Miss Leslie & Her
Juke-Jointers - Honky Tonk Happy Hour
Review By: George
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
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
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
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 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
“If this ain’t
country I’ll kiss you’re a**. This is Honky Tonk Gold, made me
wish I was there!”
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.)