A review from Country Music People Magazine for J.Tex & The Volunteers new album, “House on the Hill” out Oct 26 world wide & in Denmark Oct 29.
CMP issue is out in November.

Here’s a strange one. I don’t like labelling and categorising music any more than the next bloke, but for the purposes of reviewing a record, and trying to give readers at least some idea ofwhat it might sound like it’s a necessary evil. This one though has me kind of stumped, At times it’s like Seasick Steve meets Cab Calloway, others it’s more Tom Waits meets Maurice Chevalier. It’s certainly different, but most importantly, it’s wonderful, even if it’s pretty much unclassifiable.

One minute you’re listening to a beautiful melodic fiddle tune (I Always Knew You Were The One), the next it’s something that sounds like someone noodling on a front porch in Virginia (Ukulele Lullaby). Carnival Girl sounds as though it came from the streets of Paris, while Coalminers Daughter has an almost Middle Eastern flavour towards the end. The Ballad Of My Brother And Me which opens the album is irresistible in every way and reminded me a little of the Alabama 3 song which was the theme to The Sopranos,
while Home On The Hill has a cowboy feel. There are three covers; Johnny Cash’s I Still Miss Someone, Bobby Bare’s Detroit City, and the Little Feat song Willin’. None of them work nearly
as well as the original songs here, but I think that’s because they are so far removed from the song you might be familiar with.

J. Tex was born in Detroit, Michigan but grew up in Denmark. He returned to the USA at the age of 20 to search for his musical roots. These days he lives in Copenhagen and with The
Volunteers has certainly come up with a unique take on American roots music. Even though it doesn’t all work, I’ve been trying really hard to figure out why I like this album
so much. It’s not usually the kind of thing I like, and there’s no doubting it’s different. J. Tex might not be the best singer in the world, but there is certainly something about his gruff delivery that draws you in, but ultimately I think it’s because I like the overall groove.

J. Tex is most likely a musical genius, and with just one appearance on the Jools Holland show would be huge. This may not be the most country thing I’ve heard recently, but it is one
of the most interesting, and very definitely roots. I’d advise going to www.jtex.dk and listening to some J. Tex before committing, because it might not be for everybody but I loved it.

Duncan Warwick

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