Kathy and the Kilowatts | Groovin' With Big D

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Groovin' With Big D

by Kathy and the Kilowatts

The love child of Jimmy Reed and Wanda Jackson!
Genre: Blues: Texas Style
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Off the Clock
3:37 $0.99
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2. Firefly
3:18 $0.99
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3. Room for More
3:35 $0.99
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4. Out of Love
5:20 $0.99
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5. Last but Not Least
2:59 $0.99
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6. Take a Chance
2:59 $0.99
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7. Never Trouble Trouble
3:13 $0.99
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8. Damage You Can Do
5:19 $0.99
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9. Help the Bear
3:07 $0.99
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10. MR. Negavibes
3:47 $0.99
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11. Good Rockin' Daddy
2:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
In 1975, Clifford Antone's namesake club emerged as "The Home of the Blues" in Austin, Texas, and as a veritable university for aspiring blues musicians. Older established artists played weeklong engagements at Antone's, and younger local talent often opened or supported the legends. Much has been written about Jimmie and Stevie Vaughan's rise from this venue, and it played a similar role for many excellent but lesser known figures. During Antone's first years, I ran a vintage record shop next door, before taking a cue from Clifford and opening my own blues club, The Aus-Tex Lounge on South Congress. This was a venue where locals built blues careers, and where you could find the blues seven nights a week.

The Aus-Tex soon became the little dive where all paths crossed, a joint where blues bands sweated and blasted to new audiences ready to dance until last call. Early acts included the ever-soulful W.C. Clark (Handy Award Winner), Lou Ann Barton (original Thunderbirds), Lewis & the Legends, The Dynaflows (Kathy Murray's brother David Murray's band)--and then there was Kathy & the Kilowatts. These bands were the foundation of The Aus-Tex Lounge. Despite her youth, Kathy Murray was a veteran in the blues scene and had already absorbed the ingredients of the Texas Blues melting pot, from Cajun, Tex-Mex, and Southern Soul to Jazz and Country. This neighborhood became Kathy's playground and this is arguably why her style is so distinctive and Texas driven.

Kathy honed her craft in bars like The Aus-Tex and soon became a fixture on the circuit. She had the necessary talent, drive for success, and stage presence, and always kept top-level players in her band. That fact leads us to this recording, for on these tracks she has surrounded herself with supporting players who are notable in their own right. Doyle Bramhall was one of the finest shuffle drummers anywhere, and had a voice and singing style that exerted a particular influence on Stevie Ray Vaughan. His drumming alone is enough to recommend these recordings. Floyd Domino was and is one of the piano players of choice for Austin sessions, whether Western Swing, Jazz, Blues, or Country. Bill Jones, like Kathy, soaked up the early sounds around town, and learned from the best at Antone's and via a vast Texas record collection so significant in those formative years. He emerged as a guitarist who is effective in a range of blues idioms, from Chicago to Texas.

This recording also showcases influences that were key for many white Texas blues artists of the period. Kathy's selection of Etta James was a natural, as Etta was bona-fide royalty in these parts. Her choice of Ted Taylor's "Help the Bear" signals a deep interest in Southern Soul that was common in Austin but relatively rare in other blues hubs. Kathy's own songwriting is on display in gems like "Damage You Can Do”, which would fit in a 60's soul or blues Fried Chicken Shack. Smart lyrics and inventive arrangements made Kathy an anomaly in an era when expectations for "chick singers" were patronizing and generally low.

Great songs, stellar musicianship, and Kathy's unique presence make this a prime reissue from the 1990s. These tracks take me back to a time when Austin was a center of the blues universe. Beer was cheap, everyone was dancing, and Kathy and friends helped launch a modern Texas blues sound that is as synonymous with Texas identity as Bar-B-Q and Western hats.

--Steve Dean

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