The Geezinslaw Brothers (aka Sammy Allred and Dewayne "Son" Smith...) can plausibly lay claim to being the great-grandaddies of the Austin indiebilly scene: this comedy-oriented duo started performing in the 1950s, had a good run in the '60s performing on TV variety shows and cutting several albums. They resurfaced in the late '70s during the height of the "outlaw" scene, cutting one great record for Willie Nelson's short-lived Lone Star label, and have been making albums on and off ever since then... Here's a quick look at these clown princes of Texas country...
The Geezinslaw Brothers "The Kooky World Of The Geezinslaw Brothers" (Columbia, 1963) (LP)
The Geezinslaw Brothers "Can You Believe...The Geezinslaw Brothers!" (Capitol, 1966) (LP)
(Produced by Ken Nelson)
A fun-uptempo set recorded when they were making the rounds on TV and their celebrity was on the rise... Not all the songs are gems, but there are several fun ones, including three on the theme of finding fame as a country and/or hillbilly singer -- "The Best Guitar Picker," "Talking Guitar Blues" and Lee Hazelwood's "They Called Him Country" -- any of which would fit in nicely with the Lovin' Spoonful's "Nashville Cats." They get a teeny bit naughty on "Women Do Funny Things To Me" and drop a topical reference to LBJ on "You Wouldn't Put The Shuck On Me," a funny song with an Andy Griffith-ish bent, where a seemingly-simpleminded fellow points out how Northerners all thing that Southerners are rubes and hicks... But if that's true, then why's one of them sitting in the White House? Also interesting is Paul Evans' critique of consumerism, "Buy Buy Buy," a catchy little tune with a lighthearted take on a very '60s theme. Overall, a jaunty, pleasant album, with strong musical accompaniment, and plenty of vigor. Definitely worth a spin!
The Geezinslaw Brothers "My Dirty Lowdown Rotten Cotton-Pickin' Little Darlin' " (Capitol, 1967) (LP)
The Geezinslaw Brothers "The Geezinslaw Brothers & Chubby" (Capitol, 1968) (LP)
The Geezinslaw Brothers "The Geesinslaws Are Alive (And Well)" (Capitol, 1969) (LP)
The Geezinslaw Brothers "If You Think I'm Crazy Now..." (Mercury/Lone Star, 1979)
(Produced by Willie Nelson)
This is a pretty good record, actually, with some pretty good songs drawn from a variety of writers. It was recorded on Willie Nelson's short-lived vanity label, and Willie and his band back them on about half the songs, while a Nashville studio crew back them on the rest... Some highlights include Shel Silverstein's "The Diet Song," and "The Bible Against The Bottle," a great sinner-song which was written by Earl Thomas Conley, of all people. There's also stuff by Terry Allen, David Allen Coe and Gary P. Nunn... No original material, but an original approach... Also plenty of the same faux-censorship "bleeeeeeps" over a series of well-placed naughty words. Pass the swear jar over this way, and turn the volume up please.
The Geezinslaws "The Geezinslaws" (Step One, 1989)
The Geezinslaws "World Tour" (Step One, 1990)
The Geezinslaws "Feelin' Good, Gittin' Up, Gittin' Down" (Step One, 1992)
The Geezinslaws "Wish I Had A Job To Shove" (Rock Bottom, 1994)
The Geezinslaws "Blah, Blah, Blah" (Step One, 1996)
The Geezinslaws "Eclectic Horsemen" (The Geezinslaws, 2005)
With guest appearances from Kinky Friedman, Willie Nelson, and Kelly Willis...
The Geezinslaws "Lighten Up, It's Christmas" (Step One, 2005)
A 2-song EP...
"Son" Geezinslaw "The Son Sessions" (Luck Records, 1998)
A solo release from Dewayne "Son" Smith....
Hick Music Index