The Wurlitzer Prize

Square One (Jeez Louise Records)

You could assume a lot of things about a Dallas band that takes its name from a Waylon Jennings song--but you shouldn't. This Wurlitzer Prize has little to do with Jennings other than a standard vocals/guitars/keyboards/drums setup and some good, clean, simple songs about love and frustration. There's nothing fancy or avant-garde about the five songs on the debut EP, Square One,either. And that's a good thing. Clever lyrics and vocals by songwriter Del Perez are front and center with sparse but effective accompaniment to the rear. Mostly, this record is a sign of what's to come. The Wurlitzer Prize was born February 13, 2002, (the day Jennings died) but has seen many incarnations as Perez's backing band continually changed. But this was never a ship without a course, just one without a steady crew. Perez is backed here by guitarist Jim Kisselburg, drummer Ted O'Loughlin and bass player Danny Balis of Sorta (replaced live by Chris Harris). Both incarnations finally do these songs justice.

 
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