Too Smooth - Live and Kickin'

edited July 15 in year-2011

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ARTIST: Too Smooth
ALBUM: Live And Kickin'
LABEL: CD Baby
YEAR: 2011

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Tom Holden - vocals, drums * Jeff Clark, Brian Wooten - guitars * Danny Swinney - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Texas Hospitality / Leavin' It Up To You / You Are The One / Nobody Knows Me Like I Do * 02 Long Hair Drug Band * 03 Man of Fortune * 04 You Say When

WEBLINK: FB Page

Background

If there was ever a band that had the worst timing, then Too Smooth was that band. Hailing from Austin, Texas this 4 piece were one of the most versatile and accomplished musicians coming out of the Lone Star State in the mid to late 70's.

Too Smooth formed in 1973, when guitarist Brian Wooten replaced Stevie Ray Vaughan in Stump, which also included Jeff Clark and drummer Tom Holden. The original bassist left and Danny Swinney joined the fold.

The band then moved lock, stock and barrel to a 42 acre farm northeast of Austin and spent the best part of their day honing their craft. The band would regularly sell out venues such as Mother Earth and Armadillos World headquarters in Austin.

When the bigger, well known bands rolled into town, the promoters always added Too Smooth as support as they knew it would sell out. Too Smooth ended up supporting Golden Earring, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Britain’s Judas Priest amongst others.

It wasn’t long before word got around and Too Smooth signed with the Just Sunshine label in '74 and recorded a full albums worth of material, but at the eleventh hour, the record company decided to get out of the music business and sold it to ABC Dunhill.

The band had a second crack of the whip again in 1976 when they signed a deal with Buddah Records, they released 1 single called 'Song For The World' and that was that. They nearly had deal with Mercury Records (home to the mighty Legs Diamond) but that eventuated into nothing but hot air.

Too Smooth finally parted ways in 1981, they surfaced for a reunion show in 2007, which I posted a link on GDM last week. In 2011 there were 2 releases by Too Smooth, 'Still' and 'Live and Kickin' which was recorded throughout Texas during 1976 and in Waco during 2007.

At this point I would start reviewing 'Live and Kickin' but the story takes an interesting twist. Tiger Lilly Records, owned by Morris Levy was a tax scam and Tiger Lilly released albums to lose money which gave investors higher tax breaks, there are a few albums in existence and it was said that Levy buried the majority of albums in landfalls.

The band Stonewall which released an album on Tiger Lilly was sold at auction for $14,100 back in 2014. Apparently there is or was an album floating around on Tiger Lily from sessions Too Smooth did at the Record Plant for Just Sunshine.

The Songs

Kicking off with a four song medley, recorded back in 1976 in New Braunfels, Texas, 'Texas Hospitality' has a great boogie feel to it. Next up is 'Leavin It Up To You' which has Jeff Clark taking the lead vocals this time.

What this band has is an abundance of talent, fantastic dual lead guitarists, great harmonies, two singers, backed up by a great rhythm section that provide the pulse and groove to the music.

'Long Haired Drug Band' is about being pulled over by the Texan State Trooper.
Some have described Too Smooth as Southern Rock; others compared them to early Queen and Toto.

In Summary

Too Smooth split in 1981, Bassist Danny Swinney plays in a covers band with the son of Dick Wagner, called Suede. Brian Wooten moved to Nashville and now plays with Country Music artist Trace Adkins.

Over the past week I have played both 'Live and Kickin' and 'Still' and have found them to be highly enjoyable. Dangerous Toys drummer, Mark Geary said that Too Smooth were the band to see in Austin during the mid 70's.

Lovers of 70's rock should spend some time and check them out. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Information for this article was obtained from Austin360, Dangerousminds.net and Jason McMaster.


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Comments

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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia
    As much as I love bands like Point Blank and Blackhorse, these guys should have been equally as popular and successful. I'm sure they only tip the iceberg on what was offer in Texas during the 70's.
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