Georgia’s Horse – The Mammoth Sessions

January 01, 1970



There’s a difference between Southern and Texan. Both can be
distinctively laidback or excitable, with a penchant for making useful music
from scraps of whatever’s around-gospel, country, shape-note singing, blues,
jazz, rockabilly, what have you. But the further west you go, the more things
are left up to chance and ambience, as if the deserts past Abilene yield more atmosphere than melody.


Based in Houston, Georgia’s Horse sound like they hail from that
flat, arid country of even further western Texas, and their music reflects not only the
landscape but the hardscrabble culture it has created. Their full-length debut,
The Mammoth Sessions, is full of dark
foreboding: gothic but never aggressively so, with traces of old-time C&W
and dusty folk rock. Their songs are as carefully orchestrated as fellow Lone
Star natives the Theater Fire, as dramatic as Explosions in the Sky, as
cinematic as labelmates Puerto Muerto, but songs like “TZSOTVOASB” and “Ezrulie
Dantor” nod toward songwriters like Cindy Walker and Townes Van Zandt.


“Shepherd” opens as a gospel dirge, repeating the title like
an incarnation, the notes muggy like heat waves. “Mammoth” pairs Teresa
Maldonado’s curious vocals with a lone guitar, creating a high lonesome sound,
before bursting forth in Technicolor strings and drums. The band fill out these
stark songs with trembling guitars, quivering strings, lurching bass, and
rattletrap clamor  that all sounds like a
lost soundtrack to The Texas Chainsaw
but as gothic as Georgia’s Horse may be, Maldonado sings more
like a siren than a scold. She shoots for Patsy Cline, and even if she falls
well short of that aim (as most singers do), she’s nevertheless an intriguing
and mysterious presence on The Mammoth
imbuing these dark-hearted songs with a menacing spirit.


Standout Tracks: “Shepherd,”


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