LOUNGE SIDE RECORDS LSR 0012
LOSE MY MIND–YOU GOT ME HUMMIN’–TROUBLE FIND ME–LIKE FLOWERS–DIRTY FLOOR–KANSAS CITY NOCTURNE–BORN TO WIN–VAGABOND MOONLIGHT–MOCKINGBIRD BLUES–HEADSTRONG–LIVE TODAY–WALKING IN THE SUN
Jeff Plankenhorn is a highly-acclaimed and very versatile guitarist who went to college at the University of Michigan before moving to Nashville for a while, “woodshedding” by absorbing all he could from the likes of Uncle Josh Graves and Jerry Douglas. He finally settled in Austin, TX, at the behest of Ray Wylie Hubbard. He’s just released his dazzling debut for Lounge Side Records, “SoulSlide,” that shows why he is such an in-demand player for a host of Texas music royalty!
Jeff is affectionately-known as “Plank,” as is the stand-up lap steel that he designed. This album has Jeff using “The Plank” to create unique sounds that bring to mind the sacred steel of Robert Randolph, the dobro of Uncle Josh, and blues from the Texas masters.
The party starts with a gospel-shoutin’ cut co-written with Gary Nicholson, “I want to Lose My Mind, but I don’t want to go crazy,” punctuated profoundly by that sanctified-steel sound. A bluesier, soulful slide drives the good-time proclamation to a lover that “I’ll be your Superfly, and we’ll go dancin’ on the Dirty Floor.” This one features backing vocals from Ruthie Foster. “Born To Win” pushes us to always do the best we can, to “get on up and never give in,” while “Mockingbird Blues” is done with acoustic guitar in one channel and the Plank in the other, lending to its laid-back, front-porch vibe.
We had two favorites, both duets. An original Texas soul man, Malford Milligan, joins Jeff on the Sam and Dave soul party, “You Got Me Hummin” Ruthie Foster returns as Jeff’s partner for a song of redemption co-written with Michael O’Connor, where “all the people look Like Flowers.” This one has an early-era Stones or Small Faces feel, and Jeff and Ruthie have a lotta fun with it.
Jeff Plankenhorn possesses a myriad of talent when it comes to the guitar—he can play any style or genre’, and “SoulSlide” is a great testimony to this fact. We’re all about to find out what Austin folks have known all along—he’s one mighty fine player! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.