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Miss Leslie & Her Juke-Jointers - Honky Tonk Happy Hour
Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

Miss Leslie and the Juke-Jointers brand their music as “country with a hardwood sound”. They’re right. Recorded at Houston’s Continental Club in 2006, Miss L and her boys excite the crowd (and this listener) with a blend of retro country that doesn’t play much these days on popular radio. Pity.

On her second album, Honky Tonk Happy Hour, Miss Leslie, carried along with plenty of pedal steel, piano (that’s an upright piano, friends) and primed telecaster guitar (courtesy of husband Randy Lindley), is sure to win fans to the band’s blend of bygone country.

The lady can sing. The band can play. And what they deliver on this live recording is traditional, polished and pure. A favored band by the Houston Press Music Awards, the band scored big in 2006 with a slew of nominations, including one for the prestigious Best C&W Band.

The album opens with “Yes Ma’am (He Found Me In A Honky Tonk”), and from there the swing thing moves into a steady and charged playlist of 18 hard worn memories and Saturday night favorites. Miss Leslie wraps her Texas drawl convincingly around some George Jones’ tracks, “Everything Ain’t Right”, “Things Have Gone To Pieces” and personal standout “Ship Of Love”. She handles the task with a flavor her own and a style honed out of admiration.

Ache and despair, a foundation stone of country music, come into clear view with the bar weepers “I’m Barely Hangin’ On To Me”, “Empty Bar Stool”, and for those who remember, Dean Martin’s classic signature, “Little Ole Wine Drinker Me”, is a pleasing add to the mix.

The best compliment one can pay to the album comes in a liner blurb from Dale Watson, who recently made CMT headlines stating he was withdrawing from country music.

“If this ain’t country I’ll kiss you’re a**. This is Honky Tonk Gold, made me wish I was there!”

Me too!

While Watson wrestles with the disappointments of what’s not pure and definable country music, this album leaves the listener in doubt. This is classic country, played by a band that’s stylish and engaging, glued solid with vocals that draw comparisons to Patsy Cline, but which remain unique rather than copied.

The album is out now on Zero Label Records.

(The Dale Watson story, by Chet Flippo, can be viewed here.) 


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1. Intro by Leslie T Travis
2. Yes Ma'am (He Found Me In a Honky Tonk)
3. Everything Ain t Right
4. You re Still On My Mind
5. Bubbles in My Beer
6. I m Barely Hangin On To Me
7. The Arms of a Fool
8. I Want to Hear It From You
9. Bobo's Boogie
10. I'll Be Gone Tonight
11. Things Have Gone to Pieces
12. Blistered
13. Cry, Cry, Cry
14. Ship of Love
15. Touch My Heart
16. Place in My Heart
17. Empty Barstool
18. Little Ole Wine Drinker Me
19. A-11--Little Darlin Outtro

Related Links:
Official Website  
MySpace  

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