Archive for the ‘Country’ Category

Miss Leslie Is Real Country

April 20, 2010 1 comment

It was ten minutes to one a.m. bar time Feb 20, 2010, at Ginny’s Little Longhorn in north central Austin when Miss Leslie said Last Song. Miss Leslie and Her Juke-Jointers from Spring, Texas, were finishing up a four-hour show with just one thirty-minute break between two sets.

A favorite and long-time regular at Ginny’s – the best honky tonk in Austin or anywhere – Leslie Sloan sat with a sigh and relief onto a metal folding chair while her bandmates packed up the instruments after the show.



Miss Leslie Sloan


“Our baby is due on the Spring Equinox,” Leslie said with a hopeful wonder. Ricky Davis, soulmate and steel player, is the dad. Here’s hoping your child arrives then – what a great start to life! But, then again with parents like yours – why worry?

Leslie Sloan has just released her fourth and best classic country album so far and now she’s taking a couple of months off to be a Birth Mom again.



Ricky Davis


The new album – “Wrong is What I Do Best” – is filled with fourteen … count them, 14 songs … featuring Leslie’s writing, voice and fiddle with Bill Kirchen’s brilliant Commander Country guitar-work, the impeccable steel riffs of Ricky Davis, solid backbone and expressive faces courtesy of drummer Timmy Campbell and sweet acoustic bass plucks and thumps from Ric Ramirez’s hands, heart and soul. Dave Biller plays acoustic guitar in some of these songs and is a regular in Her Juke-Jointers – Leslie’s performing band that plays at Ginny’s every six weeks or so.



Ric Ramirez


all Bob Kinney photos

This is the second Miss Leslie album that Tommy Detamore has produced with Leslie and Ricky. It was recorded in his Cherry Ridge Studios in Floresville, Texas.



Timmy Campbell


Leslie has so much going for her. She acknowledges her parents in the opening paragraph of liner notes in Miss Leslie’s new Wrong release. Dad, musician and minister, Country Jim Sloan enjoyed playing bluegrass and traditional country music, as well as ministering to folks through music, the gospel or both. Leslie’s Mom, Glenna, was an accomplished concert pianist. Leslie began playing violin at age 4 and performed on stage at age 14 – playing country/bluegrass fiddle and touring with her family band of parents, sister and brother through Texas and beyond.



Brent Wilson


Miss Leslie and Her Juke-Jointers plan a party to celebrate the birth of the child and the cd release of Wrong Is What I Do Best at Ginny’s Little Longhorn this Spring.



Miss Leslie – eight months pregnant – stood throughout the three-plus hour show


I admire Leslie’s music making, writing, marketing ideas and commitment to Real Country Music. Her songs like “I Need Me (A Whole Lot More than I Need You),” “There’s Two People Here Not Talkin’,” and “Lie, Lie, Lie” are rooted in strong self-hood. “The Last Time I Drank,” the song that ends the new album, is chilling. The interplay between Leslie’s fiddle and Ricky’s steel is simply superb. Tommy’s drums and Ric’s bass always blend a solid rhythm. She and the band have grown so nicely over time. These folks enjoy making music together on an exemplary level – show after show after show. In the liner notes to her new album, Leslie writes “Thanks to the band – we live the quintessential struggle of the musician. A commitment to art that isn’t commercially viable. But we stay with it because it is a part of our souls.”



The BassMan


Many of us complain about the Current So-called Country Singers – Do you feel like you have been TaylorSwiftBoardered?  Who took over country music while we weren’t listening cause most of it these days is crap.  Leslie has written about this. First, she suggests, find out and go to Real Country music shows in your hometown and help spread the word about the musicians. Keep Fighting Back Against the Trend to Commercialize Country Music. It’d be nice if They decided to take over Jazz, Hip hop, Gospel or even Polka … but it ain’t gonna happen. Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum wilt before Leslie Sloan. Think of different ways to persuade your friends and help fight the Beast.



Yeah, Leslie


For example, Leslie decided to give away her third album. All you had to do was sign up on her website and she mailed it to you – postage paid. More than 300 folks discovered Leslie that way.



The South Austin Flash


Be Imaginative. Be Real. Perform a great show and do just as good or better the next night. Just like Miss Leslie and Her Juke-Jointers.


"songs of the soul and words of the heart."





Categories: Country

December 29, 2009 3 comments

Putting Country back into Country Music

The Nashville of Porter Wagoner, Patsy Cline, Robert Altman and Tootsies Orchid Lounge has all but vanished – along with a lot of real, traditional Country Music. When Amber Digby made her Grand Ole Opry debut in the Ryman Auditorium on December 19, she put Country back on the Opry stage.

The night before in Austin at Ginny’s Little Longhorn – simply the best honky tonk in Central Texas and anywhere else – Randy Bobo Lindley, her husband and Midnight Flyer band leader, announced to the packed crowd of Amber Fans that “Amber’s gonna put the Country Back into the Opry tomorrow night. ” Tuning into WSM Radio’s Opry show the next night confirmed that when audience whoops and hollers applauded the one song Amber sang – “Silent Night/After the Fight.”

Amber with Justin Trevino, producer and bass

“I’ve know Amber since she was 13-years-old,” said Ronnie Millsap as he introduced her onstage where Emmy Lou Harris had just sung. “Amber is the best young voice in traditional Country Music,” said Milsap who had also recorded  the song Amber sang at the Opry.

Couldn’t ask for more, Amber. Simple, direct and true.

Singing at the Opry one week before Christmas was a homecoming for Amber. Daughter of Dee Digby, who sang harmony with Connie Smith, and Dennis Digby, the bass player in the Loretta Lynn band for almost two decades, Amber grew up in Nashville and began singing and playing piano at age 4 <see her website photos>. She left Nashville for Houston in the early 2000s and has recorded four albums, two of which produced by Justin Trevino.

Amber and Midnight Flyer make it to Ginny’s Little Longhorn about every six weeks.

Check their MySpace calendar. Dicky Overbey, Amber’s step dad, plays steel. – Damian O’Grady piano; Ben Collis, bass; and Tom Lewis, drums, round out the Flyers. Go to Amber’s website and MySpace page for Amber Opry Debut photos by Cynthia Coffey whose distinctively personal photos grace Amber’s last two album jackets <website, too>.

See y’all January 16 at Ginny’s in Austin.

Bob Kinney photos taken at Ginny’s on December 18, the night before Amber played the Opry.

Amber sings with Randy's dad

Justin Trevino produced the two most recent Amber albums

Midnight Flyer - led by Randy Lindley, center, guitar

Categories: Country