Miss Leslie and Her Juke Jointers - Honky Tonk Revival
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Honky Tonk Revival (Zero, 2005)

Miss Leslie and Her Juke Jointers

Reviewed by Ken Burke

Revival is an apt description of Leslie Lindley's debut disc. Backed by a crack outfit capable of recreating the classic sounds of both Bakersfield and Texas honky-tonk, Miss Leslie convincingly portrays the barroom chanteuse of eras gone by.

Lindley, the mother of three, is a first-rate fiddle player who can saw out heartache intros ("Heavy on the Lonesome") or double-track fiddles Ray Price & His Cherokee Cowboys style ("Turn Around"). Instrumentally, two particular stand-outs are pedal steel ace Ricky Davis ("I Threw Your Pictures Away Today"), and the singer's producer/husband Randy Lindley ("Bobo's Boogie") who smartly plucks his Telecaster la Don Rich.

Clearly the spotlight belongs on Miss Leslie, who deftly channels bar life despair from such heart-wrenching ditties as "Stranger in Your Mind," "(I've Got My) Future On Ice" and "Honky Tonk No More." Occasionally, the singer just tries too hard to reach a desired emotional effect and falls noticeably short. However, during the better moments ("Talk to My Lonesome Heart," "I'm Walking Slow," and "Honky Tonk Gal") the songstress evokes the aching clarity of Connie Smith. Not a perfect album - it lacks production and engineering savvy - but it's worth checking out because this crew knows what comprises true country music. (info@missleslie.com)




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