Elmore Entertainment

SUNSET HEIGHTS – TEXAS TEA

One band that Sunset Heights often found itself compared to in the late ’90s was the Black Crowes, and that isn’t a bad comparison. Like the Crowes, Sunset favors earthy, gritty roots-rock, and also like the Crowes, they come across as a rock band with a healthy appreciation of the blues, as well as the great soul and funk of the ’60s and early ’70s. None of the songs on this self-titled CD actually have a 12-bar blues structure, but you can’t miss the tremendous amount of blues feeling the Houston band brings to melodic, down-home offerings like “Did I Let You Down,” “Tangerine” (not the Led Zeppelin classic or the Jimmy Dorsey swing-era hit), “Medicine Hat,” and “Memory Lane.” Nor can you miss the soul elements Sunset brings to its guitar-powered rock & roll, which often gives the impression that its members are quite hip to the classic recordings of Ike & Tina Turner, Rare Earth, and Sly & the Family Stone. This album isn’t innovative, but it’s honest and often quite enjoyable.

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Texas rockers Sunset Heights formed in May 1991, taking their name from the Houston area suburb which the band called home. Debuting a year later with Eclipse of the Sun, in 1993 the group was named “Best New Act” in the Houston Press Music Awards; in1994, the Sunset Heights launched their first national release, Texas Tea, returning the following year with Born in Houston–Live. After resurfacing in 1996 with S.N.A.F.U., the group — now consisting of singers/guitarist Jackie Hibbard and Jorge Castillo, bassistJason “Big Daddy” Youngblood and drummer Rick Hall – issued 1998′s Medicine Hat; a self-titled LP appeared a year later. -AllMusic

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