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Jon Rauhouse
Steel Guitar Heart Attack
Bloodshot Records

Jon Rauhouse is truly a master of his instrument. Not since the glory days of Speedy West has someone so completely given his own voice to the pedal steel guitar. Rauhouse is to the steel what Jerry Douglas is to the dobro or Sonny Landreth is to the slide guitar. Rauhouse is a master of the instrument, able to bend its sounds to meet his every whim, whether it be country, Hawaiian, or lounging swing. Rauhouse makes the rounds from the jumpy, old-timey "The Fishin' Hole" (a.k.a. The Andy Grifftih Show theme song) to a jazzy interpretation of the theme from the TV show "Mannix". Many friends of Rauhouse join him on the record, including many members of Calexico acting as his band, along with Tommy Connell, and even Neko Case chiming in on a laid-back jazzy version of "East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon)". Case sounds more smoky and charming than she has in a few records' time and this performance alone makes the album worthwhile… but wait, there's more! Rauhouse winds up for a blistering version of Marty Robbins' "Big Iron", including Kelly Hogan on vocals, John Convertino on drums, and Joey Burns on bass… all underpinned by the brilliant steel work of Rauhouse himself. Sally Timms joins in on vocals for a very melancholy reading of jazz classic "I'll Be Seeing You". Don't sell Rauhouse short as a covers man, though. He penned the awesome country slow swing of "Drinkin' & Smokin'", the jumping jive Appalachian style of "Grief", and the pure bluegrass of "Hood Canal". Additionally, Rauhouse lends his talented hands to some Hawaiian slack-key guitar as well as some blistering banjo playing throughout the record.

The focus of Steel Guitar Heart Attack is not so much on flashy playing and glistening guitar licks, though these things are very obviously in evidence. Rather than being showy and garish with his playing, Rauhouse takes a backseat, playing the perfect amount to enhance the selections and create a record filled with highly melodic and very enjoyable songs. Move on over, Esquivel! This is countrified lounge music perfect for the swinging bachelor pad decorated with rawhide and wagon wheels… skip the martini glasses.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Idaho
2. Bongo Ride
3. I'll Be Seeing You
4. 5 After 5
5. Drinkin' & Smokin'
6. Harbor Lights
7. Mannix
8. Grief
9. Everybody Loves The Sun
10. Ballad Of The Black Chihuahua
11. East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon)
12. Begin The Beguine
13. Holiday For Strings
14. Hood Canal
15. Girls Of Pajama Hill
16. Big Iron
17. Red Pollard
18. The Fishin' Hole

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