The spirit of Texicana Country music lives on
I was approached by Semi-Twang via these very pages to have a listen to their latest album and; by Jove, the internet can have some positive uses.
After responding out of courtesy; I downloaded THE WHY AND WHAT FOR and as I’d not heard of these small town youngsters before, left it in a folder for a few days. Then; on Monday my day job wasn’t going great and the weather was pants so I pressed ‘shuffle’ on the music player. The first song on the speakers was Handsome Man and Ye Gads I cheered up immediately.
The singer (John Sieger) has an interesting voice; not unlike Doug Sahm and the overall feel of the album isn’t too dissimilar to the Sir Douglas Quintet from way back when.
From the get go the band are firing on all cylinders with a delightful mix of Tex-Mex, Alt-Country and even a large dollop of classic R&B all mixed together to create a party sound that should be blasted out of the speakers of a red Corvette or some kind of battered truck.
52 Jokers is a belter of a Country tune and Au Contraire which follows is the finest Tex-Mex song I’ve heard since Doug Sahm was in his pomp; Sieger has a gorgeous warble to his voice and the accordion genuinely swings throughout making the song eminently danceable.
I absolutely love the slow burning; Stones influenced You Love Everybody which wouldn’t have been out of place on Exile on Main Street.
We even get some old school Rock & Roll with Miss Watson which features another couplet for my Top 10 Lyrics file – ‘Elementary Miss Watson/Let’s discuss this in my Datsun/You want love?/I believe I got some.’ How good is that?
The first song I heard and subsequently fell in love with, Handsome Man doesn’t actually appear until the second half of THE WHY AND WHAT FOR but; it’s well worth waiting for. This is my favourite type of Country song as Sieger’s tongue his so far into his cheek it’s nearly coming out of his ear.
Semi-Twang is the sound of guys without the hindrance of a record company breathing down their necks; having an absolute ball playing and making music that they obviously love. There wasn’t a press release with the album and I can’t really find anything about their history, apart from they first released an album in 1988 and then another in 2011; with this being the follow up!