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  1. Idaho
  2. Bongo Ride
  3. I'll Be Seeing You (vocals by Sally Timms)
  4. 5 After 5
  5. Drinkin' & Smokin'
  6. Harbor Lights (vocals by Rachel Flotard)
  7. Mannix
  8. Grief
  9. Everybody Loves the Sun
  10. Ballad of the Black Chihuahua
  11. East of the Sun (and West of the Moon) (vocals by Neko Case)
  12. Begin the Beguine
  13. Holiday for Strings
  14. Hood Canal
  15. Girls of Pajama Hill
  16. Big Iron (vocals by Kelly Hogan)
  17. Red Pollard
  18. The Fishin' Hole


Jon Rauhouse Steel Guitar Heart Attack

BS 133 2007

Oh Sweet Margarita of Cascia, Patron Saint of Lost Causes, we beseech thee! Make the world safe for instrumental music once again! Is there no room for swank little numbers uncluttered by the human voice? Time was when the radio waves were littered with songs that eschewed the crutch of vocals: Tequila, Sleepwalk, Popcorn, Green Onions, The Rumble, WalkDon’t Run. Hell, even the themes to "The Rockford Files" and "Taxi" cracked the pop charts. Why then? Why NOT now?

Jon Rauhouse, god love ‘em, is not one to give up this quixotic quest so easily. The pedal steel/Hawaiian wizard, who has contributed his stylings to recordings by—among others—Calexico, Neko Case, Kelly Hogan, Giant Sand, Sally Timms and the Waco Brothers, lets fly his third CD, Steel Guitar Heart Attack. Hitting all the hotspots and g-spots between Harlingen TX and Honolulu, Jon and his band (featuring Calexico and Jon’s longtime guitarist/ co-conspirator Tommy Connell) swing, sigh, giggle and charm their way into even those with hearts of tar.

As a concession to the whims of those in need of a human voice every now and again, there are performances by a few of the top notch singers of our day: Neko Case (“East of the Sun”), Kelly Hogan (“Big Iron”), Rachel Flotard of Visqueen (“Harbor Lights”) and Sally Timms (“I’ll Be Seeing You”). These ladies’ll melt the ice in anyone’s punchbowl. Jon even steps to the mic for one (the theme to the Andy Griffith Show “The Fishing Hole”—betcha didn’t know it had lyrics, didya?)

The rest of the album is pure instrumental magic. Woozy, dreamy songs that’ll set your mind to sailing into the sunset, happy hour, or the arms of your Polynesian princess. Beguiling melodies that take us to “Idaho,” the “Hood Canal,” and the “Girls of Pajama Hill” (who hasn’t wanted to go there?) or provide the perfect wordless soundtrack when you want to wet your line or wet your whistle. Everything from country classics to the theme song from "Mannix." That’s called versatility, my friends. There’s even a banjo number that shows Jon can play stuff standing up, too (note: we cannot absolutely confirm that he was standing when this was recorded). And with some songs clocking it at a 1:50, Jon can bring it with Ramones-like brevity, but with class.

Why “Heart Attack?” Well, Jon started noticing chest pains when carrying his amp. Seems he had something known as a Widowmaker Lesion and critical blockages in major arteries from his heart. Emergency procedures, angiograms, catheterizations and stents followed. We are happy to report that all is well now; with his heart fixed, he can re-focus on saving the instrumental.

Jon Rauhouse’s Steel Guitar Heart Attack shows us all that you don’t need words, man, you just need a good rhythm while you’ve got the gin in the shaker.

"Even in today's adoration of cross-genre hybridization, there simply isn't anyone who does so well with so much music ... The songs are too good, with too many great musicians to laundry list." —Austin Music Magazine

"I was floored by Rauhouse's quirky, vibrant and downright masterpiece of an album ... Why can't their be more albums like this—records that feature such depth, diversity and pure unfiltered fun?" —Three Imaginary Girls



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