Kansas City’s Own Leveetown

Living Blues Chart January 2010 – #16
2007 and 2010 International Blues Challenge Finalists


“It’s a masterpiece of peerless songwriting and attendant instrumental and vocal chops.” Gary von Tersch, Big City Blues

“The enticingly fizzy and brightly optimistic driving guitarwork of Brandon is superb but when Jimmie unleashes his riveting and stunningly feverish distorted harmonica it is scintillating, simply full steam ahead, with Jacque and Jan supplying the rock solid stalwart backbeat throughout, the album is easily lifted out of the good blues album bracket into a feast of good rockin’ music.” Brian Harman, BluesArt Studio (Austria)

“The guys down the hall that kept listening to Butterfield records and dating art chicks may not be making record/records but they are skilled in the art of putting a party on a platter. A bunch of white boys that know all the blues/rock moves while ignoring the clichés, this crew is loaded with youthful energy and properly channeled aggression that bowls you over with intensity that you don’t have to run from. Just plain fun that was made to be enjoyed with a brewski or three as the evening wears on. Solid.” Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“These guys play a mean hybrid of rockabilly and blues that is tailor-made for the dance floor!” Don & Sheryl Crow, Nashville Blues

“These guys are the perfect example of a tough little regional band with a big sound.” Jim White, Blue Notes Blog

“While all are great musicians in their own right, it’s obvious that Levee Town’s popularity and success is due to their collective efforts as a unit. Their latest effort sports excellent original tunes, great musicianship, and most of all, exuberant performance.” Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes

“…A lot of energy and also a deep knowledge of their predecessors. …Gets the place rocking.” Norman Darwen, R2 (United Kingdom)

(l. to r. – Jimmie Meade (harmonica and vocals), Brandon Hudspeth (guitar and vocals),

Jan Faircloth (drums and vocals), and Jacque Garoutte (bass and vocals))

Below are just a few of LT’s dates. Check their MySpace page for full schedule.
May 22 – Cimarron’s, Tulsa, OK
June 11 – Uncle Bo’s, Topeka, KS
July 1 – BB’s Jazz Blues & Soups, St Louis, MO
July 8 – Slippery Noodle, Indianapolis, IN
July 17 – The Bearded Clam at the Cove resort, Kimberling City, MO
Sept. 10 – Blues on Grand, Des Moines, IA
Oct. 6 & 7 – Little Bear, Evergreen, CO
Oct. 8 – The Boulder Outlook, Boulder, CO
Oct. 29 – Coleman Theater, Miami, OK
Blues Festivals
May 29 – Kearney Blues Fest, Kearney, MO
June 4 & 5 – Eureka Springs Blues Festival @ the Squid & Whale, Eureka, AR
June 12 – Gladstone Blues Festival, Gladstone, MO
June 19 – Parkville Jazz/Blues & Fine Arts River Jam, Parkville, MO
June 26 – Soaring Wing Vineyards Blues Festival, Springfield, NE
July 10 – Kalamazoo Blues Festival, Kalamazoo, MI
Aug. 28 – Bean Blossom Blues, Brews, & BBQ Festival, Nashville, IN
Sept. 3 – Illinois Blues festival, Peoria, IL,
Sept. 11 – Rock Bend Folk festival, Mankato, MN
Oct. 1 – Bikes Blues & BBQ, Fayetteville, AR
The difference between authentic intensity and just loud, fast music is sometimes lost in translation. There is no mistaking the real thing with Levee Town, however, who play bare wire blues and exuberant rock the way it was meant to be performed: As if their very souls depended on it. Their self-titled third release is a triumph of timeless songwriting in the classic styles with impassioned vocalizing and instrumental mastery of the highest order. Best of all, it sounds like the ultimate raucous house party guaranteed to disturb the neighbors and bring the cops!

The 2007 and 2010 International Blues Challenge finalists from Kansas City formed in 2002. Consisting of Brandon Hudspeth (guitar and vocals), Jacque Garoutte (bass and vocals), Jimmie Meade (harmonica and vocals) and Jan Faircloth (drums and vocals), they span a range of ages combined with hard won experience. The result is the secret of all great bands: The whole is greater than the sum of the estimable parts.

“I’m Not Broke,” the opening track in the 14-song set displays their virtues in a brisk 2:26 with a breathless rockabilly groove, clever lyrics (“I’m not broke, but I’m badly bent”), wailing harp and a string-melting guitar solo from Hudspeth who composed the number and sings lead. Garoutte takes the mic on his rocking shuffle “Three Sides” that tells it like it is regarding the three, not two, sides to every story. “You Mean,” is an aching slow blues about a busted relationship that bristles with Southside mojo, down home harp and searing slide guitar from vocalist/composer Meade and Hudspeth, respectively. “Why, Why, Why” stomps the boogie like a vintage Fabulous Thunderbirds track, while “Broken Jar” pays respectful homage to Jimmy Reed with a plaintive tale of where nothing seems right until a missing lover returns.

“Rhythm Man” by bassist Garoutte is a standout track with a stuttering, funky dance groove and insinuating harmony vocals that acknowledges all the “road dogs” who sling their guitars night after night. Further showing their wide-ranging observations, Levee Town takes a well-placed shot at the siren-lure of gambling in “Vegas.” “KC Killa,” sung and written by Garoutte as a winking take on the classic blues song and their home base, exudes smoky ambiance and would be the perfect closing number in any bar. A bracing jolt of adrenalin is up next with the hard boogie rock of “Etta” that threatens to literally explode off the disk. Pacing the tempos of their set with the precision of a surgeon, the longest track on the disk is the chilling minor key, Westside slow blues “Heartless is the Winter.” As Hudspeth and Meade plead their case from the inside of a liquor bottle, a catharsis worthy of the great classics of the past is created.
“Hullabaloo” picks the pace back up as Garoutte warns his fellows about the party girl well known to all musicians. The band slyly and logically follows with the original and stomping “Rock Me Baby” that is Hudspeth’s unabashed paean to carnal pleasures. He then figuratively duck walks his way through the fifties rock ‘n’ roll of “Pressures” while directly addressing those who dump their frustrations wholesale on others. Wrapping up the joyous performance is the lone instrumental of “Chicken Truck.” Borrowing the funky riff of “Shotgun,” it becomes an occasion for featured soloists Meade and Hudspeth to “turn the sucka out” as Garoutte and drummer Faircloth lock in tight and Levee Town rolls and rocks like a mighty music machine.
Their 2004 live debut Snapshot, displaying the band’s on-stage prowess and blistering live performance, was followed by their first full-length studio effort Unstable Table in 2006 that demonstrated a strong penchant for solid songwriting and inventive lyrics. The guys are back in the studio recording their fourth original album.  Stay tuned!
Dave Rubin, Guitar Edge Magazine

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine


The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://crossharpchronicles.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/kansas-citys-own-leveetown/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s