CD Reviews for 04/30/10 – Texas Sapphires, South Memphis Stringband

Compact Capsules for April 30, 2010
by Dan Ferguson

The Texas Sapphires
As He Wanders
Ike Records IR002

Shades of Gram & Emmylou and George & Tammy, for that matter, are evoked by the sophomore release As He Wanders from Austin-based country act The Texas Sapphires. Fronting guy-gal vocal duo Billy Brent Malkmus and Rebecca Lucille Cannon demonstrate an alluring country chemistry be it the sweetness of “Riddled Days” and “Make Him Make Me” or hard drivers like twang-fired “Nashville Moon” and bluegrassin’ “Baltimore Cage”. It’s an album that catapults them to at or near the top of Austin’s strong C&W scene. Visit

South Memphis Stringband
Home Sweet Home
Memphis International Records

World boogie is coming! So proclaimed late Memphis legend Jim Dickinson on numerous occasions to describe music devoid of commercial bullshit and laden with craft, looseness, and soul to its core. The trio that is South Memphis Stringband on Home Sweet Home personifies the Dickinson credo. It’s members are Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers) and Dickinson’s son Luther (North Mississippi All-Stars). On Home Sweet Home, the trio appropriately strips it down and takes it back 60 – 70 years to work their talents on a collection of Southern stringband classics. No doubt that if they have mail order available up above, the elder Dickinson has already placed his order. Visit

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)