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Dave Stuckey

Get A Load Of This – 2000 (HMG/HighTone)

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

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CDs by Dave Stuckey

On his first release since the demise of the Dave and Deke Combo, Dave Stuckey goes full-blown western swing. Calling on the talents of "The Rhythm Gang" - a passel of Austin players plus steel wizard Jeremy Wakefield - Stuckey has produced a fully outfitted sound. Horns and reeds (specifically, trombone and clarinet) pop up here and there, and the twin fiddles of Elena Fremerman and Eamon McLoughlin are everywhere. Throw in the likes of Dave Biller and Whit Smith on guitar and T Jarrod Bonta on the ivories, and the result is 14 tracks of crisp, crackerjack playing wrapped around Stuckey's singing.

As for the tunes themselves, Stuckey's got a great mix here. He gives the western treatment to a handful of vintage jazz numbers - Benny Goodman's "Pick-A-Rib, Pt. 1" (featuring the slippery clarinet work of Stan Smith), "Kansas City Kitty" and "Some of These Days." There's also a couple of classic western swing selections, and five of Stuckey's own, among them "They Did the Boogie," wherein he provides a quick history of that motion (and he doesn't have dancing in mind) that's propelled, naturally, by Bonta's boogie-woogie pounding. A fine return.