BOOTLEGGERS – CD Review

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BOOTLEGGERS

SOUTHERN ROADS

INDEPENDENT

 What does deep south France and Southern Rock have in common? The correct answer is a band, the Bootleggers. And they’ve recently released a new Indie album entitled Southern Roads.

In the vein of ZZ Top, the twang of electric guitars and hard rocking beat defines the Bootleggers. Band leader, lead vocalist and acoustic guitar player, Didier Cere sets the tone for their music. Point Blank’s guitarist, Rusty Burns who passed away before the CD was released, Van Wilks and Neal Black from San Antonio join in on the project.

The album kicks off with Van Wilks’ “Sometimes You Run.” Having heard Van’s original version, I have to give the Bootleggers kudos for their rendition of this hard-rocking song. You cannot listen and sit still.

“Short Change Hero” written by Kelvin Claude Swaby and made popular by The Heavy is the second track, followed by “Sending Me Angels,” a Delbert McClinton tune, which switches to a soulful tempo showing the diversity of this group.

“10 Million Slaves” penned by Otis Taylor features one of the most important American Artists on the blues scene, Neal Black on electric guitar.

The next track came as a surprise. “Negro Prison Blues,” written by Alan Lomax starts out acapella and moves into a beautiful instrumental featuring the slide guitar of Claude Zanglois.

The Bootleggers interpretation of “John The Revelator” by Blind Willie Johnson is simplistic and organic. Didier Cere shines on the vocals.

Neal Black penned “Hangman Tree,” and in the truest depiction of southern rock with a heavy drum beat and slide guitar, it is an easy favorite.

“Spirit in the Sky,” topped the charts worldwide in 1969. Written and released by Norman Greenbaum, it became one of the most recognizable songs on the radio. The Bootleggers did a rocking version in the spirit of the song with some outstanding harmonica work by Nico Wayne Toussaint. Dick Burnett’s “Man of Constant Sorrow” brings this album to a close in a surprising way. I have to say I am impressed by the vocals on this album and the versatility of the musicians. For more info visit https://www.reverbnation.com/bootleggers

Watch a Video of the BOOTLEGGERS Performing live! Video Link

I hope you enjoyed meeting a new and unique group of artists. It’s not often I get a chance to review a CD from a band in France. 

 

Music, Books, Friends and Happy Birthday, Willie Nelson

I spent last weekend in Austin, Texas. Why? Two reasons…music and friends. And, friends who wanted books and friends of friends who purchased books. So, I guess that actually makes three reasons.

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Jan and Kay in a Bluebonnet field in the Texas Hill Country.

It is always fun when I can share a road trip with my best friend, Kay. She is the most awesome traveling companion. Knowing we were going into the heart of the Texas Hill Country, we had hoped to find Bluebonnets still blooming. And we did. This field was located on the banks of what used to be Lake Travis. I say ‘used to be’ simply because the lake is dry. It is heartbreaking to see a dry riverbed where a huge lake used to sit. But, perhaps the pendulum will swing the other way and water will once again flow.

The first event of the weekend was held at Strange Brew, an eclectic coffee house/lounge on Manchaca Road in Austin. My friend, Van Wilks performed there Saturday night.

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The incomparable Mr. Van Wilks.

Now, if you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to and watching Van Wilks play guitar, I can only tell you that you are missing out on a musical experience. The way he uses every string, every note to the fullest is beyond comparison. He is a first-class guitar player and my words are falling short in describing him. So, here’s a short video clip. Let the music speak for itself!

Sunday found us back at Strange Brew for another day of music that could not be more opposite from Van Wilks.

My long time friend, Richard Dobson performed in a songwriter swap with George Ensle and Greg Whitfield. I love these acoustic settings where you feel like you’re sitting in your living room with them. Richard (or Ricardo, as he is known by many) is a folk singer/songwriter. He’s had songs cut by Johnny Cash, David Allen Coe, Guy Clark, Lacy J. Dalton and well the list is too long but they are all listed on his website.

Richard currently resides in Switzerland, so when he makes trips to the U.S., I try to catch up. Not only is Richard a prolific songwriter, but is also an author himself, with three published titles and working on a fourth.

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Jan Sikes, Richard Dobson, Kay Shields-Perot at Strange Brew.

For your listening pleasure, here is a short clip!

Then a highlight of Sunday afternoon was a visit from the most beautiful and gracious, Connie Nelson. Yes, she is Willie’s ex-wife and a sweet beautiful soul.

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The beautiful Miss Connie Nelson and Jan Sikes

Heading back to Dallas, my heart and head was filled with words, music and friends.

A huge thanks to our host and hostess for the weekend, George and Donna Garcie! Moments like these are what fills our lives and gives us rocking chair memories.

And today is Willie Nelson’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Willie and here’s to another twenty!!

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Kay, Jan and Sarah at the Willie Nelson statue in Austin, Texas.