Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Freddie Steady 5 "Live From Sugarhill Studios”

(Guest Review by Gentleman John Battles) (Steady Boy Records) On his latest effort, Freddie Steady Krc proves he can not only play the guitar as well the drums, but he can also play the room. Not just any room, either. Houston's Sugar Hill Studio gave birth to The Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace,” Roy Head's "Treat Her Right,” The Sir Douglas Quintet's "She's About a Mover,”  and many other true classics of Rock n’ Roll, Country, Blues, you name it. Freddie saw The Sir Douglas Quintet when he was 10, and, from there, his destiny was sealed. It had to be something of a spiritual pilgrimage to go back to the very beginnings of so much of the music that he loves, that you love, and that I love.  Krc wasn’t about to mess up a good thing. There are no overdubs, no digital equipment, no computers used, nor animals abused in the making of this recording. Just a live Rock n’ Roll party.  In Mono !!! There was even a Go-Go dancer on the premises, I'm told, but  you can't see her on a CD. Or, can you?  Joined by his bandmates in The Explosives, guitarist Cam King, and bassist Chris Johnson, with Will Ivy on Keyboards and Eric C Hughes filling in Krc's usual place on the drums, the band is a living, breathing force to be reckoned with, just like the room they're recording in. The opener, Pat and Lolly Vega's "Niki Hoeky" is chock fulla swamp hokum, which Krc carries off without a trace of irony. It, like most of these songs, has enough macho bravado to do the barometer of all such THANGS, Roy Head, proud (here's the thing that would be the prize: Get The Explosives to back Roy for a FULL SET at next years' Ponderosa Stomp). Krc also revisits The Explosives' calling card "A Girl Like You" (which, like "Shake Some Action,” still sounds like it should have been, or WAS, a hit). "What's So Hard About Love" (yeah, really) gets the full SDQ treatment, and a decidedly mas macho reading of The Beatles' "No Reply" goes into new terrain altogether. The Novelty-Hard Blues of "I'm an Armadillo" evokes the tenacity of the Texas State truck stop. No, I don't mean a place where Truckers stop for food and gas, I mean the damn things are always getting stopped, DEAD, in their tracks, by trucks. In a new version of the fairly recent homage to "Cavestomp 2001,”  The Downliners Sect  (with whom Krc is now activating Wonder Sextuplet Powers. Watch this space), Electric Prunes, Creation, Mark Lindsay, The Professor and Mary Ann, are still name checked (though Freddie didn’t mention that's where he met me. Oh, well), but is it possible, this version has more pure punk energy than the original? Bet your ass. All told, this is a pretty swingin' session, recommended for longtime Krczsters, and as a good place to get started if you just got to the party.  There's lots more where that came from, with the usual suspects, and then some. But you'll be hearing more about THAT, soon enuff.

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