If you’ve been overdosing on Texas country music recently then Dick LeMasters is the guy to remind you that there’s a lot more going on in the Lone Star State. Texas has a very fine blues history stretching all the way back to Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lightnin’ Hopkins up to The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Stevie Ray Vaughan while the late Doug Sahm and blues boogie champs, ZZ Top were the main flag bearers for the musical soul of Texas.
LeMasters is no spring chicken. He grew up in Texas with his teen years in the seventies, the glory days of the World Armadillo Headquarters when Austin was supplanting San Francisco as “head city” and every long hair was into country rock. He scuffed around with music taking second place to earning a living and it wasn’t ’till he was in his 40’s that he got serious with his band Longneck Road who earned a fine reputation locally. However it’s been a long road to his solo debut, One Bird, Two Stones, which hits stores this week and has been eagerly anticipated by the European Americana contingent with some rave reviews coming in.
One Bird, Two Stones is a solid album that would snuggle nicely beside the likes of Ray Wyllie Hubbard with a raw boned electric edge to many of the songs while there is a definite ZZ boogie apparent especially on the opening song, Big Ol’ Buick, with its Gibbon’s guitar licks and Power In The Snake which has a wicked fuzz lead. While LeMasters’ might not win any awards for originality there’s no doubt that the songs sizzle and burn for the most part while there are moments when he kicks over the embers and lets the fire burn down. River Blues is a slow burning blues with slashing guitar licks while Need Your Lovin’ Baby actually recalls the minor chord style of David Crosby and the blissed out atmosphere of If I Could Only Remember Your Name, a great little number.