch Romance to do an album of mostly traditional instrumental music. She's ably assisted not only by her Ranch Romance band mates but also Tim O'Brien and Scott Nygaard from the O'Boys and a host of other fine musicians. It's a pleasant little CD, although if I was forced to find fault with it, I'd have to say that Barbara Lamb isn't featured strongly enough, either instrumentally or vocally. She's got a nice voice, but the first vocals to be heard are Tim O'Brien's on

"A Good Woman's Love" -- which is not by itself a bad thing, but it's kind of startling to hear him before you hear her -- and sometimes Lamb's fiddling isn't given the center stage treatment she deserves. It's not all that hard to imagine some of these songs as out-takes from a Ranch Romance or Tim O'Brien and the O'Boys album. Despite these nitpicks, Fiddle Fatale contains a pretty fair display of Barbara Lamb's fiddle virtuosity. She goes the gamut, from Texas-style country swing to French reels, from old sea chanteys to Zydeco, and she makes it all sound great. My favorite is a song called "So What," an up-tempo Zydeco number that made me wish she'd been braver and sung a lot more. In any case, the music and musicianship on FIDDLE FATALE is nothing but firstrate. FIDDLE FATALE is less hip and more tradition-minded in general than a Ranch Romance album, but most folk and old-timey country fans will find this a very pleasant addition to their collections. --Lynn Kuehl ----------------------------------------------------------------Del McCoury =+= A DEEPER SHADE OF BLUE =+= Rounder Records (CD) ----------------------------------------------------------------I'd summarize my reaction to Del McCoury's new album as "more of the same," but this is one case where that's cause for celebration. In less talented hands, the material and its treatment might seem to be becoming a bit predictable, but when this band applies its formula of bluesy, book-matched vocals, hard-driving Scruggsy banjo, fiery mandolin, and lonesome fiddle to transform diverse material -- much of it originally straight country -- into instant classic gems of traditional-inspired bluegrass, there's something, new, fresh, and energizing in the familiarity of the results (whew! thought I'd never get out of that sentence alive!). For those who count such things, the word "blue" appears in five of the song titles on this album, making it possibly Del's bluest yet. I'm still digesting this, but so far an early favorite cut is the (need I say bluesy?) version of "True Love Never Dies," previously a country hit for Kevin Welch, who co-wrote it with Gary Scruggs. This one reminds me a lot of this band's treatment of "Trainwreck of Emotion" a couple of albums back. Jerry Douglas, who co-produced this CD with Ronnie McCoury, has demonstrated (if there was any doubt) that he can do as well nailing that traditional lonesome sound in the studio as he does with more progressive efforts. --Jeff Miller ----------------------------------------------------------------Hank McCoy & the Dead Ringers =+= Still Feeling Blue/Lately My Luck Has Been Changing =+= OKra Records (CD) ----------------------------------------------------------------Hank McCoy & the Dead Ringers specialize in uptempo country with an old-fashioned feel, twangin' guitars anchored by a strong beat (rock, two-step, waltz), and infectious Louvin-style harmonizing, with McCoy's fine nasal voice out front. The CD is really a double album, containing (count 'em!) 24 songs. The first fourteen songs are a mixture of covers and originals; the last ten--originally released on vinyl--are all written by McCoy and the man's got a gift. He writes songs that sound like they were written before he was born, helped along by a couple of muses named Charlie & Ira. Songs like "Have You

Forgotten" and "Back in the Front of My Mind" hold up fine next to a Louvin classic such as "I Wish You Knew," ably covered here. The problem with long CDs--and this one is 72 minutes long-is that it's hard to listen to them all the way through. Life intrudes. The mail comes, your mother phones, dinner burns, your brothers come home from the war, the polar ice caps melt... The last couple of songs on this CD began to take on an air of mystery, like boxes pushed into the back of the closet. So finally I shoved the CD into the player and punched it to #24, "When I'm Gone." A jumpy, uptempo, nose-thumbing number, it turned out to be one of my favorites. But there are lots of other great songs here too: "Long White Train," a funeral song in the tradition of "The Longest Train," is straight out of church; the covers of the Louvin Brothers' "I Wish You Knew" and Gram Parsons' "Still Feeling Blue" are gorgeous, and the Dead Ringers' version of "Vaya con Dios" is among the sappiest I've heard (and that's a compliment). --Cheryl Cline ----------------------------------------------------------------Nashville Bluegrass Band =+= WAITIN' FOR THE HARD TIMES TO GO =+= Sugar Hill (CD) ----------------------------------------------------------------It's daunting to try to review the Nashville Bluegrass Band. Their musical virtuosity and the sheer wonderfulness of this cd rather overwhelms my feeble powers of description. I keep falling back shame-facedly on the inadequate description of their music as reminiscent of Hot Rize (remove your hats and take a moment to silently reflect on their passing). It is, but that doesn't begin to tell what makes NBB so fine in their own right. Like Hot Rize, NBB takes a very modern approach to bluegrass music: their playing is extraordinary, the arrangements faultless, all the rough edges are rounded off smooth (as compared to old-time bluegrass; I have to pull out an old J.E. Mainer LP once in a while to remind myself of just how rough around the edges the old timers were). Where I think NBB truly excels over Hot Rise is in their tremendous harmonizing. So strong are they vocally that their a capella "Father, I Stretch My Hand To Thee" and "We've Decided To Make Jesus Our Choice" make you forget that they're not playing their instruments. On the other hand, their instrumentals are just as fine. On "Kansas City Railroad Blues" and "Soppin' Gravy" (a fiddle showcase) they make it all sound so easy. In fact, from first cut to last, NBB puts the lie to the complaint that nothing good comes out of Nashville. Hot Rize may be gone (though not forgotten), but the Nashville Bluegrass Band is more than up to the task of filling their shoes. --Lynn Kuehl ----------------------------------------------------------------Dennis Robbins =+= MAN WITH A PLAN =+= Giant Records/Warner Bros. (Cassette) ----------------------------------------------------------------Attention Billy Hill fans! Check out this 1992 solo album by Dennis Robbins, slide guitarist and one of the lead vocalists for that late lamented band. He's captured a lot of the same flavor and fun the Billy Hill Band used to dish out. Most of the songs are written by the Billy Hill songwriting trio -- Robbins, John Scott Sherrill and Bob DiPiero -- and every song is solid,

rocking, redneck country, unless it's a sentimental, redneck weeper like "My Side of Town" or "All the Way to San Antone." There's just no way to pick out the best songs here, they just flow along together in seamless, foot-tapping harmony. There's an ode to "Home Sweet Home," ("Well now, the rain keeps a-fallin' on that old tin roof/Listen to it honey, don't it get you in the mood?"), a poor boy's tongue-in-cheek promise to take his girl to "Paris, Tennessee," a declaration of intent to a hard-to-get lady from a "Man With A Plan" and a loving tribute to "The Chapel of the Friendly Bells," and with a tip of the hat to ol' B. Hill, he does a cover of "I Am Just A Rebel." Through it all Robbins never falters. His voice is a sweet, clear, masculine twang that carries the hard freight of the blues and the lighter burden of fun with equal ease. Get it, get it, get it! For those of you unfamiliar with Billy Hill, their I AM JUST A REBEL, released in 1989 is a great, overlooked country-rock album. Look for it in all the finest cut-out bins.--Cheryl Cline ----------------------------------------------------------------Monte Warden =+= MONTE WARDEN =+= Watermelon Records (CD) ----------------------------------------------------------------Great news: the man behind the Wagoneers has returned. Four years after the band broke up with notices indicating he'd been dropped from A&M and signed to RCA as a solo act, Monte Warden pops up on an indie label, showing himself as sweet and charismatic as ever. On first listen I knew this was a good album, but I couldn't help feeling a bit let down; my great love for Warden's songwriting was bound up in the moody, wide open, country and western feeling of the two Wagoneers albums. When I wasn't seeing western vistas in his songs, I was seeing barnlike, smokey roadhouses. On this new album, the production is clean, clear and enclosed, deriving more from rockabilly and an overall tension that gives you a sock-hop feeling of the fifties. A casual listening leaves you with the impression of good-time happy-feet dance music, but if you spend time with it, the Wardenesque moodiness comes falling in with a sweep of beautiful harmony and back-up vocals ("It's Amazing") or the juxtaposition of harddriving full-tilt rockabilly slapback vocals and shivery intense harmonica with lyrics that are completely full of self-loathing ("Feel Better"). The album's strong flavor of fifties pop just coming out of country, and its heavy, sometimes fevered romance (check out "Car Seat"!) keeps reminding me of Marshall Crenshaw, who wouldn't be out of place doing some guest leads on this album (maybe the next one...?). There are also some good stretches into the outer fringes of pop R&B ("Everyday We Fall In Love" and "Til She Walked In") and yet other songs that would have fit right into the Wagoneers' canon, such as "Just To Hear Your Voice," "All I Want Is You," and "The Only One," a duet with the overrated Kelly Willis. The songwriting and vocal delivery are serious, beautiful, exquisite, and perhaps more self-assured than on his previous work. As with the Wagoneers, there's a heart-wrenching simplicity that reaches deep and holds on to me: I know this will be music I'll hold dear for the rest of my life. --William Breiding -----------------------------------------------------------------

Dwight Yoakam =+= LA CROIX D'AMOUR =+= Reprise (Japanese Import) ----------------------------------------------------------------This import-only album released in 1992 is most notable for the fact that it contains six hard or impossible to find songs, songs not available on the domestic Yoakam albums. We here at Twangin' HQ went out and deliberately spent an inordinate amount of money on this but I do believe it was worth it. This one might be subtitled "Dwight Yoakam's Rock & Roll Album" since it rocks harder than many rock albums I own. The well-known songs, "If There Was A Way," "Dangerous Man," "Let's Work Together," "Takes A Lot To Rock You," "Suspicious Minds," and "Long White Cadillac" are certainly nice, but it's his choices in cover songs that're especially intriguing. We get his version of "Truckin'" (which was one of the highlights of DEADICATED, the Grateful Dead tribute album) and his covers of the Beatles' "Things We Said Today" (!), Them's "Here Come's The Night" (!!), and the Syndicate of Sound's "Hey Little Girl" (!!!). Yoakam is true to his roots; it just so happens that this mainstay of the New Traditionalist Movement has very deep roots in rock & roll as well. These are tough renditions that owe a lot to the original garage attitude if not the original instrumentation. His own songs, "What I Don't Know" and "Doin' What I Did" exude the same sure sense of cool. LA CROIX D'AMOUR makes an interesting comparison with This Time, since Dwight is evidently makin' more of an overture to the mainstream on his latest. I highly recommend this CD for hardcore fans and newcomers alike, although it may take a major effort of will-power to let go of the 25 bucks this booger goes for. Hey Warner's! Why don't you do us all a big favor and release this right here in the good old U.S. of A. --Lynn Kuehl ================================================================= Z I N E S ================================================================= =+= The Feedlot =+= 2101 Chicon Street, Austin, TX 78722. $8/year, free locally Edited by Austin music writer Lee Nichols, who's even more cranky about the state of country music than I am, THE FEEDLOT is devoted strictly to what Nichols calls real country music. The premiere issue started right in with slam-bang reviews of Junior Brown's GUIT WITH IT and Don Walser's Pure Texas Band's THE OFFICIAL SOUVENIR OF PURE TEXAS MUSIC and goes on to review albums by the Austin Lounge Lizards, Rosie Flores, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Nancy Griffith, and Butch Hancock--well, you get the idea. He's done two more issues, chiefly record reviews, and he plans to branch out in future issues, adding news, interviews, commentary, and a guide to essential classic country. Nichols is knowledgeable about the music, straight-forward in his opinions, and a fine and enthusiastic writer. =+= Music City Texas =+= 1002 South First, Austin, TX 78704. $12/year, free locally This freebie monthly entertainment calendar/magazine is different from most. Most entertainment calendars don't feature Townes Van Zandt on the cover, to start. The editor, John Conquest, focuses

on the alternative side of country, folk, and Tex-Mex, reviewing in one issue recordings by Van Zandt, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Tony De La Rosa, Rosie Flores, David Halley, and Freddy Fender. He's a real big fan of Tex-Mex, so get this if you're looking for more Tejano music. =+= WESTERN BEAT =+= 1738 Bay View Drive, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Phone: 310/374-7108, FAX: 310/374-5345. $15/6 issues. Billy Block is a musician, promoter, writer, and all-around booster of the L.A. country scene. Under the umbrella of Western Beat Entertainment, he runs a small label and music publishing company, publishes a newsletter, and writes a country column for the trade magazine Music Connection. He also organizes the monthly Western Beat American Music Showcases at the L.A. coffeehouse Highland Grounds, where you can hear people like Rosie Flores, Alan Whitney (reviewed this issue) and the Bum Steers. His newsletter's pretty nifty, though it has much more of an "industry" slant than this publication. It includes local notes, spotlight articles on L.A. country musicians, photo spreads, and short reviews of albums of interest, and a calendar of Southern California shows. I like his philosophy: "I sincerely believe that the popularity of acoustic music and the reemergence of the singer/songwriter in popular music will continue to grow as the predominant trend in the coming years. As the boundaries of country, rock, folk and blues become more difficult to define, one must admit that it is truly great songs and singers of great songs that make up the most important element of our industry." =+= Will Ray's Roundup =+= PO Box 1150, Burbank, CA 91507. Phone: 818/848-2576 Free, but sending postage never hurts This one-page newsletter brings you news of the Los Angeles country scene, as filtered through the zany gossipmongering of L.A. guitarist Will Ray, a man of apparently boundless energy who has recently appeared on records by Wiley & the Wild West Show, Far West, and the Hellecasters. Mr. Ray proves to be a man of many hats, and he appears here wearing a pretty funny one. Sometimes he's so funny it's hard to tell whether he's telling the truth or, well, stretching it for laughs. Check out this tidbit: "Brisi Kae Hall, the female Dwight Yoakam of Los Angeles, was in studio "C" with Will at the helm mixing songs for her new album "Buenos Noches de Brisio." Brisi is also a designer of fine western fashions as seen on the TV show "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol." I should warn you, don't read the ROUNDUP on the bus, you'll have everybody looking at you and thinking you're one of those nuts who giggle to themselves. It's really, really funny. If you write for a copy in the near future--which you should definitely do--you'll no doubt also get a copy of CAMP HELLECASTER: A Newsletter dedicated to the study of Abnormal Guitar Behavior--otherwise known as the official fan club newsletter for the group in question. On the other hand, you might well get a newsletter for some other band Will Ray is in,

who knows? In any case, CAMP HELLECASTER is full of newsy stuff about that band. ================================================================= B O O K S ================================================================= ----------------------------------------------------------------COOKIN' WITH QUEEN IDA Queen Ida Guillory with Naomi Wise Prima Publishing, PO Box 1260Q1, Rocklin, CA 95677 ----------------------------------------------------------------My advice to folks who pick up this book is to turn straight to the recipe for Thelma Lewis's Sweet Potato Pawn and make yourself a pan of it. While it's cooking (about an hour), sit back in your favorite chair and read the wonderful stories Queen Ida tells about growing up in Louisiana and California, and her philosophy of cooking--kind of a down-home Ma Cuisine. She's a natural storyteller (you knew that) and a great cook. And not just Queen Ida: many of the recipes were collected from her family and friends, all of whom know how to use the right end of a soup spoon. Queen Ida was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where her family farmed. When she was a child, her father moved the family to San Francisco, looking for better times in the Golden State. Ida admits that growing up, she wasn't fond of either cooking OR zydeco! But everyone in a farm family has to work, and she was helping her mother in the kitchen from an early age. As for music, she came to that much later. Girls weren't supposed to play the accordion, it wasn't considered "ladylike." Ida's brother (Zydeco musician Al Rapone) had an accordion, and she would sometimes pick it up and fool around, but "I wasn't much into zydeco music, anyway. I liked the blues, but you didn't hear much of it over the radio. I liked country and western because that's what I heard most of on the airwaves. I wasn't much into jazz, either, but I started liking it because you like what you hear. You like what's around you. And I used to listen to pop music. Would you believe, playing zydeco now, that I used to listen to Perry Como all the time? Andy Williams, Frankie Laine, all those guys--I had albums. I used to go out and buy albums by pop singers, and the kids would ask, 'You like that music?'" She didn't really learn to play seriously until she was married (to Ray Guillory) and the mother of three; and she didn't begin to play in public until her kids were all in high school. Even then she was very shy about playing "with all the guys," but she was gently pushed onto the stage by her husband and her brother. In 1975, she sat in with the band at a Mardi Gras bash in San Francisco, where she was jokingly introduced by George Broussard, who said, "Tonight we're going to crown you, Ida: Queen of the Zydeco Accordion and Queen of Zydeco Music." A writer and a photographer from the San Francisco Chronicle were there, and two weeks later, Ida found herself on the cover of the Chronicle's Sunday supplement. The rest, as they say, is history. The book is rounded out by an appendix of cajun ingredients, techniques and sources for foods and spices that may be hard to find it you live back east, out west, or up north. ================================================================= = Twenty-Five Reasons Why Your Record Isn't Played On The Radio = =================================================================

If you want people to hear your record, you have to get it played on the radio, and if you what you play ain't exactly bootscootin', it can be an uphill battle. Bluegrass and old-time music have an especially hard time getting airplay when even country stations don't play anything that's TOO country. The following is a from list sent to Ken Irwin of Rounder Records by a independent promoter. Ken says he's heard a number of these personally. "We actually called stations when J.D. Crowe's album SOMEWHERE BETWEEN came out, which featured Keith Whitley on vocals, and were told by a few stations that they already had Merle Haggard and they didn't need more than one traditional singer on their station." No local sales No national action Considering Watching & waiting Wrong image Nothing hits me The jocks don't like it I don't like it I like it but the P.D. doesn't We're gonna wait & see what the competition does Waiting for the reviews We don't have the album yet Will wait for the single The record's not in the stores yet Need approval from Atlanta (or the Owner, a Consultant, etc.) Trade numbers don't merit airplay It was vetoed in the music meeting Too hard Too soft Too many women Not enough guitar Overproduced Underproduced Too Modern Too traditional ================================================================= =+= =+= =+= =+= =+= =+= =+= =+= =+= =+= =+= =+= =+= ================================================================= TWANGIN'! is copyright (c) 1994. Forwarding or otherwise reproducing this zine electronically is okay, but if you want to reprint any of the contents in, say, your own zine, ask first. That number again is cline@well.sf.ca.us Contributors --------------------------------------------------Cheryl Cline: Editor, publisher, chief cook & bottle-washer Lynn Kuehl: Sidekick Hank McCoy: Frontman for Hank McCoy & the Dead Ringers He can be reached c/o OKra Records, 1992 B. North High Street, Columbus, OH 43201. Ken Irwin: A founder of Rounder Records. Contact Ken at One Camp Street, Cambridge, MA 02140 E-Mail: keni@ROUNDER.ROUNDER.COM Jeff Miller: Banjo player for the East Coast bluegrass band

Yankee Division. E-Mail: jmiller@ksr.com William Breiding: Ramblin' writer last seen driving a Dodge Dart in Tucson, Arizona