Ted Hefko & the Thousandaires
Gas Station Guru
I have a great respect for the gigging musicians who know they’ll probably always be on the beer and barbeque circuit. The music is something that they have to just get out of their system. The really live for sharing their songs with a few hundred people at a time, some of them will even get what they’re up to. Ted Hefko is one of those guys. He and his band mates are Thousandaires, but that’s cool with them.
The first two tracks on Gas Station Guru make me think of the bands playing the bars on Bourbon Street and the other touristy parts of New Orleans. “Ain’t Gonna Give You None of My Jellyroll” is a jazz standard and Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans” is the sort of tune folks would expect to hear in the Big Easy. They almost put me off, but a few plays and I was reminded why “City of New Orleans” is such a great story.
Ted comes into his own when he starts telling his own stories. “The Next Train” is a poignant outsider ballad. The tune has a bit of a Cajun lilt and tells about someone bumming around New Orleans, who should probably get out of town. New Orleans is filled with folks who came to the Big Easy chasing a dream that just isn’t there. In contrast, The Roofer is a story about a workingman from the Ninth Ward who follows work out of town and dreams of coming home.
Gas Station Guru is a good collection of songs by journeyman musicians. They tell stories about other aspiring thousandaires doing the best they can and that’s enough.