Remember Outlaw Country? You know — Waylon, Willie and the boys.
I haven’t really had anything run through my ears recently that fit that mold until now.
Nineteen Hand Horse, a Northern California based band, started with that sound plus added some alternative rock.
The base for the sound comes from two singer songwriters - one female, Nathalie Archangel and one male, Mark Anthony Montijo.
Nathalie is a double platinum songwriter known for her work on Bette Miller’s Some People’s Lives album.
Mark Anthony had earlier formed a trio called Dogs on Fire who landed the opening act slot for Duran Duran at the Los Angeles Forum.
Nineteen Hand Horse is a big band, who besides the two aforementioned includes Ralph Ruiz, bass; Brad Sears, vocals, guitar, banjo; Lowell Stephenson, vocals, drums; James ‘Jae-E” Early, guitar, bass, keys, drum programming; Kevin Gallagher, pedal stell, lap steel, dobro; Ann Hebert Gilleran, fiddle; Cedric Jenson, drums; Wes Little, drums; Wes Theobald, guitar and Brian Vandermark, acoustic bass and vocals.
Even though Revel is the band’s debut album — they’ve been around the block a few times (as folks say).
“I have worked with this population and it is no cliche to say that ‘aging is not for sissies’ especially in the good ol’ USA,” Nathalie said.
I really like the coolness, and the weirdness of “Better as a Goddess (Than a Lover).
Mark explained the two song which both worked on — “Nathalie’s lyrics evoke a pantheon of goddesses; linking every woman to a long line of ancient, universal female archetypes that every woman can relate to. ‘Better as a Goddess’ is one of our fans’ favorites, always filling the dance floor - the sweet smell of sweat and beer sacred incense for the Dionysian ritual.”
Of course the first thing to catch my ears was the opening cut “Just Another Honky Tonk Night.”
“Once I woke up to country music - I completely immersed myself in the form; I listened to nothing but brilliant, classic music: Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline - until it got into my lifeblood,” Nathalie said. “Our band became humble interns of the genre; playing outlaw covers in honkytonks up and down the West Coast.”
Though some of the CD is deep, dark and heavy — there are also party cuts.
“Fete Ginette,” a good time New Orleans flavored piece, is “Two minutes of pure fun inspired by the lovely wife of our harmonica player, Lemonade,” Nathalie offers. According to her husband Mark, “Ginette believed in us when no one else did. Her love and support have been a constant well of strength”- “and inspiration” adds Nathalie. Another classic “‘Ghost Train’ details the ‘Peter Gunn Theme’ for a new generation,” quips Nathalie. “It’s a whole lot of fun to play,” adds Mark.