Smokey Wood

The Houston Hipster

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Smokey Wood was one of the great legends of Western swing, an eccentric personality whose talents as a pianist and vocalist (now somewhat forgotten) were influenced by Fats Waller. This very rewarding 1982 LP has his eight recordings with the Modern Mountaineers (which at the time also featured Hal Hebert on clarinet and tenor, fiddler J.R. Chatwell and steel guitarist J.C. Way) plus Wood's eight-song session leading his Wood Chips; the latter also stars trumpeter Clarence Clark, fiddler George Uttenger and once again J.C. Way. The music is very jazz-oriented (particularly such songs as "Everybody's Truckin'," "Gettin' That Low Down Swing" and a modernized "Carry Me Back to Virginny") and these two dates can be considered the highpoints of Smokey Wood's recording career although he lived until 1975. Highly recommended to both early country and jazz fans.