Today on Blogcritics
Home » Devils & Dust

Devils & Dust

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

A review of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Devils and Dust’ without having heard a single note!

2005 brings us a new Springsteen record for a new time. This isn’t the Bruce that rocks the stadiums with bombast and righteousness. This isn’t Bruce with a 27 piece ‘E Street Band’. This is a somber and reflective Springsteen. He reminds us gently on this record that he still is America’s greatest rock talent, but without all the whizz bang we have come to expect.

The disc starts off with a plaintive ballad that gently sets the tone for the rest of the record. This isn’t the creepy desperate resignation of ‘Nebraska’, but you sure know it’s the same old soul in there. The record picks up on occasion, and doesn’t sound entirely like a suicide note. It tells us that even the Boss needs some time off for reflection.

Having toured the world about 19 times over on the Rising, Bruce opted the quieter road. He is touring this spring behind the album in very intimate settings. So no, you won’t be seeing him. Those tickets went entirely to scalpers within 4 minutes of each onsale for every city. However, the Boss can’t be blamed. Remember that he is the one who sells not a single front row seat to his shows. Never. He holds those and his staff hand them out to the folks with the worst seats in the house for every show.

I was at one of those shows in Denver about 6 years ago. I knew about the front row legend and watched. You could tell that those were folks who couldn’t afford a $300 ticket. To their credit though, every last one of them knew every word to every song. That is how, and why, the Boss takes care of his fans.

An excellent bonus feature is that this disc is the first new big release of the new “Dual Disc” format. This is your regular CD on one side, and DVD features on the other. For the DVD fixin’s, Devils comes with live acoustic performances of five of the discs tracks, along with lyrics, and the whole album remastered to 5.1 surround sound.

Powered by

About Lono

  • SFC Ski

    I saw Springseen on VH1’s “Storytellers” the other night, and it made me appreciate his later work more, almost as much as I like the pre “Born in the USA” songs.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I like that you throw in a Tom Waits album at the end there, showing that you’re aware of what the new Springsteen aspires to be and can never really achieve.

    Dave

  • SFC SKI

    Considering “Nebraska” came out 20 years ago, you can hardly claim Bruce is now trying to be Tom Waits.

  • Shark

    Thanks, DaveNalle. I don’t need any more explicit evidence that you’re a fucking arrogant idiot with no taste; you’ve provided it here:

    Nalle: “…you’re aware of what the new Springsteen aspires to be and can never really achieve.”

    Thanks again, Davey!

    xxoo
    S

  • http://avalon_landing.blogspot.com Cass

    I was one of those people who got a front row seat back during the “Ghost of Tom Joad” tour. (My hub and I had nosebleed seats in a small theatre venue!) I had no idea that he did that for all his concerts. And it was awesome, and I knew the words to every song, and it will rank as one of the best things I ever got to do in my life. :)

  • ClubhouseCancer

    I find it utterly amazing that Bruce is being given a pass on releasing a “new” album of ten-year-old outtakes from the awful “Tom Joad” sessions, augmented with some synthesizers. Some reviewers fail to even mention this. We’ve been waiting for another Nebraska, and we get some warmed over table scraps?

    I grew up worshipping Bruce, but his last 20 years of work are just frustratingly bad.

    His legendary live shows are still incredible, but now its like that Simpsons scene:

    Aging front man: Now we’re gonna play a song….
    Crowd: (Whooooo!!! Yayyyyyy!!!)
    Front man:… From our new album!
    Crowd: (Awwwwww… murmur, murmur…)

    The Village Voice review of D&D was hilarious, I thought. The writer quoted some lyrics about “blind man waving on the side of the road/at a broken down flatbed Ford” or something, and wondered if the Boss was using some kind of Internet Random Bruce Springsteen Song Lyrics Generator.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    Here’s some words for the Internet Bruce Springsteen Random Song Lyric Generator (IBSRSLG):

    Chevy
    little girl
    faith
    Ford
    county line
    union card
    hopes
    Buick
    little baby
    pickup
    Mary
    dark road
    dark sun
    dark car
    night
    working
    highway
    promised land
    bar
    redemption

    More suggestions?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Snark, you moron, I’ve seen Springsteen 7 times in my life. Each successive album since Nebraska has been worse than the one before. Have you LISTENED to Devils and Dust? It’s like a Bruce Springsteen parody album. If you actually like his work, as I do, you should join me in lamenting the decline of a once-great talent.

    Tom Waits on the other hand, just keeps getting better.

    Dave

  • http://www.thebeautifullull.com Tom Johnson

    Beware the DualDisc. If you don’t mind paying for something that has a high likelihood of not playing everywhere and anywhere you choose, take your chances and buy it. If you actually care about your money, avoid DualDisc at all costs.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    yea, i’ve listened to Devils and Dust…just last night as a matter of fact.

    it’s great.

    my review will be posted shortly, which you can piss all over in your usual fashion if you’d like.

  • HW Saxton

    A couple more suggestions for the lyric
    generator if I may:
    >summer
    >rain
    >barefoot
    >time clock
    >t-shirt
    >beer
    >boardwalk
    >promise
    >radio
    >baby
    >memories
    >dark night
    >baseball
    >antidisestablishmentarianism

  • Vern Halen

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t: if Springsteen kept crankin’ out the rock ‘n rolly stuff from the late 70’s early 80’s, people would say he was stuck on a formula. If he tried to change things, other would mourn for the good ol’ days. There’s even some detractors that would say he does both at the same time (?!?).

    But is it rock and roll? Better yet, was Springsteen ever only a rock ‘n’ roller? I believe he was signed on the strength of his acoustic material, so he has credentials for doing singer / songwriter stuff.

    I think more than anything, Springsteen’s last 20 years of recorded output, which some people don’t care for, have become not about Springteen & his artistry, but more about the audience’s reaction to their aging idol. I read a quote somewhere that went something like, “People who still listen to rock when they’re older aren’t trying to preserve their youth – they’re trying to preserve their rebellion.”

    I guess it depends how well Bruce’s new material feed into one’s sense of rebellion – is this the joyful noise of a man born to run or just another corporate edict from the boss?

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    if you read what he says about the characters he writes about, it’s pretty obvious his concerns are not that different than anybody’s elses.

    there’s also a contingent of folks who, while they say that he doesn’t write great songs anymore, really mean that they don’t like the stance he’s taken against our government.

    too bad.

  • Sean

    The most over-used word in a Bruce song:

    Mister. Half the friggin’ tunes are addressed to some mysterious Mr. That and the Monmouth County, Arkansas accent slay me every time.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    But Mark, he’s always been pretty left of center. The difference is that on Nebraska he approached the social and political issues with some wit and humor, and that made it somewhat endearing. The wit and the humor are gone, and all that leaves is a multimillionaire griping about the lives of working people he’s completely out of touch with and in many cases issues which aren’t all that important anymore.

    Dave

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    and you know him personally?

    you know the people he hangs out with?

    you actually know that he’s ‘out of touch’ with the people he’s writing about?

    no, you don’t.

  • SeanS

    every time he refers to the woman in a song as ‘little girl’ it creeps me out. As for the Monmouth County Arkansas accent, I live in Monmouth County, New Jersey where bruce was born grew up, and now lives, and no one has the accent he has. Hell, in all the bootlegs from 1973 to 1980, he didn’t even have that farmer accent.

    As much as I love Nebraska, and it is one of, if not my favorite Bruce album, I think it ruined him. Before that album, he wanted to be the Otis Redding of the Jersey Shore; After that album he wanted to be the Woody Guthrie of the Colt’s Neck dustbowl.

    It is not about his aging fans relation to his music; It is about an aging musician’s slow artisitic decline.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    right, tell that to all of us idiots who buy the records and attend the shows.

    apparently, we don’t know any better.

  • SeanS

    I don’t know him personally, but he gets his food from Delicious Orchards which is a high end gourmet food store in Colt’s Neck. When he shops there he is guarded by a cadre of secutiry guards. Furthermore, Colt’s Neck, where he currently lives, is onoe of the wealthiest and most exclusive towns in NJ. There are no working class stiffs living there, nor are they shopping at Delicious ORchards.

    Much was made of the fact that some of Bruce’s neighbors were killed on September 11, and the personal impact that had on him. I do not doubt the personal impact it had. However, let’s not pretend his neighbors were the firemen and cops who ran into those buildings to save lives. His neighbors were bankers and traders, vertiable captains of industry, who perished at their desks that morning. that in no way lessens the tragedy, nor does it in any way lessent he impact those deaths may have had on Springsteen. But Bruce Springsteen the Working Class Hero is a crock of shit.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    So Mark, you’re hanging with Bruce now? Your experience of his world is greater than mine? I’m just drawing conclusions from what he says, what is public knowledge about him and the reality of our country today. How is that different from what you have to work with?

    My take on his current music is that he’s projecting his perceptions of the world when he was much younger onto today’s events and national situation and coming up with the wrong answers. But I’ve never been that concerned about his politics. My complaint about D&D is that the songs really aren’t very engaging lyrically or musically.

    And BTW, I bought Devils and Dust off of iTunes and have seen Bruce in concert 7 times, so I’m not exactly a Bruce hater.

    Dave

  • Sean

    I’d be curious to know about the immigrants that Bruce knows well enough to discuss their trips to hookers. As for the true believers out there, consider this. It is reasonable to argue that the pile of dreck that is Human Touch is actually not the worst record he has put out in the past 15 years.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    i never said i was hanging with him. my reactions are about what he’s said about his concerns AND about the characters he’s written about.

    devils and dust along deals several characters including a man who obviously host lost (through whatever process) a past lover, a kid who lost his mother, christ and a guy who dies while crossing the rio grande.

    what he’s said about this stuff can be found on the dvd…ah shit, just read my review.

    this stuff about him being out of touch is just pure conjecture.

  • HW Saxton

    Personally speaking,I’d like to hear him
    do something that is musically more in
    the vein of “The Wild,The Innocent &…
    again.

    He seemed to be going in a Van Morrison
    type mode on some of the lighter,jazzy
    cuts on that LP. What with the great sax
    a lot of keyboards and subtly swinging
    drums(much more credit should go to Max
    and the way he can go from Spectoresque
    thump to jazzy swing,he’s way underrated
    IMO)I think that that sound was really
    agreable to his storytelling abilities.
    Just my two cents on Bruce,anyhoo.

    I doubt if I’ll pick this up, but I have
    not bought any new Springsteen release
    since “The River”.

    PS:I’ve gotta agree with Vern. Bruce was
    backed into a corner in regards to his
    sound. Since it was such a unique sound
    that made the BS appeal so strong,any
    variations on it were sure to alienate
    some of his fan base, excepting the die
    hards of course.

  • Sean

    Maybe Bruce said it best when he sang:

    “Mister, there’s just a coldness in this world”.

    Maybe you can’t truly appreciate the plight of the migrant farm worker until you’ve tasted the organic fruit of their labors. Can’t you see the Boss retiring to his studio room with the organic fruit, his acoustic, a notebook and a whip. He eats the fruit, gives himself a lash or two to get the Catholic guilt up and then begins to compose.

  • Eric Olsen

    HW, totally agree: that early E Street sound, grooving ’50s R&B painted across an enormous panorama, ended with Born to Run, and other than a few tunes on The River hasn’t returned.

  • SeanS

    I don’t think he needs to be in touch with the common man to write effective songs. the artistic imagination can accomplish wonderful things, and Bruce’s imagination is more developed than most.

    What I find maddening is that fans think because he writes songs that touch them or move them, Bruce must be like them. That is ridiculous. He is enormously wealthy. I do not begrudge him that. He has earned every penny of it, and that includes the money which was inevitably stolen from him by his record company. He lives in a mansion on an estate that is so large you cannot see his home from the road. I believe he still has a home on the west coast.

    He has played music his entire my life. To the best of my knowledge, the guy has never had to punch and certainly has not done so for thirty years. Again, I don’t think he has to have done those things to write songs about people who do, but the guy is not working class. He probably pays more in state income taxes than everybody on this board collectively earns in a year.

    His children attend the Rumson Country Day School. The school motto: Plumbers’ kids need not apply.

    As I said, I do not begrudge him any of this. He has earned it thorugh his talent, initiative and hard work. But working class he aint.

  • SeanS

    In addition to the loss of Vini ‘Mad Dog’ Lopez (Currently the caddy master at Rumson Country Club) do not forget the contributions of David Sancious to that jazzy sound. Had he stayed with Bruce as opposed to being replaced by Roy Bittan, the E Street Band would have sounded very different.

  • Eric Olsen

    which leads to thoughts of authenticity when he continues to play the role of the working class man in his songs. At this point I’d love to hear him sing about being stinking rich and famous and how hard it is to get good help

  • SeanS

    or how he played 18 holes and stiffed the caddymaster because he missed a beat during Rosalita at the SUNY hsow in ’74

  • Eric Olsen

    good point about personnel changes in the band, especially Sancious

  • HW Saxton

    I’ve always thought that John Fogerty &
    Dave Alvin are just as good(if not maybe
    even a little better)as Bruce in their
    abilities to conjure up vignettes of the
    working class life.Probably why The Boss
    is a fan of both. I’m not comparing them
    musically but rather lyrically. No great
    surprise that all of them draw from the
    same or rather similar wells musically
    though,but to much different effect.That
    is also testimony to their individual
    talents.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    Some of the things about Devils & Dust that make it poor, class theory aside:

    That falsetto. On “Maria’s Bed” (put that title in the Random Bruce Lyric Generator) it is nothing short of embarrasing. Bruce is one of the archtypal rock singers, and this is just terrible.

    The washy synth sounds on almost all the numbers. The faux strings are particularly annoying on “Silver Palomino.”

    Also, what’s with the terrible slide guitar on “All I’m”? As on the rest of the album, it sounds like a bedroom guitar player who just bought his first slide. It’s mostly just sliding up to the root note of the chord. Then down from it. Nowhere does he even come up with a real riff.

    Wait, I take it back. The falsetto on “All I’m Thinking About” is worse than “Maria’s Bed.” I defy anyone to listen to the last verse, (this part: “big black curtain coming across the..”) and not just laugh at how bad the singing is.

    Please do not disturb me during “The Hitter.” I am not sleeping, I am listening with my eyes closed.

    These are demos, and they are not good.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Right on target, HW. There’s Dave Alvin all over my iPod.

    Dave

  • sean

    I was at that SUNY show in 74. The band was magical back then, even if the drummer couldn’t keep the beat.

    I remember coming out of the show and seeing a barefoot girl on the hood of I think it was a Dodge. She was drinking beer and all of a sudden it started to rain. Bruce and one of his roadies were yelling at Vini about all the breaks he kept blowing in the songs. Then Bruce noticed the girl on the car and ran off back into the club. He returned a minute later with a pen and paper and was scribbling on it. We know what that became.

    So, I guess that it is conceivable that Bruce was chatting with the gardener at his estate and the topic just turned to anal sex with prostitutes.

  • http://rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    I’m a huge fan of Wild and Innocent, but lets be fair: that was 30 years ago. It’s a little late in the day to be mourning the loss of Sancious and Lopez, fer heaven’s sake — they’re so far in the past you can’t even see them. I’d love to hear Springsteen create another long-form street-life pastiche like “Incident on 57th Street” or “Jungleland” or “Backstreets,” but I’m not sure it’s still possible. Those are songs that came out of a certain youthful outlook that he no longer has. I don’t think Springsteen has ever really learned how to age as a rock star, and I’m sure it’s difficult; it’s an art form that thrives on youth.

    P.S. Isn’t Lopez the long-haired guy in the skintight pants with the enormous weiner on the back of the Wild & Innocent disc? It’s a pity he wasn’t able to get more use out of it than he did. That’s rock and roll, I guess.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    Bruce is, of course, trapped in that place that artists who achieve mythical status find themselves, and sometimes I think the artists who achieve less spectacular success are the lucky ones because they are much freer to pursue their vision without the burden of undue expectation.

    While it’s certainly true that Bruce is as rich as god, he did come from a working-class background, so cut the guy some slack. I don’t have the same economic worries that my parents might have had, but neither am I oblivious to the struggles they endured.

    Lastly, I think the themes that resonate most clearly throughout his work have nothing to do with class – they have to do with things like love and redemption, or family, or the struggle to find one’s way in life. These are themes that run through everyone’s life regardless of social class.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    All kidding aside about Mad Dog, he was a fixture around the Shore when I was growing up there in the 70s and 80s. He had a few bands that got gigs because of the Bruce connection, but he was very unreliable and not really a very good drummer. He mostly was a fixture at a few local watering holes, and was rumored to have some personal problems. He was a nice guy who was always willing to share his couple of stories over and over.

    Bruce was right to fire him, as he never would have lasted.

    And yeah, he always had long stringy hair like that.

  • http://rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    I don’t want to agree with Dave Nalle about Tom Waits, but the man has a point — not about Springsteeen wanting to be Waits (I’m sure he doesn’t) but about the fact that Waits keeps getting better while Springsteen tends to flip and flop somewhat. Waits pushes into new areas with every new record. It’s as if he says, ok, let’s burn down the past and start over from scratch. Each disc from the past few years sounds a little different, a little more adventurous, than its immediate predecessor. I think there’s a lesson there for Springsteen: go where no one has gone before. He’s not incapable of it.

  • HW Saxton

    Thanks, Dave N. I think that Dave A. is
    criminally underrated as both a writer
    and guitarist. I’ve seen The Blasters at
    least 15 times.I kid you not.And I have
    seen Dave play in various oufits(X,The
    Flesh Eaters,Pleasure Barons)as well as
    solo and he can turn up the heat on a 6
    string with the best of them. I saw “The
    Pleasure Barons” play an insane version
    of “Polk Salad Annie” one night and the
    solo that Dave did sounded like how Jeff
    Beck might’ve done it with the Yardbirds
    or something.”Swamp Punk” you might call
    it. They were also very drunk. He & Mojo
    Nixon were drinking beer out of toilet
    plungers! LOL.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Speaking of Swamp Punk, are you at all familiar with the Tailgators? They spun off of the LeRoi brothers and had a blasters-like cajun rockabilly style that was quite nice.

    I’ve also seen the Blasters umpteen times, and both Phil and Dave solo as well as X. The one band I missed which I wish I’d seen out of that melange is the Knitters, but they were very short-lived. I did love their versions of Walking Cane and Rock Island Line though.

    Dave

  • Vern Halen

    EO:

    “which leads to thoughts of authenticity when he continues to play the role of the working class man in his songs. At this point I’d love to hear him sing about being stinking rich and famous and how hard it is to get good help”

    Being a songwriter is about getting into the headspace where you write songs, not songs about yourself. Wasn’t White Christmas written by Irving Berlin? – I think he was Jewish. Yet he wrote a classic about a celebration based on a different relgion. For better or worse, Springsteen’s midwest migrants & Woody Guthrie dustbowlers are as imaginary & ideal as the switchblade dancing, motorcycle flying, leather clad street punks of his first three albums.

    Pretty much anybody who plays music for a living lives in danger of losing touch with the common person. But what do the songs say to the average Joe or Jane and do they internalize the song to the point it becomes part of the soundtrack of their lives? If the seed is good and the soil is ready, it’ll grow.

    I think Springsteen has been plowing the same half acre for a number of years. Maybe he knows there’s nothing left in the land, and he’s just killing time. But on the other hand, maybe he’s searching for something else altogether. What it is, I don’t know, but if he really thinks it’s there, you can’t blame a guy for trying to find his angels or his devils in the dust, can you?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    He could just bite the bullet and write a nice, catchy lovesong. It seems to have worked periodically for Willie Nelson.

    Dave

  • HW Saxton

    Rodney, Your comment that RnR thrives on
    youth is spot on as the Brits might say.
    I just can’t think of anything sillier
    than the 50 year old punk rockers I see
    now and again at shows.

    I guess that is why Jazz & Blues artists
    age so much more gracefully.They thrive
    on life experience and wisdom that come
    with age and hard earned lessons & not
    just youthful energy. I have seen many
    Bluesmen & Jazz artists well into their
    60’s kicking out as much,if not maybe a
    little more energy than a bunch of 19 yr
    old punk rockers on many occasion.

  • http://rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    You got a point, HW. But I think Bob Dylan and Neil Young have done great work in middle age. Morrison too — but then Morrison has been following the jazz and blues model for some years now. Joni Mitchell still makes the occasional good record.

  • HW Saxton

    You’re right about Bob D. and Neil Young
    and since they are writers in as much as
    they are also musicians,this makes sense
    perfectly,thriving on life experience &
    all that that entails.Van M is like fine
    wine live,I just wish that he would make
    a really solid record again to put a big
    hush on all the naysayers who don’t know
    what he is all about or capable of.

    I’ve never been a Joni Mitchell fan but
    I can see your point there.She just isnt
    my cup of tea.I’ve read interviews with
    her though and her taste in music is
    superlative.

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    funny. the review was a gaff, a prank… there is no review, I have never heard the album. Y’all missed the point. Good discussion though.

  • Eric Olsen

    leaving all the requisite caveats unstated, there has always been something about Joni Mitchell that makes me want to grind her bones to make my bread

  • SeanS

    Lono, I got that there was no real review. The discussion just sort of psrang up anyway.

    Eric, right on about joni Mitchell. I put Bonnie Raitt and Jackson friggin’ Browne in that category as well. I just don’t get it.

  • http://thisiswhatyoushalldo.blogspot.com majikwah

    There is a song on one of the “Tracks” box sets entitled “They’re gonna make a TeeVee movie out of me,” in which Bruce actually discusses and contemplates his own fame and rock and roll success. It is quite a humorous ditty that I don’t think he has ever performed live.

  • Eric Olsen

    he’s a very funny, genuine, likable guy – that’s why I think he should try writing about his life as it is now

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    While it’s certainly true that Bruce is as rich as god, he did come from a working-class background, so cut the guy some slack. I don’t have the same economic worries that my parents might have had, but neither am I oblivious to the struggles they endured.

    this will not be allowed. sure, Springsteen has always leaned to the left, but as soon as he became more vocal about his politics, he pissed off some on the right who just can’t take an apposing viewpoint.

  • HW Saxton

    Lono,I got that this was of course a non
    review “Review” so to speak. It made me
    play some Springsteen today though for
    the first time in a couple years and it
    just started me running my mouth about
    music.

    Dave,I forgot to answer you earlier but
    I’ve seen The Tailgators.I saw them very
    early on when Keith Ferguson from The
    Fab.T-Birds was still playing bass with
    them. Don Leady is a great guitar player
    and played some mean Cajun fiddle when I
    saw them as well. Did you ever hear of a
    band called “Big Guitars From Texas”? It
    had Don Leady,Evan Johns,Frankie Camaro
    and some other hot shot Austin TX roots
    rock type pickers in it.They did mostly
    instrumentals and were on “Amazing”,the
    same label as The LeRoi Bros & The Juke
    Jumpers. Never got to see “The Knitters”
    but I’ve still got the LP. “Call Of The
    Wreckin’ Ball” is my favorite song on it
    and also I dig their cover of Merle H.
    “Silver Wings”. I got to see Phil Alvin
    solo once at some little bar in Santa
    Monica,CA.It was just him and Bateman on
    drums.They did mainly blues. Lightning
    Hopkins tunes & some real obscure stuff
    like Luther Huff and Casey Bill Weldon.
    It was really great.Way different from a
    Blasters gig.

  • RTA Demigodd

    I have no friends. Damn.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>his will not be allowed. sure, Springsteen has always leaned to the left, but as soon as he became more vocal about his politics, he pissed off some on the right who just can’t take an apposing viewpoint.<<

    Or pissed off those on the right who identified with the working class and didn’t like to see them portrayed as an endless string of hopeless, desperate losers.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Dave,I forgot to answer you earlier but
    I’ve seen The Tailgators.I saw them very
    early on when Keith Ferguson from The
    Fab.T-Birds was still playing bass with
    them. < <

    I used to love it when Keith would take his cigarette and put it, still burning inbetween the keys of his bass while he played. It was a real loss when he died.

    >>Don Leady is a great guitar player
    and played some mean Cajun fiddle when I
    saw them as well. < <

    Don's a great guy. I remember a really fun show about 10 years ago in Gruene where the band all had their kids there, and their kids and ours played in the back of the hall while they played and we danced. It was transcendent.

    >>Did you ever hear of a
    band called “Big Guitars From Texas”? It
    had Don Leady,Evan Johns,Frankie Camaro
    and some other hot shot Austin TX roots
    rock type pickers in it.They did mostly
    instrumentals and were on “Amazing”,the
    same label as The LeRoi Bros & The Juke
    Jumpers. < <

    They were fantastic. Not sure if they did many live shows, but their two albums were excellent.

    >>Never got to see “The Knitters”
    but I’ve still got the LP. “Call Of The
    Wreckin’ Ball” is my favorite song on it
    and also I dig their cover of Merle H.
    “Silver Wings”. I got to see Phil Alvin
    solo once at some little bar in Santa
    Monica,CA.It was just him and Bateman on
    drums.They did mainly blues. Lightning
    Hopkins tunes & some real obscure stuff
    like Luther Huff and Casey Bill Weldon.
    It was really great.Way different from a
    Blasters gig. <<

    I’ve seen Phil doing blues and also
    Blasters tunes here in Austin. I’ve always
    found him a lot more personable than Dave,
    and a fantastic singer, but he just doesn’t
    seem to have the same drive to produce
    new material.

    Dave

  • HW Saxton

    Dave, Phil is still a Mathematics Prof.
    at Long Beach State in Long Beach,CA.
    the last I heard.At this point,music is
    just a hobby and diversion away from the
    world of academia for him.

    A Blasters tour & re-union would be cool
    as all can be if it happens. There are
    always rumors about one.The synergy you
    get with two brothers playing together
    is un-beatable on a good night as they
    really push and drive each other on to
    new heights. I’ve seen The Blasters play
    an average show and lots of great ones
    but I’ve never seen them do a bad one.
    I was always amazed that The Stray Cats
    (who I don’t care for) broke out in a
    big way and The Blasters never did.I’ve
    seen both and The Blasters just take ‘em
    school IMO.Everyone raves about Setzer’s
    guitar playing but Dave can play all of
    that Swing stuff just as well.

    I’ve never heard the second Big Guitars
    From TX. LP. I’ve got the first one and
    I’m surprised anyone has even heard of
    it. I didn’t know they had done a second
    LP. I mentioned it to Don Leady when I
    saw the Tail Gators and he was amazed &
    kind of embarassed about it as my friend
    & I were raving about it. He was a real
    nice guy and the band hung out with us
    drinking beer and shooting pool after we
    saw them until about 4 or 5 in the morn.
    I live out in Vegas so we can do these
    things, LOL.

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    lono, further proof that you rule.

    and clubhouse, first thing i thought when i heard this was Tom Joad 2. i had no idea it’s made up of outtakes.

    I thought that album was great, though. stark an bleak and dusty. but wonderful.

  • Eric Olsen

    HW and Dave, pretty great discussion, but I really do like the Stray Cats: beyond all reasonable expectation, real rockabilly done so well and forcefully it popularly reinvigorated a moribund genre. They probably have too glossy a sound on record, but they really rocked live. I think Setzer is pretty great. Have you ever read the liner notes he did for an Eddie Cochran collection? He’s real.

  • HW Saxton

    I’ve seen the Cats once & they were very
    hi-energy.It was pretty odd to see RAB
    music go almost “Arena Rock” big for a
    while there. They had the crowd going &
    I can see what people like about them,
    but they’ve never done much anything for
    me.I dunno, something about the over-all
    sound? I’ve never read Setzer’s notes on
    EC but I thought he did a good job as EC
    in “La Bamba”. He definitely knows music
    and it was cool that he was digging into
    Wynonie Harris & obscure RAB stuff at a
    time when everyone else was just trying
    to play louder,faster,louder noise stuff
    like Black Flag. As a stupid aside,once
    when I saw The Ramones play Joey had on
    a Stray Cats T-shirt.LOL.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Dave, Phil is still a Mathematics Prof.
    at Long Beach State in Long Beach,CA.
    the last I heard.At this point,music is
    just a hobby and diversion away from the
    world of academia for him.< <

    Following in the grand tradition of Tom Lehrer, eh.

    >>A Blasters tour & re-union would be cool
    as all can be if it happens. There are
    always rumors about one.The synergy you
    get with two brothers playing together
    is un-beatable on a good night as they
    really push and drive each other on to
    new heights. I’ve seen The Blasters play
    an average show and lots of great ones
    but I’ve never seen them do a bad one.< <

    One of the best Blasters shows I saw was
    some sort of reunion tour - about 10 years
    ago. Joe Ely opened for them and then
    played some numbers with them too. It
    was pretty damned good.

    >>I was always amazed that The Stray Cats
    (who I don’t care for) broke out in a
    big way and The Blasters never did.I’ve
    seen both and The Blasters just take ‘em
    school IMO.Everyone raves about Setzer’s
    guitar playing but Dave can play all of
    that Swing stuff just as well.< <

    Setzer has a more engaging personality
    perhaps. Have you heard the Brian Setzer
    Orchestra stuff? It's pretty good.

    >>I’ve never heard the second Big Guitars
    From TX. LP. I’ve got the first one and
    I’m surprised anyone has even heard of
    it. I didn’t know they had done a second
    LP.< <

    The second LP had different people on it,
    but also all Texans and all good. I'll
    have to dig it up.

    >> I mentioned it to Don Leady when I
    saw the Tail Gators and he was amazed &
    kind of embarassed about it as my friend
    & I were raving about it. He was a real
    nice guy and the band hung out with us
    drinking beer and shooting pool after we
    saw them until about 4 or 5 in the morn.
    I live out in Vegas so we can do these
    things, LOL.<<

    Don plays with a bunch of bands here in
    Austin now – they have a sort of ensemble
    of musicians which forms several different
    bands for different kinds of performances
    from classical instrumental to conjunto to swing and rockabilly. For a while they had a trio playing
    breakfasts at Curro’s Tacos and I saw them
    there several times. But indeed, Don is
    very down to earth and easygoing and it
    seems like any music he’s involved with is
    bound to be good.

    Dave

  • godoggo

    Love Joni. Don’t like Bruce, never did, never will.

    50 hours give or take to shoulder surgery #7 for me.

  • godoggo

    meaning 60.

  • SFC SKI

    Roots-rock like the Blasters was always a mixed bag of success. They never got as much play as they should have, and I rediscovered them about 5 years ago, and regretted not knowing them sooner. I am making up for it now.

    I remember when the Stray Cats came out, and they were given some lengthy interviews and profiles in the Boston and NY papers I read at teh time, Brian Setzer is a genuine devotee of the music, and while I am not a huge fan, his work with the Stray Cats and solo are very good listening in my book. Any man who reveres Eddie Cochran is alright in my book. If you read Stphen King’s “The Stand” I am sure he had Setzer in mind for the hot-rodder minor character.

    Rockabilly and its successor psycho-billy have a lot of energy ( and a whole dress and look) that attracts a lot of folks and is thriving even outside the US.

    As for the Tailgators, I remember their version of La Grange, in Russian, was a minor hit on college radio back in the day.

  • Mark

    So could someone tell me where can I find the whole lyrics for this new album (Devils & Dust )
    by the way it’s a great one
    and thank’s for all of you

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    mark, the lyrics are inside my cd booklet. with the occasional introduction.

    incidentally, this dual disc shenanigan hasn’t been applied over here in the UK. all i can see is the regular ol’ 2 disc number, one of which is the DVD.

  • Mark

    Well, It’s kind of a bizzare but … I ask again about the Lyrcs!
    Someone???

    thanks