Steel guitar groupies and Bloodshot Records obsessives are already well-acquainted with Jon Rauhouse. He got his start with the Phoenix-based Grievous Angels, regularly backs Sally Timms and Kelly Hogan, and is probably best known as Neko Case’s steel player and straight man.
The sixteen cuts on this, Rauhouse’s first solo disc, find the sideman squarely in the spotlight. And while you may have no opinion on the relative merits of Jimmy Day versus Buddy Emmons — heck, you might not know Speedy West from Sneaky Pete — never fear. You’ll still find this Air Show plenty entertaining.
Rauhouse’s skill and versatility on pedal steel, quite possibly the most ridiculously difficult instrument in the western world, is on display throughout. Fans of the Bloodshot songstresses already know he’s a sensitive accompanist, but Case, Hogan and Timms all turn up here, and his work with them, specially his playful call-and-response with Hogan on “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive”, drives the point home. Over the course of seven original tunes and nine covers, Rauhouse pulls off nimble toe-tappers (“Can O’ Corn”), spaghetti themes (the Jon Langford-penned “Who’s The Baddie, Says Alan Laddie?”) and even 1920s beach-blanket reveries (“Hula Blues”) with equal aplomb.
Cactus-rock completists take note: Ten of these tracks were recorded in Tucson with the estimable rhythm section of Joey Burns and John Convertino, and such cuts as “Agent Burns” and “The Lonely Bull” capture Calexico’s dusty jazz sound to a tee.
mp3 320 kbps | 78 MB | UL