Levee Town

Levee Town
Pages of Paperwork

2012, Self-produced

By Lady K
August 2012

The cover of the CD, Pages of Paperwork had Lady K totally unprepared for the music contained in that jewel case. The cover was made to look like an old local newspaper, including the straight-forward design of the masthead, with Levee Town as the name of the newspaper. The background paper is yellowed with mottled, mildewy- looking spots – left Lady K expecting less electric, more back-porch blues. The music is none of that!!!!! Pages of Paperwork was Lady K’s introduction to the Kansas City quartet known as Levee Town, and she was very pleased to meet the guys, with their rocking electric, all original blues music, intense harp, and interesting lyrics. Levee Town is Brandon Hudspeth – guitar and vocals; Jimmie Meade – harmonica and vocals; Jacque Garoutte – bass and vocals; and Jan Faircloth – drums.

The nearly-title tune, "Paperwork," is Chicago blues, mid-tempo, with a long instrumental secton which is too short – love those guitars. Evidently the “Babe” in question had more on her mind than love: “Your promise ain’t no promise girl, in your endless search for wealth / Oh Babe, it’s all over but the paperwork.” “Lowdown” is a rocking boisterous tune, and the lowdown is that – again – the woman done him wrong – while he was at work. She’s gone now and he’s singing “I took your pictures down and I changed the locks / The memory of you can’t be too soon forgot / Well that’s the lowdown baby, the way that you did me.”

There’s some killer slide guitar and harmonica in the mid-tempo, hip-swinging third track He’s “Hurt But Strong”: “Let me tell you why I weep and moan, she used to answer when I called out ‘Honey,’ now she won’t even answer her phone.” The “Song She Sang,” with its swinging, rockabilly, head-bopping guitars (great bass), has a chorus that gets into your brain and makes you sing along. “Love you, love you, love you / the song she sang / love you, love you, love you / oh, how it rang / love you, love you, love you / just words she said / love you, love you, love you, now these words are dead.”

The up-tempo, harp-heavy (in a good way) “Show Them Whatcha Got” is asking her to ‘shake it’, BUT, the difference is that with Brandon Hudspeth’s vocal style, he’s asking in a somewhat soft, almost polite voice (“Girl you lookin’ fine, as you walkin’ across my mind / Love to watch you move, when you shake it like you do”); rather than the un-subtle, raunchier tone usually used when lyrics demand a bootie-shake.

“Angel On My Shoulder” is a mid-tempo shuffle with some (forgive the pun) hellacious harp, along with thankful lyrics: “Got an angel on my shoulder / she keeps me from harm / she’s my good luck charm / she keeps lighting my way / she was sent from above / Lawd it’s a brand new day.” The Chicago-style shuffle, “I’m Gonna Leave,” with Jimmie Meade on harp and also using the harmonica microphone for vocals, lends an old-timey sound to the tune, while the music adds a big-band feel. “What goes around, is gonna come back around sometime / You do what you want with your blues, I gotta play a little while with mine.”

There’s more killer slide guitar in “It’s Been So Long,” a slow-ish number that’ll have your hips swinging while you listen to the sadness: “It’s been so long since I wrote a happy song / When things are bad these blues keep me glad to be alive / Can’t take that away, although you try.” The transition back and forth between picking and slide-guitar is just part of the excitement on the up-tempo “So Many Pages.” It’s a rollicking, heavy-duty guitar rock track that parallels the vagaries of love to reading a book – different strokes for different folks, so to speak: “We’re both on the same page, but from different books / Under Drama not Comedy, but what I’m thinkin’ is under History.”

Levee Town’s Pages of Paperwork has left Lady K looking forward to checking out the band’s other releases. Try it, you’ll like it too!!!!!

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