Loud House Records 2001
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
This Texas musician truly spans the breadth of Texas and all its musical diversity. He is rooted in the Texas Blues Shuffle, however his music goes from touches of Cajun to country twang,and around the spectrum of an almost waltzy Polka in Jenny Jones, a song about the talk show host with about as much depths as she displays. It carries on to the Latin rhythms of Now's the Time, to arguably the most heartfelt song on the disc, the mid tempo blues of More Than the World to Me. He is not what you call all over the place, there is a cohesion to the disc. He has assimilated many of the disparate musical styles of Texas and added his own take on the music he has absorbed; from this he has made his own gumbo. Like any fine cook he has kept his eyes and his ears open to new experiences and ideas, taken what he has heard, digested it, and then added the personal touch of his experience (the seasoning so to speak) to this base and created his own dish.
There is some fine raw playing on Walkin' on Air, another strong mid tempo blues, and Courthouse (the tune is reminiscent of Dylan's Maggie's Farm). Unfortunately, there are a few songs where his energy or concentration seems to lag, and it denies the song its due.
His band is tight and he seems to have no trouble letting the other players step to the front of the stage. Throughout the disc there is some very strong playing by the supporting musicians, who are a crack bunch from the Austin area. Banks plays guitar, harmonica (good and raw, give a listen to Courthouse), accordion, Hammond organ, and vocals. His accordion playing adds a great deal to the overall feel of the disc. This is a strong piece of work for this purveyor of Texas music who is trying to carve out his own niche in the crowded Texas scene.
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