Some of the great pleasures in life take a while to develop, but are worth the wait. BIG TEXAS SKY (Trout Records) is the latest CD release from Wheatfield. It's been a few years since Wheatfield released it's first two CDs, WHEATFIELD (2004) and SECOND CHANCES (2007). The 12 new songs on BIG TEXAS SKY pop out of the speakers like a fine aged single malt scotch. There's an initial sweetness followed by a smokey bite with a complex aftertaste. This fullness is flavored with their classic harmonies still well represented in this body of work. Wheatfield is the blending of four strong songwriters and instrumentalists: Connie Mims, Craig Calvert, Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet, who are long-time friends as well as musical collaborators. The band was originally formed in the 70's and appeared on the first season of Austin City Limits along with others like Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt and Doug Sahm. The band also wrote two rock ballets performed by the Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Chicago ballet companies as well as the cutting edge Space Dance Theater.
Wheatfield's SECOND CHANCES (Independently Released), is an EP of five original tunes, both new and old, recorded at the Trout House, Arkansas, in May of 2006. Engineered by Ezra Idlet and mixed and mastered by Chris Gage of Moonhouse Studios, Austin.
"Second Chances" - written by Ezra Idlet, Keith Grimwood & Craig Calvert. Title cut; we all need second chances!
"Anything To Make It" - written by Connie Mims back in 1977, but she didn't want to sing it, so Keith does the honors.
"Bed Of Roses" - written by Ezra & Craig, taken from one of the ballets we scored back in the seventies.
"Maybe By Topeka" - is a Connie Mims/Gordon Payne tune redone in a classic Wheatfield style.
"Roll Over Dave Brubeck" - redone with Keith Grimwood taking a vicious bass ride.
‘Wheatfield’ began in 1973 in Houston, Texas, with Ezra Idlet, Craig Calvert and Connie Mims as members. The trio quickly established themselves at the forefront of the then-emerging Texas music scene and continued to stretch their musical influences from country, bluegrass and folk into jazz and rock genres as they added bassist Bob Russell in 1974 and drummer/percussionist Damian Hevia in 1975. The group toured extensively until 1976, when they changed their name and musical direction to the band ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ which disbanded in 1979. The album "WHEATFIELD" (Canela Records) is produced by Craig Calvert, and Connie Mims is the Executive Producer. For those who followed either band in the 70’s, this album is a walk down memory lane. The studio recordings are blissful as vocal blends and perfect orchestration bring back the sounds that filled our spirits in those fun-filled days. The live recordings are a reminder of why we love music. These one-take masterpieces exemplify the sounds of the day while creating a timeless groove that no modern-day imitator could master. The band’s timing is flawless and Mims steals the spotlight with her ethereal renditions on these rare recordings. As a reviewer, I found myself enamored with the fact that I was listening to music created thirty years ago that still had the stuff to be a big hit right here, right now, today. You must own this album.
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