By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
A few weeks ago, Size and the Moellers went into Sumet Studios and recorded a CD, tentatively titled Return of the Funky Worm, for Chuck Nevitt's Dallas Blues Society label, which has been responsible for records by last-of-the-country-bluesmen Henry Qualls and jump-bluesman Big Al Dupree. The disc, which will be released in May or June, plays itself out like a cross between Hash Brown's Texas-bred style and the Red Devils' Chicago distillation--a blues record that relies equally on the guitar and the Wurlitzer.
"We wanted to put in a little bit of funk because we like that stuff," Size says. "We're not the Chili Peppers or anything, but we're more mellow. We still got our blues following. It almost reminds me of the Family Style record, where Stevie and Jimmie [Vaughan] got together and said, 'Let's jam and write some cool stuff,' which is just what we did."
Ten Hands is over.
After almost a decade together and apart, the once and future house band for Deep Ellum has called it quits. "There's no coming back," insists frontman and co-founder Paul Slavens, one of the few constants in a band that often changed hands (or Hands, as it were) and has, at various times, included the likes of drummer Earl Harvin and Billygoat frontman Mike Dillon.
"It just got weird being up there as Ten Hands after all this time," he explains. "People wanted to hear all the old material, and that's what was fun to play, but you can only live off it for so long." So on February 9 at Rick's in Denton and February 10 at Club Dada, the band bids its farewells, save for the occasional old-timers games.
Slavens has just finished a solo record, which is split between the material he's been performing around town by himself for a couple of years and self-penned classical music for piano. But the bust-up of Ten Hands means Slavens and Chapman stick player Gary Muller can now concentrate on what they call the Green Romance Orchestra, the band they "formed" last year with former Dr. Tongue (oh, yeah...and former Pearl Jam) drummer Dave Abbruzzese.
Abbruzzese is relocating, in part, to a 6,000-square-foot house in Denton so he can be closer to the other members of the GRO. He's even moving most of his studio here, as well, consolidating his recording equipment with that of producer David Castell, who's moving out to the 600-acre property.
"We're going to have one bad motherfuckin' studio," Abbruzzese says from his Seattle home, which he'll still maintain. "It's the fucking Dave Abbruzzese Memorial Commune.
"We're actually hoping to start scoopin' up people and have fun jam weekends with people we always wanted to play with or just meet. The main goal last time we recorded was to provide an environment for us to do whatever we wanted and to have a good time. Now, we're going to have a little more focus on what we're doing. We're going to try to push ourselves and discover a little more and be goofy. Hey, it's our musical Waco."
Comments or StreetBeat tips can be sent to DalObserv@aol.com.