The Texas Horns – Get Here Quick
Severn Records CD 0075
12 songs – 52 minutes
Based out of Austin, The Texas Horns follow up their red-hot 2015 release, Blues Gotta Holda Me, with this long-awaited album, which features a revolving, star-studded lineup and delivers an all-original set of soulful blues and R&B that’s guaranteed to get you moving your feet from the first beat.
Most music lovers recognize them for their work as supporting musicians. In recent months alone, they’ve supported Jimmie Vaughan, Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton. Three of some of the most sought-after sessions players in the industry, their work graces dozens of albums, including releases by the late Candye Kane fellow Lone Star State favorites Los Lonely Boys, Pat Boyack and Johnny Nicholas and European soul-blues sensation Ina Forsman. But they’re truly stars in their own right.
Led by Massachusetts-born, Chicago-trained tenor sax and harmonica player Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff, the trio also includes baritone player John Mills, whose diverse background includes everything from experimental jazz and salsa to country and funk, and trumpet player Al Gomez, who – like Mills – is a college professor who’s a member of the Tejano Music Hall Of Fame and whose career has included everything from Broadway and symphonies to R&B and more.
Together for the better part of 20 years, The Texas Horns are augmented here by Curtis Salgado, John Nemeth, Guy Forsyth, Gary Nicholson and Carolyn Wonderland, who trade off on vocals, and Anson Funderburgh, Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Denny Freeman, Johnny Moeller, Derek O’Brien and Ronnie Earl, who split guitar duties. Rounding out the sound are Red Young and Nick Connolly on keys, Russell Jackson and Chris Maresh on bass and Tommy Taylor and John Bryant on percussion.
The driving modern blues “Guitar Town” features Funderburgh and Forsyth to open. It warns that you’re going to need plenty of luck to find a better sax player in a city known for its six-strings. The uptempo action continues with Wonderland at the mike for “I’m Doin’ Alright, At Least For Tonight” before Young’s keys trade off with the propulsive horns for the instrumental, “Feelin’ No Pain,” which is loaded with spectacular solos.
“Fix Your Face,” the first of two tunes penned by Grammy-winning songsmith Nicholson, is up next. It’s a stop-time pleaser with Earl on lead and Gary on vocals and rhythm. The tempo slows for the medium-paced instrumental shuffle, “Better Get Here Quick,” before Nemeth makes his sole appearance, delivering the Memphis-flavored soul blues ballad, “Love Is Gone.” Another instrumental, “2018,” follows. It’s built atop a military beat, but the Horns play in precise harmony as they deliver a South Of The Border feel.
Salgado takes to the mike and is at his melismatic best for the deep soul “Sundown Talkin’” before The Horns heat it up with the instrumental, “Funky Ape.” Nicholson’s “Soulshine” – not to be confused with the Allman Brothers tune of the same name, follows before Kaz delivers “You Can’t Be Serious” with Richardson handling lead guitar responsibilities. He yields to Earl for the instrumental, “Truckload Of Trouble,” which powers the disc to a close.
It took The Texas Horns four years to follow up on their first disc, but Get Here Quick was worth the wait. If you’re a fan of horn bands, you’ll be wearing this one out. It’s available through most major retailers.