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Monday, November 9, 2015

"Perfect For Parties, Vol. 3" (Rhythm Bomb Records)

How to spend Friday night at home without really staying home?

After throwing this onto his disc player, he fell into an over-stuffed chair and took a healthy pull on his whiskey. Easing back, he closed his eyes...

The dim club was bursting with action. Couples whirled everywhere. Rockin' and jumpin' sounds blared all around. His jet pomp towered. His razor-shave was impeccable. An iridescent, navy blue sharkskin suit, set off by skinny black tie and pointy-toed two-tones, marked him as the classiest act in the dim club. He arched an eyebrow, ordered a swinging cocktail, and crooked a finger. In a flash, a leggy and bouffanted blonde was all over him.

He shifted in the chair, feeling good, as the music rolled on...  

Recommended "Roots Man" (Levi Dexter), "When I'm Gone" (Nico Duportal & His Rhythm Dudes), "Mad and Blue" (Roy Kay Trio), "Demons Mess You Up" (Hank's Jalopy), "Mary Lou" (Rusty Pinto) "Lotsa Rhythm" (Gone Hepsville)

VIDEO "Roots Man" Levi Dexter (live)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Jimmy and the Mustangs
"Another Round" (self)

This is much more than only an undersung name from the neo-rockabilly early '80s ("Justine") rising anew, though that alone would be remarkable. The rollicking hijinx and rock'n'roll history command that made earlier waxings estimable breathes and jumps, still. Infectious, animated, and possessed of particular muscularity. 

Recommended "Cherry Bomb,"  "Ready Set Go!,"  "Long Black Train,"  "I Won't Cry For You," "Roll the Dice"

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bottle Rockets
"South Broadway Athletic Club" (Bloodshot)
The Yawpers
"American Man" (Bloodshot)

Bloodshot is a quintessentially American label, an ocean-deep, mile-wide source of real sounds from real people. And these new label releases are exactly in that laudable company.

The Bottle Rockets' unerring pop sensibilities are sifted through woodgrain everyman experiential perspectives; the unpretentious, guitar-heavy interpretations articulate at once familiar and magnetic musings.

The group has a long and enviable record of hefting high the torch of American music. And countless midnights on innumerable stages have culminated in a product too authentic and vivid for indifference. 

The Yawpers similarly give ample space to driven guitars. This fire rages furiously against the burn line; wise judiciousness gives it glorious freedom while scientifically minding the craft marker.

It's as true today as ever: All it takes to make music that matters is honesty, heart, and the will to shout.

Bottle Rockets:

Recommended "Monday (Everytime I Turn Around." "Building Chryslers." "I Don't Wanna Know." "Dog," "Big Fat Nuthin'," "XOYOU"

Video: "I Don't Wanna Know" (live)


Recommended "Deacon Brody," "Beale Street," "Doing It Right." "Burdens," "The Desert," "Walter"

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sixteen and the Sidewinders
"Full Moon Baby" (Lanark)

Real rockabilly never cared about anything but fun -- not what polite society might accept, not what reigning musical dictums enshrined. And that artless indifference to extraneous phenomena was and remains the mongrel genre's chief attribute. 

Its sneering, twangy, jackknife slouch and uncalculated integration of cultural influences made it both recklessly taboo and head-for-hardwood commanding.

Sixteen and the Sidewinders fuse all appropriate combustible elements into some of 2016's finest rockabilly. It's obstreperous, grabs hold, and does not turn listeners loose.

Of course, none would request release.

Gas House Gorillas
"Shut Up!" (Stoopid Brute Records)

Rick Fink and co. have always succeeded at translating their boundless live-show exuberance to studio waxings. So the hand-clapping/foot-stomping audio acrobatics here come as no surprise (though they are wonderfully welcome). The band's inimitable, punk-fuelled swingin'-for-the-bleachers jump-blues/jazzy/billy rages grinningly.

As someone once said, "You gotta get hot, to play real cool!" Solid, Jackson.

Recommended "Party On the Second Floor," "Chase the Moon," "Low," "Come Back Baby (It's Christmas After All)," "Cookin' With Gas," "In a Different Life"

Eddie Angel
"Devil or Angel" (Lanark)

Down shift for anguished heart rumination. Eddie's magic touch is as powerful here as on any rave up. The globally-renowned veteran of Los Straitjackets, the Planet Rockers, and stints backing Ronnie Dawson, Robert Gordon, and other stars revisits a Bobby Vee classic, reinterpreting it as a marvelously poignant and articulate instrumental. Imagine walking in the sand along a placid, moonlit Pacific...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Danny B. Harvey - "Down In Texas" (Lanark Records)
(Lanark digital-only single)

DBH is simply one of the most amazing rootsy fret-men now prowling. This original, nitro-gassed instrumental allows him all room needed to work out jaw-dropping flashes, acrobatic runs, bent-treble navigations, and tempestuous expostulations. To the rhythm born, and with a flair all his own.

Video: Guitar Player magazine 2007 Guitar Hero competition