The Stumbleweeds

Evil on Your Mind

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On Evil on Your Mind, their second LP, the Stumbleweeds play a retro-fitted brand of rockabilly and honky tonk that is a little bit Wanda Jackson, a little bit Buck Owens, and a whole lot of twang and heartache. Lead singer Lynnette Lenker doesn't have the purest set of pipes (she seems to be singing a little too low in her range at times), but what she lacks in timbre she more than makes up for with attitude and fierce vocal delivery. The real treat here is the musicianship: lots of twangy guitar runs on the heavy strings that recall Don Rich or, more recently, Dale Watson, and a tight, tight combination of standup bass, guitar and drums. Highlights include the rapid clatter of the title track, the Lenker honky tonk composition "Baby I Still Love You," the cover of Jimmy Bryant's "Only Mama That'll Walk the Line," and a burning, delightful romp through "Hard Times Ahead," which had been recorded by lost-to-time "Female Elvis" Janis Martin in the '50s. The Stumbleweeds' version reminds you that Martin deserves a slice of the attention that has been heaped upon Wanda Jackson; it also points to the fact that some bands enter the rockabilly realm for the fetishes in aesthetics and fashion, but others, like the Stumbleweeds, are steeped in the real stuff and have fully acquired the language through genuine study.

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