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The Jazzabillies

Show Me – 2006 (Q-Tone)

Reviewed by Ken Burke

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CDs by The Jazzabillies

Cowboy jazz and Bob Wills-era swing are capably executed by the Missouri-based Jazzabillies, a smooth ensemble that specializes in retrofitting standards with danceable flair.

Led up by bandleader Jimmy Queen, who smoothly revives "The Way You Look Tonight," each of the core musicians takes a turn at vocalizing. Bassist Dave Owens sounds a bit like Ray Price on his cover renditions of "All in the Game" and the country classic "Detour." Starla Queen evokes nostalgic longing with her version of "Here Comes My Baby" and the chipper "Turn Me Loose and Let Me Swing." Scotty Henderson does a serviceable job on Big Band-era staples "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" and "Butter and Egg Man," but he provides the disc's true highlight with his haunting steel guitar work on the instrumental "Swing Walk."

In all likelihood, the disc which comprises 11 cover tunes and one riff-laden original, was crated to demonstrate the group's enviable chops and musical chemistry. However, a band this good shouldn't linger on a playlist of oldies forever. Versatile and blessed with a lot of arrangement savvy, the Jazzabillies easily cause a stir with new music in this crowd-pleasing style. (302 Blair Avenue, Camdenton, MO 65020, 573-346-0004, E-Mail: jazzabillies@hotmail.com)