Webb Wilder review…September 25, 2015….

WEBB WILDER

MISSISSIPPI MODERNE

LANDSLIDE RECORDS  LDCD-1043

STONES IN MY PATHWAY(INTRO)–ROUGH AND TUMBLE GUY–IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT–ONLY A FOOL–I GOTTA MOVE–TOO MUCH SUGAR FOR A NICKEL–LONELY BLUE BOY–YARD DOG–I’M NOT JUST ANYBODY’S FOOL–IT TAKES TIME–LUCY MAE BLUES–WHO WILL THE NEXT FOOL BE?–I’M GONNA GET MY BABY–STONES IN MY PATHWAY

He burst on the scene way back in 1986, with an appropriately-titled debut, “It Came From Nashville!”  He cut a larger-than-life figure, with a blazing guitar and a booming baritone vocal to match.  Yep–he’s Webb Wilder, The Last Of The Full-Grown Men, who’s urged us for nearly thirty years to “Work Hard, Rock Hard, Eat Hard, Sleep Hard, Grow Big, And Wear Glasses If You Need ‘Em!”  His latest album reunites him with the Landslide label, and is “Mississippi Moderne.”  Webb mixes clever originals with waaay-too-cool-for-school covers that recall blues, British-Invasion rock, and even garage-rock psychedelia.  The “usual suspects,” most of whom have been with Webb since the beginning, are along for this ride.  Tom Comet is on bass, Jimmy Lester is on drums, and the guitar triumvirate of George Bradfute, Bob Williams, and Joe V. McMahan all back Webb throughout.

Webb learned some sage advice from his mama–if something is too good to be true, then it’s “Too Much Sugar For A Nickel,” so “cut off the deal if you feel that it ain’t sweet enough for you!”  “Only A Fool” features Bob on electric sitar, and Webb touches on his passion for Sixties Brit-rock with cuts such as “Gotta Move” and “Yard Dog.” Rockabilly gems such as Charlie Rich’s “Who Will The Next Fool Be” and Harold Jenkins’ “Lonely Blue Boy,” long a staple of Webb’s live shows, make their debut on CD herein.

Webb digs some blues, too.  Heck–his aunt Lillian McMurtry ran Trumpet Records for years, cutting sides for well-knowns such as Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) and the not-so-well-knowns such as Willie Love.  His blues cuts thus served as our favorites.  The set starts and ends with a brooding “Stones In My Pathway,” turning from Robert Johnson-inspired Delta blues into a full-blown sermon from Webb at its end!  And, “I’m Gonna Get My Baby” has that good ole Jimmy Reed beat, ’cause all the cool kids already know that Jimmy Reed is the King of rock and roll!

Webb lays out his whole way of looking at life and music in the first two cuts.  On “Rough And Tumble Guy” he vows “I’ll be rockin’ til’ the day I die,” and then exhorts “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!”  Sage words to live by from a man well-versed in all four types of music–country AND western, and rock AND roll!  Webb’s one of our favorite artists ever, and “Mississippi Moderne” continues his great legacy!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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