Webb Wilder And The Beatnecks review….April 29, 2018

WEBB WILDER AND THE BEATNECKS

POWERFUL STUFF!

PREVIOUSLY-UNRELEASED RECORDINGS 1985-1993

LANDSLIDE RECORDS  LDCD-1044

MAKE THAT MOVE–NEW DAY–NO GREAT SHAKES–LOST IN THE SHUFFLE–POWERFUL STUFF–AIN’T THAT A LOT OF LOVE–I’M WILD ABOUT YOU BABY–ANIMAL LOVER–NUTBUSH CITY LIMITS–HIGH ROLLIN’–CATBIRD SEAT–HEY MAE–REVENOOR MAN–IS THIS ALL THERE IS–DEAD AND STARTING TO COOL–LUCILLE

For the uninitiated, Webb Wilder And The Beatnecks have always prided themselves on playing “all four kinds of music–ROCK and ROLL, COUNTRY and WESTERN!”  That sly humor and over-the-top guitar stylings coupled with a baritone to die for has served Webb well since his Landslide Records debut, “It Came From Nashville!” in 1986.  32 years down the pike, Webb has just released “Powerful Stuff!,” sixteen heretofore-unreleased recordings that have that unmistakable Wilder-ian mix of roots, rock, blues, and British Invasion stuff, evenly split between originals and covers.  Several of the live tracks were from an Exit/In show on Mark Pucci’s birthday, March 14, 1986 (and one day before mine!).

The original lineup of the Beatnecks from this time frame was legendary.  Webb is on vocals and guitar, Donny “The Twangler” Roberts is on guitar, Denny “Cletus” Blakely is on bass, and Jimmy Lester is the drummer.  Nashville sax icon Jim Hoke is on two cuts, Al Kooper appears on keys on one cut, as does Willie Weeks on bass.  Produced by R. S. Field, the set opens with the stone twang-fest that is “Make That Move.” A bit later, Jim Hoke is on sax and Gary Gazaway is on trumpet, joined by Al Kooper on organ for a story of a woman of questionable moral fiber, and finds our hero “put back in the pack, just another joker at the bottom of the stack,” “Lost In The Shuffle again!”

Ol’ Webb has always enjoyed covering sometimes-obscure gems from blues and R & B players.  Check out his take on Homer Banks’ “Ain’t That A Lot Of Love,” as well as a shout-out to Anna Mae Bullock with an amped-up-even-more-than-the-original “Nutbush City Limits.”  He closes the set with another frenetically-paced cover of Little Richard’s “Lucille,” swamp-a-delically recorded live at the Exit/In.

We had two favorites, too.  Bobby Field, Wally Wilson and Mike Henderson collaborated on the title cut, instantly-recognizable as the monster hit for Kim Wilson and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, presented here in a live setting from Charleston, WV, on the Mountain Stage.  And, Bobby Field wrote a poignant story of a love affair in its “final scene,”  that is most definitely “Dead And Starting To Cool.”

Ok, all you full-grown men and boarding-house reachers out there in music land—Webb Wilder And The Beatnecks have just unloaded a load of TNT from Tennessee, sho’ nuff some “Powerful Stuff!”  As always, Work hard, Rock hard, Eat hard, Sleep hard, grow big, and wear glasses if ya need ’em!      Peace…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

 

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