One-time go-to gun for hire Jeff Plankenhorn has played guitar and lap slide for everyone from Joe Ely and Reckless Kelly to Hayes Carll and Kelly Willis. But as of recently he’s walked back into the center of the spotlight with his own records. Sleeping Dogs, his latest, shows why he was so in demand in his adopted home of Austin.
Across 11 tracks, Plankenhorn deftly churns out some of the most satisfying rock/Americana being played today. Starting with the opening, title track, he lays out an infectious hook-heavy jam that serves as a warning shot for the bulk of the songs to come. Elsewhere, he puts down a breezy, mellow vibe on tracks like “Love Is Love” and “Tooth and Nail,” featuring Ray Wylie Hubbard on guest vocals. Plankenhorn also brings in Patty Griffin to help on the fantastic “Holy Lightening”.
The only real surprise here is that Plankenhorn has stayed away from the mic for so long. Austin may have lost a reliable sideman, but the rest of us have gained a solid new musical voice.
Jeff Plankenhorn – Sleeping Dogs/11 tracks/Spike Steel Records/2018