Following is a review of the Light Crust Doughboys’ November 25, 2012 performance at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre in Dallas, TX. Courtesy of SceneInTown.com
by Mary Jane Farmer
It’s been nearly three decades since I had the privilege of being in a Light Crust Doughboys audience, and, like Wolf Brand Chili — that’s too long. It won’t happen again.
The Light Crust Doughboys were the first Bob Wills band, a fact most people don’t know. He built it up in the late 1920s and early 1930s (I’m still studying their history, and will probably add more of that as time and more concerts pass by). They have, of course, lost and added many players over the years, but the music has remained true, and true blue country with all the swing, rock-a-billy, harmonies, trade-off lead vocals, fiddle, steel, stand-up bass, acoustic guitars of stone-cold country music.
For this concert, band leader Art Greenhaw created a 19-song set list — and that was just the first set. They opened with the theme song used to make them so popular as the Burris Mills Flour spokes-band, “We’re the Light Crust Doughboys from Burris Mills,” and that set the tone for the evening. Grammy-award winning Greenhaw, also a songwriter, moved from time to time from his acoustic guitar to a real-live piano, and kicked out some authentic rinky tink sounds out of that rinky dink instrument. He sings a mean low bass and brings it up to hit the high notes with clarity, taking a few lead vocals and stepping back graciously to give focus on everybody else.
Reece Anderson with his steel defied all the glossy slickness of what passes today for mainstream country pickin’. Jim Baker, the fiddler of the group, could make ribs rumble with the sweetness of his bow across the strings. Then, when the two of them got together, the stringed harmonies soared throughout the capacity-crowded room. Baker also took a few lead vocals.
Lyles West on the stand-up bass kept up a steady and solid rhythm, from rock-a-billy to western swing, without missing a beat even when he scratched his nose. Teresa Anderson had the high harmony honors and easily moved from that into lead vocals on many songs. She also easily moved around the room, dancing with the M.C., encouraging the audience to sing and clap along, and peppering the stage with her pleasant antics.
Dion Pride is the newest member of the band, playing acoustic guitar leads and singing, lead or back-up, with a voice that was both as pitch perfect as can be found and punctuated with emotion, strength, and clarity.
After the break, during which they talked and signed autographs and had their pictures taken with fans, the band worked with a set-list-less set, dotted with several Christmas carols and the fun secular songs of the season, accommodated the crowd’s requests, and it was all punctuated with surprise song call-outs from Greenhaw to the band. They were always ready, on their toes, with picks and bows ready.
There were a couple of guests on stage, too. One of those was former Doughboy Ralph Sanford, who also was a member of The Levee Singers. The other was a delightful young man who began dancing his way through the last song, then, when a mic was lowered to reach him, belted out a line or two on the Christmas song that closed the night. Two young girls, with Teresa’s encouragement, sang along and took some leads on “O Holy Night,” a difficult-at-best song which they performed very well.
The Light Crust Doughboys will be back at The Pocket Sandwich Theater in Dallas/Mesquite on February 5, a Tuesday, and again on April 16, also a Tuesday. There will be other performances, too, and all those will be in Scene In Town’s Live Music Calendar.For photos, click here