Jim Stringer & The AM Band
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.

--Buzz McClain, No Depression Magazine - July/August 2001




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