Bill Hearne's Roadhouse Revue/Bill Hearne Trio
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Bill Hearne's Roadhouse Revue/Bill Hearne Trio


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by ROB DEWALT for New Mexican Pasatiempo, 4/13/2007

Deep in the heart of Santa Fe

When I was in the sixth grade, by circumstances beyond my control, I went to live with my grandparents in the city of my birth: Amarillo, Texas. It was simple livin' -- church, school, Sunday Bible study, and family supper served promptly at 6 p.m., followed by a few spins of my granddaddy's old records in the den. Marty Robbins, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, and Buck Owens sang me to sleep at a time in my life when most kids were trading Pat Benatar and Queen cassettes during shop class. Sure, I was a fan of the era's pop music, but those moments in the den gave me secret knowledge: stories of roughneck juke joints, lovely seƱoritas, and unrequited love. These tales defined a romantic sensibility in Western music recorded long before I ever sprouted my first tooth.

I'm a different guy now, but every time I hear the twang of a pedal-steel guitar, it brings me back to those simpler days. And although I might not show it, deep inside, my heart swoons. Music is a memory maker, more powerful and prominent than the scent of Christmas dinner or the lingering gunpowder mist that follows a fireworks display. That's probably why, when local honky-tonk legend Bill Hearne called me the other day, I easily and unwittingly reverted to my West Texas drawl.

Bill Hearne's Roadhouse Revue celebrates the Frogville Records release of Heartaches and Honky-Tonks at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, at Santa Fe Brewing Company, 27 Fire Place, 424-3333. I asked Hearne to explain the genesis of the album, and he describes it thusly: "After Santa Fe to Las Cruces was recorded in 2003, my first solo CD, I wanted to go back farther in my youth to my teens and record some music that really touched my soul as a kid. I was not a typical urban teen growing up in suburban Dallas, listening to pop-rock and Top-40 music. My much older brothers had grown up listening to Hank Williams, Marty Robbins, and Ray Price, so I was indoctrinated with the Texas honky-tonk sound at an early age." It's probably not necessary to say it, but I dig this crazy cat.

Heartaches and Honky-Tonks is a 14-song ode to the music that played a hand in Hearne's decision to walk the line of his early influences. Die-hard Hearne fans will revel in the vocals he provides, but will also be blown away by the expert instrumentation by Hearne and his studio colleagues. Fiddler Johnny Gimble, formerly of the Texas Playboys, adds his signature harmonic backgrounds to a number of tracks, and vocalist/bassist Cathy Faber shines brighter than a Corpus Christi halo moon. A local favorite will surely be "Somewhere Between, " a duet by Bill and his wife/longtime partner in honky-tonk crime, Bonnie Hearne.

With Hundred Year Flood's Bill Palmer at the mixing table, Heartaches and Honky-Tonks serves up a sloppin' good slice of authentic roadhouse and Western swing. Deep in the heart of Santa Fe, driven by memories and decades of stage-tested talent, Bill Hearne keeps a Texas flame burning and takes at least one kid back to his granddaddy's lap. As Bill Hearne sings: "Let him sing me back home/With a song I used to hear/Make my old memories come alive/Take me away and turn back the years/Sing me back home before I die." Tickets are five bucks. See y'all there? -- Rob - Santa Fe New Mexican


Heartaches and Honky-Tonks / Frogville Records / 2007



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