baby let your hair hang downBaby, Let Your Hair Hang Down – Steve Lucas and the SLXpress (self released)

The follow-up to last year’s “Cross That Line” album, this concise collection of rootsy blues with country and soul undertones works a treat. 

While Steve Lucas will (rightfully) always be known as one of the principal members of the incomparable X, he’s continuing to build a solo musical identity of his own. The SLExpress project suggests an irresistible - or convenient - parallel with David Johansen And The Harry Smiths, the trad blues vehicle for the former New York Dolls frontman.

As a Sydneysider, the title track’s references to old New York City’s yellow cabs and snow cry out for a sarcastic comment about Melbourne weather. It’s delivered in a languid country style and is a keeper.

“Got To Go” swings like an outside dunny door in a southerly buster with a snappy, 1930s big band feel. Lucas brings his best vocal and adds some stabbing guitar in response to that horn section. 

“Only The Good Die Young” has an irresistible groove with singalong written right across it. Catchy with a degree of wise man cool. 

“Nothing Much To Mention” is the same stripped-back slide, harp and boot stompin’ blues that made “Cross That Line” work so well. While the sartorially elegant Lucas pushes the envelope with complaints about the stone in his shoes and holes in his pockets, it doesn’t take much suspension of reality to summon him up as a grizzled bluesman in your mind’s eye when the music sounds so good.

“Think” is the winsome tear-jerker about lost love with lyrics like: “Well you think I’d know better After all that I’ve seen, after all I have been. But I can’t forget her… The one I can’t touch, I can’t feel, but I dream” jousting with pedal steel. Sublime. 


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