NORMAN — by Doug Hill
Musician: Kim Lenz and The Jaguars
Album name: Follow Me (2013, Riley Records)
Why you should listen: Kim Lenz has an adorable quality in her voice that’s mesmerizing. This entire review could be about the magnetic attraction of her vocals that quaver seductively in one song and are roaring strong as a Chevy V-8 in another. Lenz is well known in these parts from when she was based in Dallas and would frequently perform with her all-male Jaguars band in metro watering holes. Based now in the City of Angels she’s the Princess to Oklahoma City’s Queen of rockabilly Wanda Jackson. Listen to track five “Whiplash” and you’ll hear what sassy defiance sounds like.
The female heart and soul of Lenz’s genre is women standing up to dunderheaded men who do them wrong. She has her vocals and original lyrics on these steely numbers honed to a needle point like the Italian stilettos some gals carried at 66 Bowl Saturday nights.
“Cry Wolf” is about an unfaithful bad boy she regretfully gave her heart to. The tune fades out with spoken threat “I’m going to blow your playhouse down.”
The Jaguars are a seasoned crew of West Coast gunslingers and their accompaniment here is impeccable. The record was produced by British native Carl Sonny Leyland who’s been a noted rockabilly scene pianist in multiple American projects for decades. Nine of the album’s dozen compositions were penned by Lenz. “Tumble and Fall” is a head long musical plummet that features Leyland’s solid sender piano pacing Lenz’s hyper-tempo vocals. Title track “Follow Me” has an alluring vibe that recalls Charlie McCoy and Kent Westberry’s song “Funnel of Love.” Lenz is at her most tempting with castanets and shimmering brass percussion beckoning into a feminine web of erotic intrigue. It all goes back to Kim Lenz’ style. The sultry red head with inimitable pipes will make you a follower.
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