‘Rebel’ Rod’s Reviews – Beau Hinze and the Backporch Shufflers – Out of Brenham, Texas comes "uncut" bluegrass music at its best –
From the very first rhythmic sounds that came flowing out of my speakers when I played this gritty EP from Beau Hinze and the Backporch Shufflers, I was hopelessly hooked.
The first tune is called “Swamp Rabbit Boogie” and it is a witty little ditty that had me placed in a very colorful, almost cartoonish, Louisiana Swamp. I picture the wildlife that is sung about here all emulating human beings, up on their hind legs boogyin’ to the music.
It’s an all-acoustic endeavor that will remind you of bands like The Gourds, but Beau Hinze and the Backporch Shufflers stand on their own. What amazed me more than anything about this little gem is its range.
Beau Hinze’s voice is not restricted to only singing fun little tunes about Swamp Rabbits. He can just as easily belt out a ballad as pretty as anything I have ever heard as evidenced by “Tears in My Pillow” containing gut wrenching lyrics – “struggle for a soul nights rest/gritting my shaking teeth, gripping my chest/praying for peace, I’m holding my breath/suffocating from, suffocating from tears in my pillow”. The entire tune is so complexly written and arranged, you may forget you’re listening to a Texas Roadhouse type of a record. That feeling is short lived though.
The next tune is an up-tempo song about what else but a train, more specifically, “Hurricane Train”.
Yes, this is an EP containing six original tunes, but it has the feel of an LP. Probably because each song is either right at, or well over four minutes in length, some approaching five minutes.
There is layer after layer of texture here. Texture that feels as if it has grown from beneath your feet, right out of the rich dark Texas soil, sprouting what the band refers to as a “mix between Texas Roadhouse music and uncut bluegrass”
The band is Beau Hinze who writes and performs most of the music, as well as the fiddle of Josh Droegemueller (who also co-wrote “Six Pack”), and Doyle Spitzer on harmonica. “Racecar” Jim Bernick plays the bass and Josh Reddoch on percussion supply the solid rhythm. Luke Adair and Slim Bawb on banjo, dobro, and slide guitars, guest on the record to help add an extra punch to the already well-written and performed material.
This is a well-crafted EP that will probably at least find its way to my top 20 list of records this year, if not the top 10.
‘Rebel’ Rod says check it out.
Beau Hinze & the Backporch Shufflers: reviews
Beau Hinze & The Backporch Shufflers’ influences are a fairly loose pile, drawing from bits and pieces of bluegrass, classic honky-tonk, hootenanny-era story songs, No Depression alt-country and beyond. Their interplay, though, is woodshed-tight from a few years of jamming around their Brazos Valley homeland and beyond; it was enough to blast them to victory in Lone Star Beer’s Battle of the Bands competition in 2010, giving them the stamp of approval from an iconic Texas brand and a chance to play on one of the biggest stages in their career. A year later they’re still going strong. Here’s some more on them, in their frontman’s own words.
Where are you based out of?
Based a few miles from the Brazos River bottom in Independence, Tx….beautiful Washington County. Born and raised.
In your own words, describe your sound.
There’s 2 kinds of songs, drinkin’ songs and dancin’ songs, ….I don’t like to dance.
What are some of your favorite venues?
We always have a good time at Lakeside Icehouse on Lake Bryan with the outdoor atmosphere on the water. The folks are always laid back and kick it. Riley’s Tavern in Hunter is always a winner, they come early and stay late at that spot with their party boots on.
What music do you have out already, and what’s coming in the near future?
Since the band formed, we had 2 releases. In 2010 we released ‘Undertow’ and in April of this year we cut the EP ‘Six Pack: The Dirty Half Dozen’. They both hold a sense of diversity throughout the tracks and we’re proud of that. We’ve talked about re-releasing some more of the tunes from my 2007 self produced ‘This Round’s On Me’ and let the guys put their flavor on a handful.
Name your favorite career highlight, so far.
Winning the Lone Star Beer contest granted us some really cool opportunities. Got us some live TV spots and unlocked a lot of gig doors as far as live venues go. Playing the festival along with Bob Schneider, Dale Watson & Band of Heathens to a pasture full of music lovers was incredible. Those 60 minutes seemed like 6…..it was unreal.
If someone’s only gonna buy one song of yours…where to start?
The title track ‘Undertow’ off last year’s record…. ‘Swamp Rabbit Boogie’ off the new one….both miles outside the box.
Name some of your main influences as a songwriter/musician?
Chris Ledoux had me writing cowboy poetry back in high school & college, Metallica taught me how to enjoy playing fast and Adam Carroll showed me that simple can be complex.
What’s one of the strangest gigs you’ve ever played?
Around 2005 I did a reunion one Tuesday night and the youngest person in the place was 65. Playing wild bar life related originals & covers to 40 sober, decaffeinated coffee consuming partygoers. Something just didn’t seem to fit. Ladies falling asleep in the back of the room since it was going on 8 oclock. One gentleman asked me if I had any tapes for sale,…God bless that fellow for making me smile. So now I definitely ask a couple more questions before confirming a gig!
RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Old Crow Medicine Show, the Doug Moreland Show, the Gourds, South Austin Jug Band, or Robert Earl Keen’s first three albums.
If you’re not really the six pack type, then brew yourself up a cup of mighty fine New Orleans style chicory coffee and sit down to enjoy this EP. Beau Hinze’s 6 Pack: The Dirty Half Dozen is great summer time music. This is something to give not just a listen to but to actually take a moment out of your day and enjoy the effort that went into making this.
Beau Hinze originally got together with the Shufflers on his porch, where as we all know, all great ideas, if not hangovers, are born. What seems different about this band, though, is their ability to take it beyond the porch into a full fledged sound worth strangers plunking down their pesos for.
Though it’s an EP, there is a surprising variety to taste here. This is definitely Texas, but very much the wet, Cajun side of Texas not the desert west. My favorite, but then I’m partial to swamp music, is Swamp Rabbit Boogie. Above all, this is fun. Maybe a tinge of the SoulaBillySwampBoogie Band, but without the brass section. These seem like folks you’d like to get to know in person. If you like train songs and harmonicas then Hurricane Train might just be your new favorite.
Beau Hinze and the Back Porch Shufflers’ 6 Pack: The Dirty Half Dozen is definitely worth a listen. If this EP is a taste of what they can do, start looking forward to a full meal.
Translated via Google:
We keep our course in the south, specifically in Washington County, Texas, where there is a guy named Beau Hinz and he has with him a band called The Backporch Shuffle. Beau Hinz has released music before and like the previous two albums, which you can check out here on Spotify , this EP a mix of sørstatsmusikk and bluegrass in a pretty rough polished format. Hinz is actually a pretty good songwriter and artist, and here he delivers from a very varied album, genre wise, but not qualitatively. The differ from country and bluegrass on one end with sensitive songs about more serious things in the other. As in the song Tears In My Pillow is a dark and melancholic affair that's about the tears that sets the deepest traces of them. As it should be the masters of music also drawn and Beau Hinz won last year 2010 Lone Star Beer Bash Play the comp. Why they won the prize, I think clearly that we listening to the last cut which is a truckercountrylåt of traditional character and smells strongly of beer and party, but is also very well made and executed, something the rest of the EP is.
On "Six Pack": "Truly a six pack with a lot of taste."
The album embraces the Americana tradition of tall tales and charm through a current of Southern style. But below the surface of the country grit lies a brilliant magic, flickering like a glint of sunlight off the scaled tail of a fantastical fish.
Beau Hinze lit up the Corner Café Friday night (July 16). It was a special treat just for his devoted fans; a private concert with a good meal in a nice place. It was all very cozy, with his faithful followers from Washington County and beyond, turning out and leaving few chairs to spare. A few non- Brenhamites got seats, and I was one of those privileged few. Hinze is from just across the river… and speaks of the remote crossroads known as Independence and William Penn like I do… he sings unpretentiously about the people and places that I have grown so fond of over the past thirty years, as I have painted the bluebonnets “Plein air” along the Hidalgo Bluffs in Washington County.
Beau is a very talented singer-songwriter, a truly gifted entertainer, and his band is primo. He is going places. I hear his song all the time on the radio. The one called “Dumbass Rusty” about the guy who goes on a stealin’ binge and ends up dead.
Beau snatched me as a loyal fan with his last song of the evening. A real promising piece called Flathead Yellow Named Undertow. It reminded me of all the hearty river rats and “noodlers” I have ever known that answered the call of the behemoth river catfish, catfish so big they might drown a man. It is a great song. It ranks right up there with David Lutes’ Rise Up Elijah and Kevin Higgins’ tornado song called Out in the Fields… We have seen and heard the very best Americana we will ever hear, … right here in Navasota Texas.
I was sitting there, tired after an exhausting week, thinking about how glad I was that I came, to hear this kid, knowing he would soon be too big to appear in such a small venue here in Navasota.
And Beau, someday I’ll see you on the bluffs. And maybe we’ll have a beer…
Beau Hinze and the Back Porch Shufflers are a delicious amalgam of Texas Roadhouse music and pure uncut Bluegrass. Their new release, “Undertow,” will have you tapping your toes and weeping into your beer. You’ll be hard-pressed to hear sweeter music than their harmonies.
I love this CD! It has an "undertow" of Texas Bluegrass and perfect integration of banjo, upright bass and harmonies. This one is a must-have in the CD collection. Beautifully mastered!
Well, we baptized the river air with the new record, and it seemed to make the drinking easier. Too easy. I dig these tunes. Pete was impressed. Even left it turned up at the gas station in Snook. Here’s my 2 cents: Undertow may be the greatest fishing song ever! This is to catfishing what Fred Bear is to hunting! Mellow is like a life lesson everybody needs to learn. Moonshiner- love the Hog Branch reference. Perfect Thief- I think this one is my favorite, windows down turned up. Drowning Words- I think most of us hard heads have been there before. Rattlesnake Lies- Pete dug this one too, we like the sound of angst. Fine- Great, great tune brother( my wifes favorite) 2 early 2 late-Been there too (wifes 2nd favorite) Rusty- I’ve always liked this one, how could you not like a song named Dumbass Rusty? Whiskey he Knows- This is another favorite. Funny how I’ve lived some of these songs. Wendle, West Texas Wendle- Another Hinze classic, never gets old, Very vivid like I can see this guy myself. Foster Collins- STOP THE TRUCK! This one kicked my ass. It’s different. It’s new, but has a throw-back quality. The music, the lyrics, the delivery, this is a really cool song man. I own a guitar, but can’t play, so I don’t know much about how music is put together. But the way yall put it together is the real deal. The harmonica out front is refreshing. The stand-up bass really put my amp and sub to the test. Simple percussion, banjo, toss in some rhythm—case closed. So buddy, you gets 2 thumbs up from me, Pete and my wife (so I guess that’s 6 thumbs up) Damn fine work Beau.
“Undertow really pulls you in and is emotionally provocative! The entire album really is setting a scene of its own. The music is the illustration of the words, and it sounds like it feels. Most music doesn’t do that.”