May 1st, 2016 | Comments Off on Sunday 01 May 2016 – Opie Hendrix * Jazz Radio
Opie Hendrix and the Texas Tallboys (San Marcos, TX)
An Opie Hendrix album is somewhat like the proverbial box of chocolates in that you never know what you’re going to get when you open it. Over the years, Opie has recorded one surprise after another. We’ve experienced Opie’s country side, his rock side, a few ballads, and a blues and pop tune now and then. His ability to work well within each genre makes him a well-rounded performer and his record…ings usually appeal to those with eclectic tastes. Hendrix has narrowed his scope a bit on this album. Not to say that his vast influences aren’t present, but Hendrix has established himself as a big time recording artist with big songs, big arrangements, and an extra large feel to the entire disc. Opie has assembled an outstanding list of pickers for this project and even utilizes horns in a way that you would almost expect from a Hendrix release. The John Evans-like “Hurt Feelings” is a favorite and “Girl From Portland” is an amazing blend of pop, rock, and country influences. “Here Comes A Heartache” and “It’s Raining Somewhere” are the square pegs of the album as Opie offers a country shuffle with enough twang to keep two-steppers busy for a while and a serious ballad worthy of a second listen. Only Opie will offer up a song called “Apesh**t” that is nothing short of classic Opie Hendrix with a southern rock feel and a musical mosh pit ending. This is probably the genre in which Hendrix is most comfortable and I assure you he could play this entire six minute tune with his eyes closed, grooving every second, enjoying the performance as much as the listener enjoys the experience. After experiencing the disc, and seeing the list of friends who showed up to play on this album, I am quick to offer CAMINO ALTO up as Opie’s best work to date. Opie has been known to release an album for himself, leaving out any regard for what commercial fans might want, and he’s been known to record for the fans, leaving behind some things he might have wanted for himself. For the first time, Opie might have found the happy medium. His fans will love this album, and yet, he didn’t sell out on his creativity, his splendor, or his ability to hit the groove. Gordon “Big G” Ames writes the liner notes for this twelve-cut gem and Opie himself painted the portrait appearing on the cover. Even the title is classic Opie. The only thing missing from this box of chocolates is something with a cream-filled center. Oh, wait… nevermind.
Jazz Radio (Bellaire, TX)