Harry Bodine, Travellin’ the Southland (EP) (Independent)

01 January 2013— by Brett Milano

 

There’s always been a kinship between New Orleans and Austin, Texas—Cyril Neville, Marcia Ball, the Iguanas and Theresa Andersson are among the musicians who’ve lived in both cities. So it makes sense that Austin songwriter/guitarist Bodine would team up with a pair of Louisiana standbys, subdudes members John Magnie and Steve Amedee, on his second solo CD after a stint with the band Delta Roux.

Bodine sounds like a man who’s done some hard travelin’, but hasn’t given into world-weariness just yet. The opening title track is a close cousin to John Hiatt’s “Memphis in the Meantime,” the kind of open road song that makes you eager to hit the ignition. “Can’t Get Love Right” is less about the singer’s romantic screw-ups than his willingness to give it another shot. “Now I See” is about feeling the spirit of a lost friend, a topic he pulls off without overdoing the sentiment (and the gospel-esque chorus doesn’t hurt). The instrumental “Graceful Moves” has a late-night cantina feel and allows Magnie to play some conjuncto accordion.

 The subdudes’ instrumental contributions generally take a backseat to Bodine’s slide guitar, which is most obviously influenced by Sonny Landreth—his tone is a dead ringer on “Can’t Get Love Right.” Amedee plays the full drum kit instead of his usual tambourine, but keeps his parts characteristically spare; Magnie’s piano bits are also nicely understated. But the two ‘dudes leave a mark on the vocal harmonies. They always appreciated a slow-burning tune with a rousing chorus, and they get some good ones here.

 

 

TOP DEBUTS Written by Danny

In his mind, his heart and, on Travelin’ the Southland, in his music, Austin Texan Harry Bodine rides a swamp guitar throughout his recent E.P. release. Harry Bodine is backed by rhythm section, vocals, drums and keys. The spot filled by six strings is a territory with just one citizen, Harry Bodine. On the album, Harry tunes and plays slide, national steel, acoustic and electric guitars.

Travelin’ the Southland contains a lot of guitar, but the beauty of the production, helmed by Harry Bodine at John Magnie’s Knucklehead Studios in Fort Collins, CO. is the subtlety the guitar role takes throughout the album. Studio owner and Subdudes alumni, John Magnie plays accordion and piano on Travelin’ the Southland, with fellow Subdude drummer Steve Amedee on percussion, both lending their distinctive and familiar harmonies in support of Harry Bodine.

Harry uses southern topography as a backdrop for story lines that circle the earth with familiarity. "Now I See" seeking the real answers in promises, down dusty roads to see "if you’re walkin’ with me" and the Travelin’ the Southland title track shuffles like it’s busking as it follows the lead character from the streets of New York on down to Dixie. "Meet Me Down" rides a fat bassline umbilical note pattern into the world as Harry Bodine channels a Nick Cave-style vocal. The song is dark and its tale would fit right into old southern mansions, with its ghosts descending Victorian stairs.

Harry Bodine nicely captures audio snapshots of his subject matter. Travelin’ the Southland contains emotional decisions that are universal; the music and the mood it creates never let you forget the land from where the drama unfolds. DANNY MCCLOSKEY/RA

“Formerly a member of Delta Roux, Austin singer and slide guitarist Harry Bodine gloriously displays his terrific grasp of roots styles on the self released  “Which Way Home”.  With uniformly excellent song craft, singing, and playing, Bodine has created a daring new album in the often-stagnant Americana genre.”………………………….............................................................Blues Revue

 “Bodine is an original, who first draws on the best of his myriad of musical influences and then stamps his own individual style on the songs, There is not a weak track on this superb album and the conversationalist narrative style and moody slide guitar grab your attention”...................................Blues Matters   

 “What Bodine seems to understand so many others miss; that often less is more. While Bodine fills the audio spectrum with plenty of interesting bits and pieces, gone are the wailing guitars and over-bearing vocals. Tasty. Pure. Delicious. Harry Bodine’s album, “Which Way Home,” could be an exciting find for those that love a really good song presented by high-class players with a bent toward underplaying and subtle nuisances. This is far from a blues album but relies heavily on the sounds and themes that blues fans will quickly recognize and appreciate.”…………………………Rick Galusha - Blueswax

 

 “Drivin' Up Thru Memphis is the ultimate highway song and can be easily put in the row of classic Memphis songs among which Memphis In The Meantime, Walking In Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee... Think John Hiatt with Sonny Landreth on slide.  

Why this magnificent CD is self-released and is not released with one of the better labels in the genre is a mystery to me.”……………MAZZ MUSIKAS  Belgium

 

To me, it's one of the best discs I have heard in quite some time; great originality, really fine tunes!……………………Brett Fleming/WEVL Memphis

 

 Damn, another Diamond in da rough...Thank you for the product and I will get with ya soon to do a interview and showcase you on KVNF.  What a Groove Blood!  Damn, let me tell ya who I hear...Tom Waits, Chris Rea, Sonny Landreth...I hear Harry Bodine...Yep, you be what I call Bad Ass! I am so glad your on this Groove Train. ……………….............KNVFRadio/Colorado/Jabeaux

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