Jim Stringer & The
On the Radio
This Austin band's follow up to its 1999 debut,
Swang, (a little swing, a little twang) finds the six piece outfit mining the mother lode
of the Texas honky-tonk tradition.
Stringer and his cohorts mix Wynn Stewart-like
weepers such as "What Do I Know" and "Don't Tell Me
Goodbye") with dance-floor-crowding twin Fender rockers such as the
call-and-response party tune, "A Man Who Can't Say No" and
been-there-done-that joker, "I Feel Better (Since You're Gone)". The
Texas swing methodology is apparent on the instrumentals, "Cedar
Fever", and "Tag Along", which bookend the thirteen cuts (nine of
them Stringer originals).
The good-time vibe the band shines up each
Thursday night at Austin's funky Carousel Lounge comes through on Lieber/Stoller's "Fools Fall in Love", Schroeder/Owens' "Any Way
You Want Me", and Ray Charles' "Leave My Woman Alone (rendered in the
harmonic manner of the Everlys).
At the core of each tune is youthful T. Jarrod
Bonta's classic honky-0tonk piano and the breakneck guitar leads of Stringer and
Boomer Norman. Alan Barnette's vocals hit just the right interpretive tone,
particularly on the fragile ballads (including a daring Elvis cut, "Any Way
You Want Me", while bassist Carl Keesee and drummer Lee Potter provide
consistently interesting rhythms with no off-putting surprises. While the
playing in the studio is clean and precise, one longs to hear the set faster and
looser, preferably on a honky-tonk hardwood floor.
No Depression Magazine - July/August 2001