Jenny Don't And The Spurs - The Singles Roundup.
Released June 2023 Reviewed by Jack, July 2023 BUY THE ALBUM HERE: https://jennydontandthespurs.bandcamp.com/.../the-singles...
Jenny Don’t and the Spurs are: Vocals / Guitar - Jenny Don't Bass - Kelly Halliburton Guitar - Christopher March Drums - Buddy Weeks
For those unfamiliar; Jenny Don’t and The Spurs formed in 2012. They combine traditional Country Music with their former experience in Portland Punk bands. The result is a Honky Tonk sound tinged with a Punk edge, also with elements of Rockabilly, RnR and even Surf. The core line-up consisted of Jenny Don’t, a former rodeo rider, on vocals and guitar, Kelly Halliburton on bass, Christopher March on guitar and Sam Henry on drums . They have toured ever since and released a string of albums. The band suffered tragedy in 2022 when Sam, suffering from abdominal pain, was diagnosed with late-stage cancer and died weeks later. However, the band are determined to continue in his memory, so now seems as good a time as any to look at their past achievements. This album, showcasing their previous singles, does just that. The album consists of eight originals and four covers.
The album kicks off with both sides of a single from 2014 : “Trouble with the law”starts the album in style. This song clearly shows off the mixture of country and punk influencers. The lyrics, as the title hints, tell of someone who is on the run from the law and wants her sweetheart to come with her. The lyrics are a bit Outlaw Country Cliché, but this is not a bad thing. Jenny delivers a great vocal and there is some impressive lead guitar work. The second song, “My Blue Heart '' is a lovely Classic Country ballad. Here Jenny shows off her vocal gymnastics to great effect. Her voice has just the right amount of yearning to make the song believable, also there Is an impressive high note guitar solo. Moving on to the next single, “No Good”, a cheerful tale of murder and arson! (Do not try this at home) that ticks every Country cliché checklist. Despite the tongue in check lyrics, it somehow works and becomes a fun dark country song. “You win again” is a cover of the Hank Williams standard, attempted by everyone from Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and more recently the John Lewis Trio. These are big shoes to fill but the band delivers a nice satisfying version. Next, we come to a 2018 single “What Can I Do” which is standard rocking country with great guitar work. They’re not reinventing the wheel with this one and it's all the better for that. The flip side “Still as the Night” is a cover of a Lee Hazelwood song. The guitar playing instantly reminded me of Duane Eddy, who Hazelwood produced. It’s a great moody Rock N Roll track.
‘On The Run’ is a rather catchy piece of Dark Country about…well…being on the run. The lyrics are kinda silly, but it ends up being a fun dark song that doesn’t take itself too seriously. ‘’Paso del Norte’ has a Rockabilly feel, with hints of Punk and Surf. There is also a distinct Mexican flavour, complete with trumpets. It’s a cheerful little tale about a woman who chases and catches her man, eventually gunning him down, so standard Country fair really. ‘’Honky Tonk Fool’ is a standard Country shuffler, where she tries to convince a man who’s already taken that she could be good for him. The song features a nice bluesy harmonica. ‘Mr Fire Eyes’ is a cover of the old Bonnie Guitar song. Like the original, Jenny’s version has a cute fun feel. We end the album with both sides of a 2021 single release. ‘Right From The Start’ has a distinct 60s Nashville feel with the guitars. It’s a short and sweet song about love, but I’ve no problem with short songs, so the end result is rewarding. ‘Three or Four Nights’ is a cover of a Johnny Bond track. I really like Johnny Bond, an unissued version of the track from 1958 is a great piece of Rockin’ Country that verges on Rockabilly. It’s a fun track about travelling the road and meeting girls on the way. Jenny delivers a really fun version bringing this enjoyable compilation to a satisfying conclusion. I like that she doesn’t reverse the gender roles of Bond’s original. Having not heard of Jenny Don’t and The Spurs prior to reviewing this album, I realise I’ve been missing out on a great group. They bring something fresh to Country Music. They’ve not reinvented the wheel, but kept things fresh enough to keep interest. For those similarly in the dark as I was before reviewing, I would recommend this as a good place to start. I will certainly be checking out more of their releases. The band are still going strong, with new drummer Buddy Weeks and I feel the future holds bright things for them.