By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
When Rick Reid's will-to-Zydeco--honed in earlier bands Zydeco Faux Pas, then the Zydeco Swamptones--collided with the pop/cover-band tendencies of the Joybangers last summer, a new and wonderful thing was born: the band Hippie Gumbo. Perhaps it was a reward for finally resisting the urge to put the word "zydeco" in a band name, or some unnameable critical mass springing out of Joybangers guitarist Dick Fisher's songwriting and Reid's love of all things Louisianne, or just some good-time Gulf Coast group gestalt, but HG may be the most viable of a long line of accordion-driven, dance-happy party bands. Think of Tampa Red and Sammy Kershaw holding ? and the Mysterians hostage in an Opelousas roadhouse, or Dan Penn and Madness trying to call up Clifton Chenier on a Ouija board. Any way you slice it, HG is an unusually propulsive, particularly sharp-edged local band worth checking out, which you may now do by picking up their six-song EP Joyride!. Investigate further this Valentine's Day at the Sons of Hermann Hall when they have their record release party and open for Marcia Ball.
Whilst on the subject of days Valentine: Sure, in high school someone like Jim Brickman was more often than not regarded as the worst kind of weenie, but in adulthood his touchy-feelie sense of caring, his earnest one-man-at-the-piano sensitivity has catapulted him from Drama Club to commercial viability. To some his songs are the equivalent of eating a whole bag of those candy hearts, but in the man's defense, he seems genuinely warm and sharing; his last show here--very nearly snowed out at the Majestic--was particularly intimate as he invited the quarter-full house to come down into the good seats. Like Barry Manilow, the man is a consummate songsmith, and you've already heard his songs: McDonald's "Food, Folks, and Fun," Pontiac's "We Are Driving Excitement," and 7-Up's "Feelin' Up," a song whose relevance to Valentine's--oh, never mind.
The new Schrasj/Transona Five split seven-inch should be in stores by the time you read this. On the disc is Schrasj's "Guns and Galveston" b/w T5's "Nick"...Cornhole has moved from a trio to a five-piece, adding Tommy Nelson (Beef Jerky, Secret Goldfish) on guitar and former Slobberbone member Scott Danbom on violin and keyboards. Things are looking up for the band: 1996's Down by the Glory Hole is about to go into a second pressing, and the band has recorded 17 new songs with Sam McCall riding the knobs at his Resin Studios; final mixing should be finished by the summer...
Another benefit for Casey Hess will be staged Thursday, January 30 at Trees and will feature Slow Roosevelt, Caulk, Slowpoke, and rubberbullet. All proceeds will go to help defray the medical expenses incurred by the Doosu frontman's heart operation; doors open at 9 p.m.
Local jazz bassist John Adams reunites with Houston's Joe LoCascio and Ed Soph--who played with him on his debut CD Jump Shot--at Sammons Jazz's inaugural 1997 show on Wednesday, February 5; after playing with Adams, LoCascio's trio will wrap up the show. Soph and LoCacscio will also be playing at Sambuca the next night.
Shtick-Desperately-in-Search-of-a-Band Impotent Sea Snakes had all obscenity charges stemming from a September '96 performance at the Orbit Room dropped earlier this month. It turns out that dry-humping, cross-dressing, bad language, and even worse music aren't really obscene, unless you happened to have paid hard-earned money to see the show...
Bedhead will be playing a rare local show Thursday, February 13 up in Denton at the Argo...Patrick Keel reports that his Collin County Community College Advanced Business of Music class members are getting ready to produce a second Eat Yer Vegetables compilation CD. The assembly of the CD is designed to allow the students to put into real-time play what they learned about the nuts and bolts of promotion, design, and contracts. If this doesn't sound like much of an opportunity to you, perhaps you should check out Rick Koster's article on the Grand Street Cryers in this issue...proceeds from the sales of the album will benefit the CCCC Music Scholarship fund; anyone interested in submitting material should contact Keel at (214) 805-5280.
Street Beat says blah blah blah blah blah at Matt_Weitz@dallas-observer.com.