“Doc H and the Rio Laudanum Cowboys”, a CD Review

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that’s the title of the current cd by my friend, john harrelson.  it’s been playing on the car cd player since last friday.  now, i’ve got it on my media player as i type.  the more i listen to it the more i like it.

Doc H and his usual band of suspects: brian chapman, bass and stand-up bass; steph kuhn, drums; jeff ross, guitar and steel(ed) guitar; and jwfh, himself, on vocals, guitar, accordion, mandolin, piano, harmonica, bottleneck guitar and 12 string guitar; kick out some fine country and western music.  oh, yeah, turn it up!

jwfh, told me this cd is about as country as he can get.  kids, that’s fine by me because it’s good stuff.  stellar stuff.  12 tunes and 9 of them are john harrelson country originals that were written over the past few years.  john’s usual take on love, life and playin’.  plus, a very interesting little snippet at the end of the stones countrified, ’19th nervous breakdown’, that is if you let the cd just track on.  a nice short sorta country version of the old mothers of invention tune, ‘my guitar wants to kill your mama’.  a fine example of john’s humor.  yeah, frank’s too.

john harrelson stands alone as one of the only truly original singer song writer players of the 60’s that’s left standing.  yeah, he’s been at it for more than 40 years.  writing and playing jazz, blues, rock ‘n’ roll and country.  it would be hard to find anyone anywhere that could pull off all those genres.  and he pulls them off all very very well.  this cd in particular.

musically john’s playing style is all his own.  if you listen closely to his guitar licks you’ll hear some folks out of the past.  however, he’s no eric clapton disiple that’s for sure.  though jeff beck, keef and brian do come to mind.  there’s some fine pickin’ and grinnin’ on this cd from everyone involved.  no doubt about it.  like i said, this one is growing on me and it just might be john’s best effort so far.  but then i’m just an old country honk as well as a friend of john and his music.

at any rate, Doc H and the Rio boys, is now high up on my play list.  trouble is, the only place you can find it right now is at rhino records in claremont, ca.  or contact john personally.  you can find him on myspace.  trust me, it would be well worth your trouble to do so.  the cd should be available soon on http://cdbaby.com  you can search his name there.

find this cd.  buy it.  play it.  LOUD!!!! ‘Doc H and the Rio Laudanum Cowboys’.  country thangs don’t get much better.  count on it.  a nice bit of country fried meat and potatoes.  and after several listens you get the fact john is spooning on the country gravy.  bring it, my friend.

john harrelson passed away in june of 2013. i sincerely hope he’s in a happier place.



2 thoughts on ““Doc H and the Rio Laudanum Cowboys”, a CD Review

    ozarkmossman said:
    February 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    This guy, and his group, sound very interesting. I’d like to know more and hear some of his tuff. I am a pre-1960’s country music freak, as well as bluegrass and since the day I first KoKo Taylor, a desciple of the Blues. But OOOOld country is my “thang.” Your blog (here) entices me to scope out Mr. Harrelson and his numb dudes. From your blog, he seems to have created somethinng I call Hillbilly Bluzgrass. I am intrigued. ~ozark

    johnhauge responded:
    February 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    thanks, ozark. i’m gonna pass along your info to my friend, john.

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