Click on the links to read the originals. More coming soon.
Country Music People January 2009
National Gegraphic Traveler: The Best Little City in America
The CHB is featured in one writer's fabulous trip to Austin, Texas....
Austin Chronicle COVER STORY!
Country Music People Magazine (UK) August, 2006
Cornell Hurd Band
Texas By Night
for Tuning In / Texas By Night / You Only Kiss Me When We Say Goodbye / Viva Las
Vegas / Adios To Mexico City / Black Smoke A Blowin’ Over 18 Wheels / We’re
Not Married Anymore / I Don’t Know Why I
Love You (But I Do) / There Are Strange Things Happening Everyday / Dim
Lights, Thick Smoke And Loud, Loud Music / The Rubboard Waltz / Date With Del
(Part I) / Party of One / There’s Still A Lot Of Love In San Antone / If You
Play With My Mind (You’re Gonna Get Your Hands Dirty) / Texas By Night (Ride
Producers: Cornell Hurd & Allen Crider
Behemoth 1018 (44:16)
For those of us who are lucky enough to visit Austin on a regular basis, the Cornell Hurd Band is the living personification of “Texas By Night,” which makes that a perfectly fitting title for this, the 10th CHB album of the CD era.
He may not thank me for telling you this, but Cornell is now edging towards his fifth decade as a bandleader – but while those five decades have seen a great many band members come and go, they’ve also seen Hurd refine the sound of every CHB lineup to a point where, on their very best nights, there isn’t a live act anywhere in the world to touch them.
Country Music People Magazine (UK) August, 2006
State of Mind
Rob Patterson reports from the Texas State Capital
As well, the CHB put out a new album every year or sow, and the same high standard holds. The music is always exceptional, the styles range across the musical West, the packaging is first class, and there’s always cool guest stars and as many tracks as you might normally get in two or three CDs from anyone else – and no filler!
Texas By Night, their latest, is no exception, except maybe that at 16 tracks it’s a bit shorter than your usual Hurd Band release. No matter, as it’s probably also the best CHB album yet.
Mike Gross, WVOF-FM, Fairfiled, CT www.swinginwest.com
The very versatile Cornell Hurd Band has another new album and this time around
their eclectic mix includes 15 tunes following the album intro.
Cornell Hurd takes center stage with his vocals and rhythm gui
tar. He surrounds himself with so
many of those top Austin musicians including the very enjoyable steel guitar of
Scott Walls. Other top musicians
include Paul Skelton on electric and acoustic lead guitars, Howard Kalish on
fiddle and T Jarrod Bonta on piano. Blackie
White is on guitar and vocals, Danny Roy Young is on rubboard, Lisa Pankratz is
the drummer and Allen Crider plays guitar and does vocals.
Randy Glines plays bass, tic-tac and vocals and there is the tenor sax of
Del Puschert. Richard “Bad Dog”
Power plays baritone sax.
tar. He surrounds himself with so many of those top Austin musicians including the very enjoyable steel guitar of Scott Walls. Other top musicians include Paul Skelton on electric and acoustic lead guitars, Howard Kalish on fiddle and T Jarrod Bonta on piano. Blackie White is on guitar and vocals, Danny Roy Young is on rubboard, Lisa Pankratz is the drummer and Allen Crider plays guitar and does vocals. Randy Glines plays bass, tic-tac and vocals and there is the tenor sax of Del Puschert. Richard “Bad Dog” Power plays baritone sax.
Compact Capsules for 05/26/06
by Dan Ferguson
While the styles of music in Austin, Texas are many, it has always been a hot spot for non-mainstream country & western music. Three of the finest performers calling Austin their base of operations when it comes to carrying the real country torch are Dale Watson, James Hand, and the Cornell Hurd Band. The fact that all three released new albums just last month has already made 2006 a banner year for the genuine article in the C&W scheme of things. This week's Compact Capsules gives you the quick and dirty on each recording. Put simply, each gets thumbs up from this camp.
Cornell Hurd Band
Texas By Night
Behemoth Records 1018
Numbering some dozen full-time members not counting the typical array of guests, the Cornell Hurd Band on its latest release called Texas By Night delivers the goods like a well-oiled machine. What hurts for us folks outside the Lone Star State is that because this band is so immense, it makes large-scale touring near impossible. At the same time, it also makes the yearly CD release from Hurd and company almost essential for satisfying the cravings of the CHB faithful outside Lone Star lines, of which there are plenty. For comparison's sake for neophytes out there, think something on the order of honky tonk great Hank Thompson & his Brazos Valley Boys when it comes to the Cornell Hurd Band. Texas By Night may be the most accomplished release to date.
The song selections mix Hurd originals with some deep catalogue nuggets. What struck this listener most about the recording is how perfectly it is sequenced. Simply stated, it is difficult to go anywhere near the Stop button once the sucker starts playing. Like every Cornell Hurd Band recording, democracy is hard at work on Texas By Night. One of the beauties of Hurd's role as leader has always been his complete unselfishness when it comes to making records. While he is clearly the straw that stirs the drink, you'll find few front men who let their band mates spread their respective wings like Hurd does. Team Hurd, perhaps? It's a trait that that has been there since record number one in the late 1970s straight through to this latest. In some respects, with the dollop of talent he has at his disposal in the Cornell Hurd Band he'd be a fool not to let them strut their stuff. With accomplished musicians like guitarist Paul Skelton, fiddler Howard Kalish, steel player Scott Walls, sax man Del Puschert, pianist T. Jarrod Bonta, drummer Lisa Pankratz, and rubboard player Danny Roy Young to name but just a portion of the band, Hurd and company swing, swagger, flip, flop, and fly on Texas By Night.
It begins with the rolling of the radio dial
that yields snippets of CHB tunes from the past before the comforting voice of
Alan Crider welcomes one and all to a little late night Texas tunage, Cornell
Hurd Band-style, of course. When they launch into the Skelton-fueled
instrumental that doubles as the title track, it's party time. Once again
Hurd's originals impress with numbers like the wink-and-a-smile "You Only
Kiss Me When We Say Goodbye" and the riotous romp that is "If You
Play With My Mind (You're Gonna Get Your Hands Dirty)" taking the cake
where this camp is concerned. The covers, and there are a bunch, are a
typically well-chosen bunch with receiving A-1 treatment from the band. They
include the perennial live staple "Viva Las Vegas" with Blackie
White on vocals, Red Simpson's dieselbilly classic "Black Smoke Blowin'
Over 18 Wheels", Clarence "Frogman" Henry's "I Don't Know
Why I Love You (But I Do)", Joe and Rose Lee Maphis' "Dim Lights,
Thick Smoke and Loud, Loud Music" featuring guest vocals by Texas C&W
legend Frankie "Black Land Farmer" Miller, and what may look like a
stretch on paper but is done remarkably well in "There Are Strange Things
Happening Everyday" from the catalogue of legendary gospel great Sister
Rosetta Tharpe. Consider Texas By Night arguably the band's finest
moment on disc. (Behemoth Records, 1704 1/2 South Congress Avenue, Suite H,
Austin, TX 78704, or www.cornellhurdband.com)
Dan Ferguson is a freelance writer and disc jockey from Rhode Island.
“I feel sorry for any musician who hasn’t been able to stand on the stage at the Broken Spoke and play for those dancers,” declares bandleader Cornell Hurd.
Maybe so, but I also feel sorry for anyone who’s in Austin on a Thursday night and doesn’t see The Cornell Hurd Band at Jovita’s Mexican Restaurant. With 10 pieces, including a rubboard and baritone sax, Hurd’s group approximates the classic Western swing units of yore. He features three lead singers besides himself on an eclectic, infectious set of Texas swing, shuffles (Justin Trevino is his bass player), honky-tonk ballads and what used to be called novelty songs (before they became as novel as something like Hurd’s “What Would Ernest Tubb Have Done”). The venue, which books all manner of Texas roots music, is decorated with colorful Mexican murals, and the bandstand and dance floor occupy what was once a patio and still have an outdoorsy feel. Back in the 1970s, Austin emerged as a music center when Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings played the legendary Armadillo World Headquarters, and their sound style and audience converged with those of rock to create the Outlaw country movement. That’s what Jovita’s feels like on a good night, as purple mohawks and pierced lips two-step beside Resistol hats and creased Wranglers. And it doesn’t hurt that the 8 p.m. shows, for which there’s no cover except on weekends, end around 10, when the other clubs around town are just getting going. This is still working men’s music, after all.
"Great recordings from 2002 are at stores and online. Notables include Song of South Austin from the T.R.R. Album of the Year Winner each of thepast two years, the Cornell Hurd Band. Don't miss this, folks. It's as good as anything they've done and that is no small assertion! ATTENTION, Country Radio! This is superior to anything on your consultant-generated play lists." [from The Reiser Report http://www.songtalk.com/reiser.html]
COUNTRY MUSIC PEOPLE, July 2002 by Rob Patterson
If one were to name the archetypal Austin country act, which would it be?Would the honor go to The Geezinslaws, the city's longest running country music attraction, or Willie Nelson & Family, its best known? Veterans like Jerry Jeff Walker or Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, singly or collectively as The Flatlanders, would certainly qualify. So would The Wagoneers, who started the whole junior country movement in Austin back in the 1980s. And certainly such currently popular acts as Wayne Hancock, Kelly Willis, Dale Watson, Charlie and Bruce Robison and Roger Wallace all have their merits that might win them the title.
But I would bestow the honor on The Cornell Hurd Band. Given the fact thatthis 10 piece group rarely plays outside Austin (and then mostly in Houston and Dallas) and puts out records on their own Behemoth Records, you might be tempted to question my choice, being that some of you readers may know the above names far better. But allow me to make my case.
Best place to start is with what matters most: the music. The level ofmusicianship in The Cornell Hurd Band is second to none, and guitarist Paul Skelton and steel guitarist Herb Steiner both qualify as masters of their instruments. As group, the Hurd Band has that tight yet fluid ensemble sound that grows ever rarer in this age when bands are created as much digitally as they are by the sweat of entertaining savvy listeners. With four in band vocalists - Hurd, Blackie White, Justin Trevino and Cody Nicholas - and such guests as Johnny Bush and Marti Brom, there's a range of fine and affecting singing every time the group plays and records. And the Hurd Band boasts both delightful originals - often with a humorous touch - and a knack for uncovering little-known classic and modern song gems, country or otherwise, and polishing them up for presentation again.The band cooks up a mean shuffle, a relentless two-step, a hip moving swing beat and countless other rhythms that are so seductive it's hard not to dance.
But let's add to that some qualities that both enhance the Hurd Bandlistening experience and mark the group as something special. At the heart of the Austin ethos is the notion of making music for its own sake. The true start of the scene was in the early 1960s group sings at Threadgill's where the voice of Janis Joplin was first recognized as something special. Similarly, The Cornell Hurd Band convenes every Thursday night at Jovita's in South Austin for the sheer enjoyment of making music with each other and their fans. They're certainly not in it for the money, because there isn't much money to be had to begin with, much less after whatever they make is divided by 10.
Almost as important are their intra-band collegiality and the general goodnatures of all involved, best exemplified by the band's rubboard player, Danny Young. As the proprietor of The Texicalli Grille and the Buddha of South Austin Zen, Danny is the sort who hundreds of his friends and neighbors and customers probably love more dearly than members of their family. The Cornell Hurd Band aren't just the sort of people one enjoys hearing, but also just as much knowing.
And finally, the band truly loves Austin and what the music scene heremeans at its best. Sure, every couple of months Cornell and I chew the fat for a half hour or so carping about what might be wrong here. But that's only because we love this town enough to care.
Don't believe me? Then listen to the opinions of the radio programmers whoreport to the FAR (Freeform American Roots) Chart, who are some of the ever rarer DJs who program according to their tastes and those of their listeners. As of this writing, the latest Cornell Hurd Band CD, Song of South Austin, is at the top of the FAR Chart, scoring the #1 spot for the second month in a row above such better known names as Dave Alvin, The Flatlanders, Tift Merritt, Jim Lauderdale (with and without Ralph Stanley), Chris Hillman & Herb Pederson, Townes Van Zandt and even Merle Haggard.
But the real proof is in the pudding, and a huge and tasty bowl of that canbe found on Song of South Austin. At 23 songs strong, it offers a value for the buck - or in your case, quid - that is rarely found in music today, where way too many albums are rounded out filler if not merely filler from start to finish. And the range and variety to be found in that two dozen minus one tracks is astounding - from weepers to laughers, from songs of heartache and misery to odes of love, from lyrical winners to instrumentals whose tunes you can't shake. The booklet includes info on all the players and all the songs as well as enough photos and commentary to make you feel a part of the CHB family. In short, Song of South Austin is a magnificent example of Austin country music at its best, just as every one of their albums has been.
So if you sometimes wonder as you read this monthly column - gee, what isit that really makes Austin so special? - the answer can best be found with The Cornell Hurd Band. Do yourself a favor and surf your web browser over to www.cornellhurd.com and pick up Song of South Austin and any of the other CHB CDs (or if you are a Luddite, write them at PO Box 683, Dripping Springs, Texas 78620). And if you are ever considering a visit to our fair city, make sure it coincides with the weekly CHB show at Jovita's or their monthly stand at The Broken Spoke. If country music this delightful can be made in Austin for the sheer joy of it, then maybe this city actually is the musical paradise it's supposed to be.
The Austin Chronicle Vol. 21, No. 47, July 26, 2002
If there’s one thing that Austin’s Cornell Hurd and his crew of cowpokes are good at, it’s making Western swing/honky-tonk music that’s alternately goofy and gorgeous, and this latest disc is no exception. Goofy: “Rubboard Playin’ Man” (a nod to Danny Young), “Nyquil Blues,” “The Garbageman.” Hurd & Co. always know when to get off the schtick, though, and keep from crossing over into joke-band territory. Gorgeous: “I’m Not Drinking to Drown My Sorrows (I’m Just Taking Them For a Swim,” “Texas Nite Train,” “The Heart of a Clown.” Frequent collaborator Marti Brom puts in a torchy appearance, not surprisingly, on “Maybe I Do,” while Johnny Bush drives up I-35 from San Antonio for “Jealously Insane.” As always, the band is spot-on, with Herb Steiner’s impeccable steel work, longtime Hurd string-bender Paul Skelton’s jazzy/country guitar, and the always-present multi-instrumentalist Howard Kalish filling in the gaps. The CD’s inside sleeve is full-up with affectionate liner notes from Hurd himself, prose that has the same gum-chewing wisecrackery of his on- (or –off) stage persona. The disc’s closer is “Don’t Wipe Your Face On Your Shirt,” featuring the Hurd young-‘uns, a song that’s also included on Bloodshot Records’ new kids’ compilation, The Bottle Let Me Down. Three Stars (out of four)---Jerry Renshaw
The Cornell Hurd Band
Song of South Austin
I’ll tell you what; The Cornell Hurd Band is damn good. Truly an embodiment of good ol’ fashioned South Austin country music, the new album Song of South Austin rings true to its title. With close to twenty members in the band, the diversity of country musicians is abundant, which leads to a wide variety of sounds and styles within the genre. The variety spans from beautiful, classic country vocals like Marti Brom’s “Maybe I Do,” to Cornell’s version of South Austin songwriter Jamie Lee Bradford’s optimistic take on drinking your problems away, “I’m Not Drinkin’ To Drown My Sorrows, (I’m Just Takin’ ‘Em For A Swim).” The male counterpart to the aforementioned vocals of Miss Brom is Justin Trevino. His honky tonk vocal style in songs like, “Don’t Pretend You’re Doing This For Me” and “Love Is No Excuse,” (actually a Justin Tubb song, after whom Trevino is named) is exceptional as he wails his way through these sad country songs. But I can only scratch the surface here, there is so much more to this album. If you want to find out the rest of the story behind these country crooners, you’ll just have to get it for yourself. You can get a taste of The Cornell Hurd Band live at Jovita’s most Thursday nights. (A)
Western Swing Monthly, May 2002 Issue #43
Western Swing Record Hop
CD Review: Song of South Austin: The Cornell Hurd Band, Behemoth Records
By Steve England
For the last six or seven years Thursday nights at Jovita’s in South Austin has been home to the Cornell Hurd Band. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this band it is hard to describe them: Western Swing? Country? Rock ‘n Roll? A show band? Truth is they are probably all of these things and more. Like most of Cornell’s albums, this one has lots of songs. Twenty-three this time around. Western Swing fans will enjoy their treatments of Wade Ray’s “Heart of a Clown” and Pee Wee King’s “Ten Gallon Boogie”. In fact Western Swing fans will enjoy much of this album. You may not recognize some of the songs as Western Swing songs, but this band knows how to swing, and feature some very fine musicians and arrangements. And anyway, how often do you get to hear a band with a minimum of nine members nowadays?
Steel player Herb Steiner (more on him next month) and bass player Justin Trevino’s other boss Johnny Bush makes a guest appearance with a self-penned song “Jealously Insane.” Other songs are from such diverse fields as Wanda Jackson, Justin Tubb, Moon Mullican, the old “Hamms Beer” commercial tune (“Land of Sky Blue Waters”), and “Bye-Bye Birdie,” the musical. The CD also features songs from a lot of local songwriters including Joe Dickens, The Reverend Otis Moon, Jamie Lee Bradford, and the late Toby Solomon with the beautiful “Full Moon In Austin.” Cornell is no slouch as a songwriter either, he has a good grasp on a song’s hook, and you will find yourself singing his songs in your head for days afterwards.
You can purchase the album direct from the band at Behemoth Records, P. O. Box 683, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 (512) 912-1323, www.cornellhurdband.com .
$15 inc. S & H
HAPPY TRAILS! Steve England, firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Swing Monthly, June 2002 Issue #44
Were You There?
Dateline: The Cornell Hurd Band at Jovita’s on South First Street, Austin TX
This was on March 14, but you can go just about any Thursday night and catch the action. This is hard to describe—you have to see it, hear it, feel it for yourself…and I recommend you do just that. The Cornell Hurd Band (and there are at least 10 of them, usually more with special guests) plays very hot, danceable Western Swing. But there’s more! They are talented and also clever and funny! When I first moved to Austin four years ago, Rosetta said, “I have to take you to see Cornell Hurd’s Band. You’re gonna love these guys!” She was right and we became regulars. In fact you’ll see many of the same faces each time out—they have a strong local fan base.
Most are college graduates: Cornell has a degree in philosophy from Cal Berkeley (his folks must cry themselves to sleep), Paul Skelton attended the Julliard School of Music…and then there’s Herb Steiner…! Rounding out the band are Blackie White (not his real name), the fine fiddling of Vanessa Gordon, Terry Kirkendall on drums, Wayne Glasson look-alike Cody Nicholas on piano, Richard “Bad Dog” (his real name) Power on sax, Kevin Smith on bulldog bass, and last but never least Danny Roy Young on rubboard! Yes, you read that right! Are you getting a feel for what we are dealing with here?! Dayna Wills, Johnny Cuviello, Justin Trevino, Marti Brom, Johnny Bush and many more touring artists make it a point to stop in and enjoy an evening, and often sit in with the band. The show is always full of surprises!
This particular evening they even had a guest accordionist. Cornell kicked off with Bluebonnet Lane; in fact about every third song is a Miss Walker gem. Herb “steeled” his way through Billy Bowman’s Midnight in Old Amarillo, which is on one of Herb’s albums. When he played Steel Guitar Rag, Vanessa answered with some hot fiddle licks! Blackie White, who dubs himself as the “Shade Tree Vegetarian” or something like that (!) gave us From a Jack to a King. Blackie borrows a chapter out of the Luke Wills book: when he forgets lyrics he just makes them up! The he breaks into some show tunes from his last Broadway run: Bye, Bye Birdie and I Got A Lot Of Livin’ To Do! Vanessa fiddled through Joli Blon and Jessie Polka.
Peculiar (boy, I’ll say!) to this band is they do a lot of “original” material. You haven’t lived till you’ve heard Cornell sing his own penned I Don’t Care What It Is That You Did When You Lived In Fort Worth! or Your Ex-Husband Sent Me Flowers ‘Cause He Feels Sorry For Me! The young waiter sings along to My Shoes Keep Walkin’ Back To You as he moves between his tables. You can credit the band with giving a decent music education to the youngsters there. And there are young youngsters here too, it’s a family affair. Cody plays piano and mouth harp…at the same time! And wears a big ole ATM silver belt buckle. And Cody plays trumpet! Talent with a capital “T” and surprises one after another—even the accordion took a chorus on Faded Love (my first time for that). The dance floor stays full all night, in fact the Jim Nivens were in attendance and they were the first ones on the floor when they broke into a waltz. In the middle of a cookin’ Ten Gallon Boogie Cornell shouts out “WELCOME TO TEXAS!” Yee-Haw!
Among those enjoying the night out with the Nivens and their neighbor Joe were Gloria Miers of GM Productions, Ruth and Steve England our columnist and the Hugh Silers. In fact Hugh said it best, “If anybody can’t dance to the beat, they ought to forget it! This band’s got it!” Make it a point to come by, have a fine Mexican dinner, full bar and evening of great Western Swing entertainment. Meantime order some great CDs from cornellhurdband.com
3rd COAST MUSIC #64/153 May 2002
THE CORNELL HURD BAND
Song Of South Austin, Behemoth Records (ääää.5)
Hebrew according to one dictionary, ancient Egyptian according to another, but both agree that ‘behemoth’ means ‘enormous beast’, an apt description of this atavistic throwback to the days of territory bands. I could chew up plenty of space just listing all ten players, eight guests and 23 tracks (Hurd’s motto is ‘More is more’), but, of course, the first thing that has to be identified is the obligatory Moon Mullican number: She Once Lived Here. While Hurd alternates oldies like Mullican’s, Ernest Tubb’s Pass The Booze, Wanda Jackson’s Because I Do, Pee Wee King’s Ten Gallon Boogie and Maypo, an early ‘60’s Bay Area hit by The Panics, with his own and Joe Dickens’ originals, it’s his generosity with the mike, and shrewd sequencing, that turns what could have been a rather overlong CHB album into an always engaging variety show. Even the highlights make up a formidable list, Blackie White’s version of I’ve Got A Lot Of Livin’ To Do, Marti Brom’s of Dave Dudley’s Maybe I Do, bass player Justin Trevino singing Hurd’s Don’t Pretend You’re Doing This For Me, Hurd singing steel guitarist Herb Steiners’s Western Swing classic Nyquil Blues, famed as the only song ever to rhyme antihistamine, Johnny Bush guesting on his Jealously Insane and Hurd’s own Garbageman (“Here in this honkytonk, picking up trash”). However, pride of place has to go to Hurd’s Rubboard Playing Man, about, and featuring, Danny Roy Young: ‘The Lord of the Board.’ Like all their albums, this is a pretty incontestable argument for making sure your trip to Austin includes a Thursday night, so you can experience the Cornell Hurd Band at its Jovita’s residency. JC
April 2002 Feature The Cornell Hurd Band Warning: this review is rated PGfor language and weak humor.
To say the Cornell Hurd Band is an institution in South Austin is to miss the point. I should say Cornell Hurd and his band from South Austin should be institutionalized... each and everyone of those crazy cowboys (and cowgirls.) Their motto is "Country Music's Worst Nightmare," although unlike so many bands that feature humor, this is not your average novelty act... their original music and performance skills are excellent (no foolin'.) They have been cluttering up the place for years... since 1977 with their first vinyl record "The Village of the Durned." They called themselves the Mondo Hotpants Orchestra at that time, but by 1980 when they released "Doing that Unholy Roll" they adopted the name they use to this day. There are now too many albums to count... or maybe ten of 'em. Their latest "Song of South Austin" includes Johnny Bush and Marti' Brom and 18 other musicians. Guests on previous CDs include: Johnny Bush, Wayne "The Train" Hancock, Bill Kirchen, Floyd Domino, Junior Brown and Mitzi Henry (although they may choose to deny the fact.) If you haven't made the pilgrimage to South Austin, you probably haven't heard them. There are just too many band members to tour and a few of them even have day jobs and families. There are ten regular band members and by "regular" I'm not referring to their alimentary habits, I mean the whole band shows up 51 Thursdays in a year at Jovita's on South First Street to perform from 8 to 10pm. (Cornell gave them Christmas off this year.) Even stranger, there are fans who do this as well, and have for years (yes, I'm talking about you, Judy and Drew.) This June will be the 6 Year Anniversary of this legendary show at Jovita's. I'll have a review for their new CD, "Song of South Austin" up on Austin Americana later this week. Bet you can already guess that I love it! [from Twang Cast, http://www.twangcast.com/austin.html, April 2002]
We've Got Both Kinds of Music...Country and Western!
Cornell Hurd Band, Owen Temple, Rodney Hayden, Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash
March 16, 2002 - Austin, TX - The Broken Spoke
When in Austin, you've got to go see country music at least one evening…and that's what happened last night. I headed out to the Broken Spoke, thelegendary Texas dance hall. To kick off the evening in the perfect fashion was the Cornell Hurd Band. These cats have become a staple of the Spoke's scene, playing there fairly regularly. This is a true Texas styled western swing band comprised of ten members for this occasion, complete with fiddle, pedal steel, keyboards, sax and a guy wearing the modern equivalent of a washboard, in addition to the drums, bass and two guitars. This is the kind of thing that gets the crowd dancing…everyone from college kids to senior citizens were scootin' across the dance floor. Hurd was quite amiable and tried to keep the people dancing, saying "we do have records, and the festival is usually for pushing your stuff, but we're here to get you dancing and to have a good time instead." Hurd spreads the vocal duties around with four or five people getting their turn at the mic during the set. Songs like "Nyquil Blues" display that tongue in cheek western swing style. Most everything was truly upbeat and danceable, and only one real slow song appeared in the set. They hit some of the standards, and rounded up the show with a stellar rendition of the Bob Wills classic "Faded Love" where the fiddle took the center stage. I could almost here an "aaa-ha" at times during Hurd's set, and it was a great way to kick things off. [from Hybrid Magazine, http://www.hybridmagazine.com/hywire/0302/sxsw-0316-sat-topkoff.shtml]
The Cornell Hurd Band "Texas Fruit
Shack" (Behemoth, 1998)
The Cornell Hurd Band "A Stagecoach
Named Desire" (Behemoth, 2000)
The Cornell Hurd Band "Song Of South
Austin" (Behemoth, 2002)
Johnny Bush with Cornell Hurd Band, Jovita's - February 2, 2002
What a treat!... A Texas honky-tonk legend with the
irreverent kings of South Austin (who bill themselves as "country music's
worst nightmare.") Mr. Johnny Bush made a rare appearance at our favorite
neighborhood watering hole & beanery... the place was packed with excited,
[from Austin Americana, http://austinamericana.50megs.com/bush-hurd/]
2001THE CORNELL HURD BAND
A Stagecoach Named Desire[Behemoth Records]
by Steve Gardner
The fact that allmusic.com lists seven albums for Cornell Hurd from 1980 to 2001, but doesn't even list a biography of the band really says something to me. It says that perhaps the general public is missing out on something. I include myself in that, too, since this is the first full-length album I've ever owned from the band. And I like it. I really like it, actually.
This is country music. At times it ain't your momma's country. With songs such as the aforementioned "Genitalia of a Fool" by bassist/golden-throat Justin Trevino, the band can head into…um, non-traditional material. The music is pretty straight-up, though. The band is large, coming closer to a dancehall orchestra, and they know how to swing. Guests include Johnny Bush, Marti Brom, Floyd Domino among others.
"A Stagecoach Named Desire" actually reminds me of a good party in college; beer, hanky panky, great music and someone ends up crying by the end. [from Topsoil.net http://www.topsoil.net/freshdirt/allreviews/E-J/hurd.html]
Cornell Hurd - “A Stagecoach Named Desire” Australian$32 (Behemoth)It is hard to believe it is nearly decade since “Honky Tonk Mayhem” was released. That, this, and every album in between are the finest examples of Texas honky tonk music you could ever hope for. The band features some of the best country pickers anywhere and are as tight as they come. They are all mean soloists, none better than Cornell’s piano pounding wife, Miss Debbie. The 22 songs (nothing ever chintzy about a Cornell album) include a tribute to the late Doug Sahm plus some great guest vocalists in Justin Trevino, Johnny Bush and Connie Hancock. Justin is superb on the hilarious “Genitalia of a Fool”, funny not for the over the top smutty lyrics but the way Justin sings it. He may be singing “Amazing Grace”, such is the passion he puts into the number. For the uninitiated think a not-so swingy Asleep at the Wheel with better songs. And a lot more of them! [from Australia, Yesterday and Today Records, http://members.ozemail.com.au/~fiddling/new/01-APR-News.htm]
Stagecouch? Someone tell us this is a good review. Please.
Artist: Cornell Hurd band
Titel: A Stagecouch Named Desire
Bolag: Behemoth rec.
Av: Marcus Thell
Detta är en skiva från det populära Texasbandet Cornell Hurd band. I bandet finns bl.a. Cornell Hurd själv, Justin Trevino (som kommer till Furuviks festivalen i år), steelgitarristen Herb Steiner och Blackie White. De kör en fin traditionell Texascountry som blandas med lite western swing. Man kan bäst beskriva deras musik som en blandning av Bob Wills och Johnny Bush, fast mest åt Johnny Bush i så fall. På denna 22 spår starka skiva finns många gästartister som t.ex. Johnny Bush, Sverigebekanta Marti Brom och Conni Hancock. Bland de bra låtarna finns: "I´ve Still Got My Mind", Bill Andersons låt "A Death In The Family" som Johnny Bush gör en bra version av, "Texas Me", "I´m The Man", "Cowboy Peyton Place", "Heartbreak Tennessee" och "The Genitalia Of A Fool". Skivan släpptes år 2000 och jag tror att bandet kommit ut med en ny skiva sen dess. Vill ni få tag på någon Cornell Hurd band skiva så försök på bandets hemsida www.cornellhurd.com. Gillar ni Texascountryn så är Cornell Hurd band något för er!
Marti Brom with the Cornell Hurd Band
As popular music gets blander and blander, it seems that the independent labels are making more and more interesting music. Hopefully with the Internet and some clever alternative marketing smarts, they'll find some success and leave Christina Aguilera, Eminem and their ilk to the retarded teenagers of the world while we enjoy off-beat delights like Marti Brom's Feudin' and Fightin'. From our point of view, it's inconceivable that anyone, anywhere would not at least enjoy this neo-hillbilly romp, if not out and out love it.
First off, Brom has a big voice with a fair range and a completely pleasant sound. Comparisons to Patsy Cline are inevitable but not entirely fair to either lady. But there is that undeniable sense of swing in both voices that gets under your skin and inspires midnight hayrides and smooching in the moonlight. The voice might be inspired by Cline, but aesthetically, Brom is channeling Judy Canova as her muse. The music on Fuedin' and Fightin' is country, but in the old sense. It's mildly corny and chock full of melody. We have no idea if Hillbilly music is making a revival, but perhaps it should.
The songs are on this short 6-track CD are all covers. The opener, Feudin' and Fightin' is from the catalogue of Dorothy Shay, known in the 1940s as the "Park Avenue Hillbilly". The bulk of Shay's work was recently reissued on CD (Jazz Band VJB 1954-2) and as fun as she is, a little goes a long way. Brom is much more theatrical and has a better voice. Other novelties on Feudin' and Fightin' include Tennessee Ernie Ford's Kiss Me Big and a multi-tempo opus called They Were Doing the Mambo. The highlight of the whole CD is Brom's swinging rendition of Moonshine Lullaby (listed incorrectly as Moon Shine Lullabye, if it matters). When Ethel Merman sang it in Annie Get Your Gun, the swing was all implied in Ethel's voice. Here, the band gently rocks and rolls and it's a winner all the way.
An album like this could easily become too cute or border on the silly. Marti Brom and the Cornell Hurd Band avoid the pitfalls that would turn this into simply a nostalgia act. Even though they probably could capably perform any music they set their minds to, it's clear they love this music and it shows.
[from Mr. Lucky Music, http://www.mrlucky.com/html/music/rev39.html]
Another must procurement is "Feudin' And Fightin'" from rockabilly hall-of-famer Marti Brom. This six-song CD is not rockabilly, however. It's "uptown hillbilly." Marti wanted to surround herself with the best musicians in Texas and she succeeded with by engaging the Cornell Hurd Band, an admitted TRR fave. In fact, the best cut just happens to be "Making Love Tennessee Style" on which Ms. Brom duets with the great Cornell himself.
[from The Reiser Report http://www.songtalk.com/reiser.html March 2001]
Marti Brom with the Cornell Hurd Band
What may be the most interesting rockabilly album this year is not really rockabilly at all. Marti Brom's Feudin' and Fightin' (Goofin') blends twang and hillbilly sensibilities with a big band, Broadway show tune feel to create an album that is part novelty, part hillbilly and all good.
Brom, arguably rockabilly's best female vocalist (and don't argue with me here - no one even comes close), stretches herself beyond rockabilly on these six tracks, which ultimately prove more inventive and interesting than most of the stuff coming out these days. Backed by the ten-piece Cornell Hurd Band (whose new album A Stagecoach Named Desire should be out any day), Brom is able to capture a larger sound here, suitable for the size of her voice.
The title track, Feudin' and Fightin' covers a Dorothy Shay tune. Shay, who rose to fame in the late '40's as the "Park Avenue Hillbillie," mixed an uptown image with novelty hillbilly tunes. As quoted in Third Coast Music, Hurd calls the style "uptown hillbilly shit" or "hillbilly music for swells." And swell it is. The other five tunes stay true to the style, including Tennessee Ernie Ford's Kiss Me Big," Hank Penny's Lovin' Tennessee Style, Vaughn Monroe's They Call it the Mambo, Irving Berlin's Moonshine Lullaby, and another Shay tune, Flat River Missouri.
Like Shay's Feudin' and Fightin', Red Ingle's Tim-tayshun (also released in 1947) has the same novelty country, "uptown hillbilly" style. Tim-tayshun, a parody of the then-popular tune Temptation was a tour de force of comedy, musicianship, and crazy vocal stylings that still manages to sound fresh and funny 53 years later. The same can be said of the tunes on Feudin' and Fightin'. With the strength of Brom's vocals (especially on the title track and Moonshine Lullaby) and the brawny, sprawling style of Hurd's band (a veritable who's who of musicians in Austin), Feudin' and Fightin' rises above the status of novelty album. Figures that a talent as large as Marti Brom's wouldn't be satisfied singing rockabilly standards. Look out, rumor has it Brom's next project will be an EP of Eartha Kitt's material!
Marti Brom's Feudin' and Fightin' can be ordered at Hepcat Records.
[ from Barflies.net, http://www.barflies.net/archive/0101marti.html]
Cornell Hurd Band, "Stagecoach Named Desire." Twenty-two fabulous cuts on an exceptional CD. This bunch walked away with Album of the Year honors from this corner a year ago. They're back with another notable excursion, one which includes three Doug Sahm songs as a tribute to that late, great pioneer of Texas music. Guests include Johnny Bush, Connie Hancock (from Texana Dames) and Justin Trevino, who provides lead vocals on cut # 21. Cut # 21 could prove historic. If a video is made of this one, titled "Genitalia Of a Fool," the video would be an ideal star vehicle for Bill Clinton. www.cornellhurdband.com As well as this one (presented with co-nominees):
The Cornell Hurd Band, "Stagecoach Named Desire." Can there be a back-to-back repeat winner?
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: "Stagecoach Named Desire"--the Cornell Hurd Band.
On Super Bowl Eve, I wrote the column presenting the Awards themselves. CHB ran away with Best CD by a Group or Duo. It "dwarfs its competition," the column said.
Last year's Album of the Year winner steps smartly into the winner's circle again on the strength of another towering accomplishment. "Stagecoach" brings the CHB's discography to a place where an adventurous radio station could start thinking about an all-Cornell format. Let me try to explain the appeal of these recordings. Cornell is a great singer and surrounds himself with a band whose musicianship is the best. Then, there's the matter of fun. You can hear these people enjoying themselves, even on a studio album like "Stagecoach." I don't know how anyone could listen to them without smiling. And you just have to listen, because these songs are different. Titles (from "Stagecoach") such as "What Would Ernest Tubb Have Done" and "Tell Your Shrink I Said 'Thanks For Nothin'' and the new classic, "The Genitalia Of a Fool," serve notice that it would be fruitless to check the listings in Branson for any appearance by these guys. The Cornell Hurd Band is talented, fun and, believe me, unique. And, they're winners--TWO YEARS IN A ROW! You heard it here first.
[from The Reiser Report http://www.songtalk.com/reiser.html December 2000, Jan 2001]
Cornell Hurd Band: At Large (Behemoth, P.O. Box 150532, Austin, TX 78715-0532). Who wouldn’t love this band, they’ve got a sharp sense of humor, a solid mix of originals and inspired covers, and, best of all, some of the most gifted musicians in country. Cut live at Austin’s Texicalli Grille (best place for lunch in Austin!), the group is loose and, obviously, having plenty of fun. Is there any other act who would cover the great Moon Mullican’s “Nine-Tenths Of The Tennessee River” and then follow it with Merrill Moore’s “Bartender’s Blues.” If that isn’t the definition of cool I don’t know what is. Hurd’s sarcastic sense of humor is perfect for these sterile politically correct times. This band is overflowing with talent, and it’s easy to say fiddle player Vanessa Gordon, guitarist Paul Skelton, steel player Herb Steiner, and drummer Vanessa Gordon rank with the finest in Austin. If that’s not enough, the Cornell Hurd Band is further augmented by Johnny Bush, Mitzi Henry, and Wayne Hancock. Buy their CDs and see them live, there are few groups more entertaining than the Cornell Hurd Band. I just wonder if Blackie White’s streak of gigs without psychedelics is still going. If so, I’m sure the Marris family is in attendance. Congrats Cornell, it’s another winner. [from http://roadhousefever.com/archives.htm]
October 1, 1999: At Large (Behemoth)
When it came time for Cornell Hurd to record hisself a live album, he eschewed the grand and glamorous for the down-home waffle-fry funk of the Texicalli Grille. Recorded live in one long night at the South Austin eatery, At Large is a fine helping indeed, a healthy how-do from the skyscrapin' honky-tonker; a tongue-in-cheek champeen known for mixing honest footshufflin' country with a double-shot of low hilarity. Clocking in at 75 minutes, At Large runs the gamut from the swangin' "Caravan" to the sanguine "I Don't Care What it Is That You Did When You Lived in Fort Worth," highlighted by two booths' full of musical guests (yes, that's the real Johnny Bush). While not every cut will make the Waffle House jukebox, the 24-song collection is consistently good, with nary a stinker in the bunch. In all, a fine plug of musical chaw from one of Austin's more affable wiseasses -- a slightly off-kilter C&W sumbitch who never fails to take his music less than seriously. That wry wink can obscure a more important fact, though: Hurd and his eight-piece band comprise one of the tightest outfits in town. At Large is the proof. [from the Austin Chronicle, http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/1999-10-01/music_recviews20.html ]
Of the records released in 1999, "The Cornell Hurd Band at Large" (Behemoth Records) is the most fun way to spend a headphone-wearing evening. Recorded live at the Texicalli Grille in South Austin, this Album Of the Year (the Reiser Awards) packs 24 songs and selected patter into a valuable reminder of how much fun an evening with a great bar band can be. Guest appearances include Johnny Bush and Wayne "The Train" Hancock. [Oct. 1999]
...And The Album of the Year, so named in October's TRR: The Cornell Hurd Band, "At Large." This is such a fun, impressive outing that it belongs with the best of the Decade.
[from The Reiser Report http://www.songtalk.com/reiser.html]
Their latest long player, Cool and Unusual Punishment, is representative of what you might hear in an hour-long live show: Both loopy originals ("Your Ex-Husband Sent Me Flowers 'Cause He Feels Sorry For Me", "I Don't Care What It Is That You Did When You Lived In Ft. Worth") and well-chosen covers by the likes of Moon Mullican, Spade Cooley and Lalo Guerrero (Louis Prima's Mexican-American doppelganger – sorta).
The album also comes with between-song jokes 'n' stories, plus surprise visits from some very special guests such as Brian Hofeldt of the Derailers; Asleep At the Wheel alumni Chris O'Connell, Lucky Oceans and Floyd Domino; and, to great effect, the legendary Johnny Bush. Justifiably nicknamed "The Country Caruso" back when he was making his classic '60s recordings for Scotty Moore's Stop label, Bush lets his tenor soar on no less than four cuts here: his own compositions "The Devil's Disciple" and "When I Close My Eyes I Feel You In His Arms", the ol' warhorse "Drivin' Nails In My Coffin", and Hurd's "The Cold Morning Light". That last one, after a few spins, turns out to be one of the two strongest cuts, along with the divorcee's lament "She'll Always Love Me".
initially overshadowed by the instantly catchy upbeat numbers, the heartache
songs are what keep you coming back after the parties are over. In these tunes
is the same heart that beats in the most classic of C&W ballads, namely the
great jazz/R&B-flavored sides that Willie cut for Liberty in the early '60s.
Any fan of such incandescent music should seek solace in these songs, and any
fan of real country music should find a new favorite in Cornell and his crew.
[from No Depression http://www.nodepression.net/archive/nd04/depts/waxed.html#hurd]