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Jul 27, 2016







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Blackfoot, Southern Native (Loud & Proud Records) 

Rejoice, all ye whose 1/16 Native American ancestry gives you every right to distrust us 1/128-purebred Mongols and Transylvanians, Blackfoot is back, meaning founder Rickey Medlocke is on vacation from playing second-banana guitar for Lynyrd Skynyrd, the curse that’s plagued/made his career. And if there’s one tradition that’s held up, it’s the band’s Chaplinesque revolving-door roster — nowadays the details on personnel leaving and joining the band takes up two full Wikipedia windows, with frontman Medlocke (part Sioux, it’s claimed) remaining the sole constant. Yep, it’s the Spinal Tap of southern rock, and I wish they’d get a sense of humor about it. Oh, I’m not saying Medlocke’s axe doesn’t kick ass; their first LP in 22 years reveals some blazing lead guitar runs (he’s particularly awesome on album-opener “Need My Ride” and the title track), and yeah, I’d gladly buy a drink for whoever painted the skull in the headdress on the cover. But rock stars — especially ones this freaking old — need to cough up some self-referential comedy in our Jimmy Kimmel world. Instead of that, we get a song about a hot “boogie-woogie” chick in a red dress (“Love This Town”). Like Trautman said to Rambo in First Blood, it’s over, Rickey! It’s over! B-Eric W. Saeger





Jeff Beck, Loud Hailer (Rhino Records)
CD Reviews: July 21, 2016

07/21/16



 Jeff Beck, Loud Hailer (Rhino Records)

If you’re a dedicated 1970s-rock nerd or have ever been in a band, you thought of Guitar World magazine the instant you saw the name Jeff Beck above. Allergic reactions take place in non-guitarists in particular, conjuring nightmare visions of boring articles on effects pedals, pre-amps and all that other guitar-wonk junk, which, no matter how cleverly written, usually don’t actually mean anything to listeners. Anyway, turns out Beck himself is sick of being associated with that stuff, and, gosh darn it, he’s also sick of reality TV and the military/corporate/propaganda Matrix, thus this “statement” album, as much the breakthrough LP for London chick band Bones (the singer and guitarist helped write most of the material and are featured on every track) as a (polite) bird-flip to effects-pedal geeks. I approve of all that, certainly, and even though these murky, 12-bar-blues exercises might be construed as another way of saying “Dead Weather,” it’s more primordial than that, and cripes sakes, it’s Jeff Beck noodling around on these things, kicking so much butt that the butts beg for mercy. Nothing’s about to change, mind you — most likely a Beck Guitar Player cover is being photoshopped as we speak, and the Matrix is mopping up the last of the rebel forces — but this sure is a nice, grungy, filthy little ride. A — Eric W. Saeger





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