this week in texas twang #11: The Whiptails
With a name like The Whiptails, you’d expect nothing less than a band that can ramble with the best of ‘em and boy can they, but they sure can waltz too.
Singer Jeanne Sinclair, who pulls double duty on a Gretsch lap steel and twangy hollowbody, packs non-stop cry-me-a-river, yet somehow still wicked-slick diddlys into wayward tunes about needed whiskey to make it through. It’s clear bass player Chris Cessac can’t wait to play along; Violent Femmes bass riffs drifting into the air between songs, but he swears he was raised on punk and bluegrass too. Then there’s the barefoot drummer, aka Garrett T. Capps, who wields lighting rod wooden brushes to keep the train beat steaming right along.
It’s Patsy Cline meets Elvis Costello, and yes, they rock Cline’s “Walking After Midnight.” With a slew of primitive country covers (Think Johnny Cash and June Carter’s “Jackson” or Melba Montgomery and John Prine’s “Milwaukee Here I Come”), opening slots for Ray Wylie Hubbard, and a newly pressed five-song EP recorded in a small college town nestled on the outskirts of Interstate 35, this trio is heading for higher ground and coming soon to a speakeasy or hootenanny near you.