The Cornell Hurd Band - Texas Fruit Shack
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Texas Fruit Shack (Behemoth, 1997)

The Cornell Hurd Band

Reviewed by Len Brown

Cornell Hurd's latest indy release is a kick-ass reminder that Nashville puts out sugar-coated pop-styled ditties and seems incapable of producing hard-edged authentic sounding country music such as this. The Austin band boosts such Texas influences as Bob Wills, Ray Price, Moon Mullican and Floyd Tillman. And with all those classic roots, the group sounds incredibly contemporary and one can only wish they were being heard on country radio today.

The disc gives you more than your money's worth, with 21 tracks producing over 60 minutes of '90's style Texas Swing! Hurd wrote 9 songs with many others penned by such stalwarts as Tom T. Hall, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Bush and even Cole Porter! And the legendary Mr. Bush is also a guest vocalist on several of the tracks.

Great diversity throughout as the musicianship and camaraderie is clearly evident. Whether doing classic Texas honky-tonk ("Set 'Em Up, I'm Afraid To Go Home") blues and rockabilly ("Good Rocking Tonight") or cowboy music ("Along The Navajo Trail"), Hurd's band is clearly having a great time. And Hurd takes pride in finding old obscure country album tracks ("Heaven, Hell or Houston" & "Talk About Me") and re-furbishing them in modern Texas style.

The seven band members are aided by guest appearances from such Texas legends as Floyd Domino, Howard Kalish, Lucky Oceans, Herb Steiner, Ponty Bone and more. It's smokin' stuff! (Behemoth, POB 150532, Austin, TX 78715-0532,, 512-894-0734)

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