Sunday, December 20, 2015
Wichita Lineman Live From the Cowboy Lineman Records Unknown Year
This band's records are all over and typically, I walk right past. Always curious, but more of a, "I wonder how bad that is?" The group was obviously local to Wichita and based on this LP, did their two-stepping at a bar in Wichita called the The Cowboy, which may or may not still exist in some form or not.
The band just reeks of some sort of tourist trap. Like the Flying W Ranch Cowboy records from Colorado Springs, CO. I figured the way people ended up with one of these LPs is if you were stuck in Wichita, KS on business or inter-state tourism and go to some hokey cowboy place (because, it's the "wild west") and the Wichita Lineman would play you sappy country ballads and Countrypolitan hits of the day in matching suits with rhinestones. You'd be impressed, because you're the type that doesn't like good music or get out much and you'd feel the purchase of a Wichita Lineman LP was a sound investment only to let it sit on the shelf and never be touched again
Listening to the album, there's some of all of that to be found. However, it's a bit more rowdy than what I thought it'd be. The first track, a cover of "Cotton Eyed Joe", chants the word "Bullshit!" over and over. So, maybe The Cowboy was pretty rough. The Lineman don't write their own tracks, at least on this LP, but while all covers, they're not half bad. Even "Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys" is pretty tasteful. They also cover, "Don't it Make Ya Wanna Dance," which was made famous by Bonnie Raitt and "Louisiana Man", by Doug Kershaw, two popular country artists, but not the typical cover fodder found on a private press country LPs.
All in all, the Lineman are more honky-tonk than they are Nashville Country. They do get corny, they do wear matching suits, but they swear and don't take their tracks lightly. It's more Western than the Country Southern I expected.