Arty Hill

Montgomery on My Mind

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While Hank Williams is universally recognized as the father of swinging, honky tonk, blues-based country music, he is not often covered or expounded upon in contemporary times. Perhaps because his music is so good and even somewhat difficult, many stay away out of respect, but that is not a problem for Arty Hill & His Long Gone Daddys. This eight-song EP runs the gamut -- albeit briefly, in under 30 minutes, from Williams classics to tunes Hill wrote in his image. Long on pedal, lap steel, or dobro twang and sophistication, the clean and lean music played here cannot be mistaken for anything other than down-home Grand Ol' Opry traditionalist music with an uptown flavor, and plenty of spirit, to boot. Where "I Can't Help It" and especially "Lovesick Blues" with stretched cowpoke vocals, are instantly recognizable, you'll find very few bands do this with such authenticity as Hill and the Daddys. In the old-school rock & roll department, "Take These Chains from My Heart" and the faded-in shuffle "Pan American" (similar to the famous "Wabash Cannonball") both speak to the extended roots of country & western music, accented by the basic lines Hill plays on his Telecaster guitar. And in further reference to the roots of Texas swing, "Don's Bop" is a lively instrumental featuring Dave Gigerich's pedal steel slide. Violinist Patrick McAvinue is a guest, while Hill sings faithfully, and adds his own "Church on Saturday Night" in homage to the icons of Nashville back in 1951. Audiences should demand more from Arty Hill, for he's certainly capable, as presented on this brief but very satisfying effort.

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