JIM STRINGER & THE AM BAND
- "In My Hand"
Stringer’s outfit, T Jarrod Bonta piano, Carl Keesee bass and Jon Hahn
drums (with assists from Ricky Davis and Tommy Detamore steel and
‘Rufus Otis’ accordion and percussion), illustrates one of the central
Austin dichotomies—you’d have a hard time putting together a band this good anywhere else, but if you could, it’d be the biggest thing in
town. Stringer is primarily a guitarist, indeed a guitarist’s guitarist, on this abum wielding electric,
acoustic, baritone, steel and lap steel, 6-string and tic tac bass and mandolin, but he can more
than hold his own as a vocalist and songwriter, and it’s this side that’s emphasised here. Thing about Stringer is that he can play just
about anything, and while his songs are basically country, he can infuse them with western swing, rockabilly or jazz. I’ll Give You
Miles, for instance, is soul in a country setting. Strategically located covers and
duets, Joni Mitchell’s Raised On Robbery with Karen Poston, his own Three Wishes with Stacy Walters and Johnny Mercer’s I’ll Remember You with Susanna Van Tassel, almost divert attention from
the central question, posed in Easy To Love (Hard To Trust), which so many of us have had to ask at one time or another: “You were out with
your sister/but how could she be/out honkin’ tonkin’ with you/when she was sleeping with me?” JC
--John Conquest, 3rd Coast Music - May 2004
Jim Stringer & The AM Band
- "On The Radio"
Guitarist Jim Stringer recently celebrated 40 years on the bandstand, and
while he has constantly added material to his repertoire, not to mention writing
plenty of his own stuff, he doesn't seem to have ever discarded anything.
Guitarist Boomer Norman, bass player Carl Keesee and drummer Lee Potter also
have years of varied experience behind them, while pianist T Jarrod Bonta
defines precocious, and together with 'featured vocalist' Alan Barnette, they
make up one of the tightest bands in Austin with very few rivals for
versatility. Which is a very different thing from eclecticism.
Though they sandwich 50's style rock & roll, Ray Charles' Leave My Woman
Alone, swamp rock, honkytonk, a shuffle, hard country ballads, Elvis (Any
Way You Want Me), Leiber & Stoller (The Drifters' Fools Fall In Love)
and rockabilly between opening and closing Western Swing instrumentals, the 14
tracks on this follow up to Swang! never seem like a smorgasbord of
genres but mesh into an organic whole, their "cross between swing and
twang." Live these guys are amazing, but buy this if you can't get to The
Carousel, or to keep you going between nights at the Carousel.
-John Conquest, 3rd Coast Music