Band members Related acts
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- Danny Ezba -- vocals (RIP 2002)
- Denny Exba and the B.F.B.A.
- Denny Ezba and His Fabulous Goldens
- Denny Ezba and the Gold
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Green Grass of Home
Company: Crazy Cajun
Country/State: San Antonio, Texas
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Catalog ID: 30993
Denny Ezba is an interesting character. His discography is surprisingly lengthy, though much of his early work had a country-twinge. Stretching back to 1961, he made a name for himself touring heavily throughout Texas. He also managed to release nearly two dozen 45s and several compilation LPs. Several did well on regional charts, including 1961's 'Mary Diane' and 'Wear My Ring'. Virtually all of his recordings were on small regional labels, including the San Antonio based Renner, Huey P. Meaux's Tear Drop, Abe Epstein's Jox and Meaux's Crazy Cajun.
1978's 'The Green Grass of Home" was the first of two tax scam album's for Meaux's Crazy Cajun imprint. Produced by Meaux, the album featured a truly strange and eclectic mixture of musical genres ranging from Roy Orbison styled ballads ('Just You and me') to blazing Sir Douglas styled garage rockers ('Dimples). Add in detours for funk (a cover of Sly Stone's 'Everyday People', a Hendrix styled studio jam ('Abze Ynned Blues') and a standard Dylan cover ('Just Like a Woman') and you had one bizarre collection. Curiously, many of these ten tracks were remakes of material Ezba had previously recorded with Denny Ezba and His Fabulous Goldens and Denny Ezba and The Gold. The album was also interesting for the songwriting credits which were either absent, or erroneously credited songs to Ezba - John Lee Hookers 'Dimples' and Willie Dixon's 'Back Door Man'. It certainly wasn't an album folks were going to want to hear on a regular basis, but there was no doubt Ezba had his share of talent and it was definitely weird ...
Grass of Home" track listing:
1.) Everyday People (Sly Stone) - 2:54 rating; **** stars
Admittedly, I expected this to be a complete aural disaster ... His cover of Sly Stone's 'Everyday People' wasn't fantastic, but there was something endearing in the performance. Musically it didn't stray too far from Sly's original, but the song had two things going for it - 1.) Ezba's weird, quivery voice which sounded like he was going to run out of oxygen at any minute, and 2.) a pair of blazing fuzz guitar solos. Easy to imagine Ezba and company playing this for a befuddled crowd of American Legionaires ....
2.) Back Door Man (Gary Armistead - Ron Backer - Preston Buchanan) - 2:46 rating: **** stars
I'm a pushover for fuzz guitar so Ezba's cover of 'Back Door Man' instantly won me over. I always thought Willie Dixon wrote the tune ... Not sure, but I think this was a remake of a track Ezba recorded with The Fabulous Goldens:
- 1968's 'Back Door Man' b/w 'Susie Buffalo' (Jox catalog number 068)
3.) Just You and Me (Augie Meyers) 2:40 rating: ** stars
The ballad 'Just You and Me' sounded like an early-'60s Roy Orbison tune. Fragile and echo laden the remake has not aged very well. It was also another remake - in this case the the tune was original released as the "B" side on a 1964 single: 'Nobody but You' b/w 'Just You and Me' (Renner catalog number RR 246).
4.) Dimples (Denny Ezba) - 2:25 rating: **** stars
Powered by some sizzling fuzz guitar, 'Dimples' was an awesome garage rocker and one of the album highlights. Mind you, I thought this was a John Lee Hooker composition. It was also another previously released performance, having served as the "B" side on 1968's 'Santa Fe' b/w 'Dimples' Dome catalog number D-1238
5.) Honest I Do - 3:00 rating: *** stars
Standard country-blues tune ... professional, if bland and forgettable. The main points of interest were Ezba's double tracked lead vocal and a nice jangle rock guitar solo.
'I Want To Love You' was a decent garage rocker with a needless MOR arrangement slapped on top of it. It was fascinating hearing Ezba reaching for the high notes. It was also another remake of a previously released single. In this case the main change seemed to be replacing a surf guitar with a fuzz guitar effect.
- 1967's 'I Want To Love You' b/w 'Cleo's Back' (Jox catalog number JO-064)
2.) Green Grass of Home - 3:13 rating: ** stars
The title track was a cover of the Claude Putman Jr. chestnut. Another Roy Orbison-styled ballad. Always wondered why there was no writing credit on this one.
3.) Just Like a Woman (Bob Dylan) - 3:39 rating: *** stars
So why not do a Dylan cover? Certainly not the most impressive version you've ever heard, but far from the worst. Wonder if the backing organ was Augie Meyers ...
4.) Abze Ynned Blues (instrumental) (Denny Ezba) - 4:06 rating: **** stars
The album's lone instrumental and perhaps my favorite performance, 'Abze Ynned Blues' sported the album's best fuzz guitar work, as well as some driving bass work. It really wasn't a blues number, rather sounded like a Hendrix-styled in-studio jam session that someone captured on tape. There was even a drum solo ...
5.) Revenge (Denny Ezba) - rating: **** stars
It sounded like it had been recorded in a telephone booth, but the Ezba original 'Revenge' was interesting for it's dark and ominous edge. The man sounded like he was on the edge ... You probably didn't want to piss him off.
After dropping out of music, Eba turned to teaching, including math and science classes in elementary school and local colleges. He died in January 2002.
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