Jeff Plankenhorn
by Johanna J. Bodde


(Blue Corn Music / Lucky Dice Music)

"Plank", that must be his nickname. Jeff Plankenhorn, according to my info sheet: the man with a smile that makes icebergs melt... But inside the booklet he gave his guitar into the hands of a scarecrow and his thank you's simply mention "any woman who's put up with me for more than a month"! So he has a good sense of humor, plus a whole lot of talent, as a "sideman" he bended strings with Slaid Cleaves, Ray Wylie Hubbard and he toured with Eliza Gilkyson in Europe. Just the same type of musician as our favorite Duane Jarvis, for gentlemen like them it's actually quite hard to find their own sound, as they can do so many different things and are used to adjust themselves to the various artists they play with. An album can have a variety of styles, but isn't supposed to slide down to a "listen to all the things I can do" demonstration. Rest assured, music lovers, it works out well here!
Jeff sings really beautiful, plays electric and acoustic guitars, dobro and pedal steel. He gets his influences from jazz and blues, country and Southern soul, kinda like Lyle Lovett does that too. A big part in this record is assigned to co-producer Gurf Morlix, who handles all sorts of instruments, even the "beer bottle slide" is listed. Eliza Gilkyson sings with Jeff on "Picture Cards",  a song by Blaze Foley. The other cover was written by Sean Hayes and is the least successful piece on the CD. Let "Plank" do it himself, my favorite track is "Go Now". This is fun: "I'm so low, I got to look up to see my shoes." "Hurting You" then goes into the direction of Freddy Fender with The Texas Tornados, great. Long live the sideman!
Written by Johanna J. Bodde, Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.