High-octane rockers Jackyl have just released When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide (Mighty Loud Records), 12 tracks of riff-heavy, irreverent rock n’ roll. The band is best known for “The Lumberjack,” which proved that a chainsaw could actually be used as a musical instrument. Icon Fetch talks with lead singer Jesse James Dupree about the new CD, tour and filming the Full Throttle Saloon reality show for TruTV during Bike Week at Sturgis. Plus, he tells us about when things go wrong with his chainsaw on stage. Visit Jackyl’s official site for more info, www.jackyl.com. Click below for the Jesse Dupree Jackyl interview.
Earlier this week, I talked with Peter Case, a great solo artist, who also was a member of the seminal bands the Nerves and the Plimsouls. The next day, I rocked it up with Jesse James Dupree of Jackyl, who also have a new CD out. I’ve got interviews set for next week with Sam Cutler, the Stones road manager during the Altamont free concert debacle; and Peter Parcek, a great blues guitarist. Keep it locked on Icon Fetch!
AC/DC – Iron Man 2 Soundtrack (Columbia) – CD review –
AC/DC has long had an aversion to doing a “Greatest Hits” album. That stance has paid off in the continued success of their albums Back in Black and Highway to Hell. They have, however, allowed soundtracks to be created entirely made up of their music. The first one, Who Made Who, came out in 1986 as the soundtrack to the Stephen King flop Maximum Overdrive.
That collection seemed to have no rhyme or reason, and only contained eight tracks. The Iron Man 2 Soundtrack is completely different. This is AC/DC at their balls-out, fist-pumping best. Of the 15 songs, eight are from Brian Johnson and seven from original leader Bon Scott. The one omitted song that prevents this from being a “hits” package is of course, “You Shook Me All Night Long,” the song that even grandma will get up and dance to. But, that slice of pop-metal would sound out of place here.
Also missing are any of the joke songs like “The Jack” or “Big Balls.” This is serious rock n’ roll fun. Incidentally, it makes a great driving album. Oh, and it works as a soundtrack too. One final note: for fans looking to buy as little AC/DC as possible, if you pick up this collection AND Who Made Who, there is no overlap between the two and you’ve got yourself just about every essential AC/DC track. — Tony Peters
I helped host a special two-hour program on blogtalkradio called “Michael Jackson Remembered,” on the one-year anniversary of his death. I talked to Tommy James about his thoughts on Michael as a performer. Also on my segment is Dennis Coffey, a guitarist who played on many of the Motown hits of the early 70’s. My segment is about 40 minutes into the program.
For ten years, various record companies tried to put Shelby Lynne into some kind of category so they could market her to the masses, failing miserably in the process. The fact is, Lynne’s music defies categorization; there’s country, soul, rock and folk in most of what she does. To remedy this problem, she’s formed her own label, Everso Records, finally giving herself the freedom she has so badly wanted for years. Her new album, Tears, Lies & Alibis, is her first self-released disc, and it’s a more stripped-down affair, with Lynne’s guitar work at the forefront.
There are clues that a major label was forbidden to touch these tracks. Take for instance the fine “Why Didn’t You Call Me,” which clocks in at a mere 1:40. Certainly a corporate exec would’ve had her write another verse, and repeat the chorus several times, just to make it a more palatable 3:00. But, that’s just it, the song sounds fine in its brief form. Or “Something to Be Said About Airstreams,” which comes off more like a phrase someone would utter, rather than a song. “Alibi” is utterly beautiful; a flanged-out guitar adds a simple accompaniment to her sultry delivery of unfaithful love. In someone else’s hands, this would be a tear-jerker, but with Lynne, it’s self-affirming and matter-of-fact. “I guess I’ll have to meet / Your alibi.” Another in a long line of great ones from Shelby Lynne. — Tony Peters
Peter Case was the leader of the Plimsouls who had an early eighties near-hit with “A Million Miles Away.” He left for an eclectic solo career in 1986 that’s garnered him critical acclaim and three Grammy nominations. Now Peter returns with a new disc called “Wig!” He talks with Icon Fetch about having to have emergency heart surgery and the effect that it had on his life and his music. Plus the subsequent comeback shows that led to the recording of his new material. Click below for the Peter Case interview.
Elvin Bishop – Red Dog Speaks (Delta Groove) – CD review –
Elvin Bishop has been making music for almost 50 years, and his latest CD, Red Dog Speaks, is a reflection of the twists and turns he’s taken throughout his career. The title refers to Elvin’s vintage Gibson guitar, which has become his axe of choice. Some tracks on the disc are sung by him, others by John Nemeth (the best of which, “Neighbor, Neighbor,” is a blistering cover of an old Jimmy Hughes song).
While Bishop has never been much of a singer, he does make the best of it by turning his songs into conversations, as in “Fat & Sassy,” where he bemoans a trip to the doctor, where he’s told all the things he can no longer eat; or “Clean Livin,’” where he wonders how he “ever got this old / It sure wasn’t clean livin.” There are several tasty instrumentals, including the “Doo Wop Medley” which melds “In the Still of the Night” with “Maybe,” two Fifties classics that let Bishop’s slide work really shine.
There’s also “Blues Cruise,” which was actually recorded on the boat of the same name, featuring many of the other musicians who were part of the trip. The real surprise is that despite the album’s hodge podge of styles, nothing comes off as a stretch; it all works. This dog might be old, but he’s still capable of surprises like this one. — Tony Peters
Gary Wright – Connected (Larkio Music) – CD Review –
It’s good to hear Gary’s voice again. This is his first rock-oriented album in 20 years. Over that time, he put out albums delving into world music and other experiments. The leadoff track, “Satisfied,” has a pulsating rhythm and a gospel choir chorus. Wright’s soulful rasp still has that familiar resonance.
Not surprisingly, Connected is a mostly keyboard-driven affair, with guests Ringo Starr on drums, and Joe Walsh & Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitars sprinkled in for good measure. The disc is full of hooks and catchy choruses. Perhaps it’s the kind of keyboards that he uses or maybe that some of these tracks have been lying around for awhile, but this disc has a decidedly 1980’s feel to it. This certainly isn’t a bad thing; I would rather Gary sound comfortable in some sound from the past than update his style and fall flat. If you purchase the disc through www.thedreamweaver.com there are several bonus tracks featuring the late George Harrison as well. — Tony Peters
Shelby Lynne won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2001 after being in the music business for more than ten years. Shelby has followed wherever her muse has taken her: elements of country, soul, folk, and rock have all been blended into her music. Because she’s difficult to categorize, she’s had a hard time with record companies. Her latest CD “Tears, Lies & Alibis” remedies the situation by coming out on her own Everso Records label. All ten songs on the disc were written, sung, and produced by Shelby, with help from notable session folks like Spooner Oldham. Icon Fetch talks with Shelby about her new CD, record label and the benefits of having a home studio. Click below for the Shelby Lynne interview.