Webb Wilder- "Town and Country" a review of the new CD
With the opening sound of the guitar in "Stay Out Of Automobiles", Webb Wilder is back on the music scene with his first release in four years. Webb actually never left the music scene. As he told me after a recent show, "the tour that never ends". Webb has been constantly touring the east coast and midwest over the past few years. Playing to "adoring public" is something that Webb enjoys. Now there is a new record with some great songs to add to the always entertaining live show.
This record is different from past Webb releases yet it is also similar. It differs since every song on this album is from another artists. It is the same due to Webb's treatment of the songs. He makes them sound like the Webb Wilder music we know and love. Not to country, not too rock and roll. As Webb states on the track "To The Loving Public": "I'll always said I had one foot in country and one in rock and roll and since they're both about 13A, I'm covering a lot of ground". This is a collection of the band's favorite road songs. "It's just us doing songs we like by other people... like the way you'd put together a car tape but we're using equipment that sounds better..." ays long-time Webb producer R. S. Field.
The songs vary from rock to country yet they sound like originals to me since I have never heard many of the originals. Keeping with a tradition of always having a cool instrumental number on each of the previous three releases, Webb covers the theme from "Goldfinger" in great fashion. "Talk Talk" is a song I recall being done by Alice Cooper way back when although the original was done by Music Machine. Here it gets the Webb treatment and comes off sounding great. My favorites include "Slow Death", "Stay Out Of Automobiles", and "Lover Not A Fighter" (reminiscent of the Beat Farmers great version).
Les James keeps a steady beat with solid drumming while Kelly Looney rounds out the rhythm section on bass. George "Torch" Bradfute- the Tone Chaperone cranks out some great licks on the guitar as does Webb himself. Songs like "Slow Death", "Honky Tonk Hell", "Rockin' Little Angel", and "Short On Love" all sound fresh and work well together. All told, Webb Wilder is one of the most underrated artists currently playing today. He has great crossover potential with the popularity of country music today. BUT don't get me wrong, Webb Wilder is a rock and roller.
As Webb says, " There's no beginning, there's no end, just an eternal Webb"
"Town and Country" will be released Feb. 21, 1995 by Watermelon Records (Austin, Texas) and found at finer music stores. The catalog number is WM 1018 and is available on CD or cassette. Be sure to get a copy of this great CD.
Webb's description of the "Town and Country album tracks:
Below is a listing of the songs (and the original artists) on the album and a short description by Webb:
"Stay Out Of Automobiles"- Jerry "Boogie" McCain- A Tip for Teens on the potential pitfalls of auto amour
"Nashville Bum"- Waylon Jennings- "Livin' on ketchup soup, homemade crackers, and Kool Aid."
"Slow Death"- Flamin' Groovies- The best thing the Stones never did
"Lover Not A fighter"- Lazy Lester- "Sometimes, baby, I think I got rabbit blood in me"
"Honky Tonk Hell"- Teddy and the Tall Tops- "ROADHOUSE," yeah....
"My Mind's Eye"- Small Faces- Hyde Park Flower-Power from Dixie
"Too Many Rivers"- Roger Miller- Bob Willis meets Mr. Roger's neighborhood
"Goldfinger"- John Barry and his orchestra- An Aston Martin with special MODifications
"Talk Talk"- Music Machine- One black glove. Cold.
"Streets of Laredo"- Laredo is in Webb country. Streetwise, that is.
"Short On Love"- King Size Taylor and the Dominos- Six-foot eleven, that's an inch under seven. FULL GROWN. Thank you very much.
"I Ain't Living Long Like This"- Rodney Crowell- "Leave ya freezin' on a steel-rail rack."
"Original Messed Up Kid"- Mott The Hoople- Early '70's English cowboy music. Mixed-up.
"Rockin' Little Angel"- Jerry Lee Lewis- Honey-drip lips. Smokin'!
Doo Dad- Webb Wilder (53:09) 1991
RATING: Best of Artist Rock, Pop
Webb Wilder has a doozy of a new album in "Doo Dad". As usual, Wilder pulls out all the stops, mixing bizarro humor and furtive word play with rockabilly salutes or laying a Yardbirds kind of hood over Southern roots rock and the middleweight power chords of a toned-down Aerosmith. In other words, "Doo Dad" is Hillbilly gothic at its deadpan best. Play that in yur trailer park, Bubba. ~ Alanna Nash, Stereo Review, March, 1992
Hybrid Vigor- Webb Wilder (38:58) 1989
RATING: Good Rock, Pop
It Came from Nashville Webb Wilder
RATING: Best of Artist + - This is a "First Pick" album- the artist at their peak. Rock, Pop
Rock & roll at its heart, with gimmicks on its shoulder. Lots of fun.
by Ken Drew
Webb Wilder: Acres Of Suede (WM 1033) Watermelon Records release date 5/21/96
Webb Wilder is the last of the full grown men. Webb Wilder is an electrifying artist. Webb Wilder is not only a man but a band. Actually, Webb Wilder and his band, the Nashvegans, recorded a new album called "Acres Of Suede". With long time producer R.S. "Bobby" Field AKA The Ionizer (John Mayall, Sonny Landreth) at the helm, Webb Wilder has once again boldly gone where no man has gone before. While combining the best of two kinds of music, Rock and Roll, fans will rejoice when they listen to this masterpiece.
The Nashvegans, led by George Bradfute "The Tone Chaperone" and Les James Lester (drums), along with a host of guests like David Grissom (guitar), Rick "Casper" Rawls (guitar), Scott Baggett (guitars, bass, organ), K.K. Falkner (background vocals), Steve Conn (keyboards), Joe Pisapia (background vocals), and R.S. Field (guitars, organ, vocals), lay down some serious music that allows us to hear the full, unadulterated sounds of Webb Wilder.
In today's world, a sense of humor is a must. In today's music, a sense of humor should be required. Webb uses his comedic charm on the track "The Ole' Elephant Man" as well as reading his "Tips For Teens Manifesto" which was originally longer than the Unabomber's Manifesto yet had to be condensed for inclusion on the new album.
The ultimate combination of roots rock, blues, and even alternative music are visited on this album as Webb covers some new ground with the addition of keyboards and female backing vocals to add to the unique sound Webb has carved out over the past ten years. Although the last record, "Town and Country" - a collection of cover songs, had some relatively unknown songs on it that Webb made sound like they were originally written by him, "Acres Of Suede" is completely new, original material. The lone exception is the Dave Grissom track "Loud Music".
Personally, I enjoyed the entire album. Especially, "Carrying The News To Mary", "No Great Shakes", the a fore mentioned "Loud Music", and "Fall In Place". A song that both the Ioizer and Webb played way back at the start of their collaboration, "Rocket To Nowhere", finally is committed to the digital media with this effort. "Scattered, Covered, and Smothered" is difficult to describe. I like to say it is Webb's version of a B-52's song- it is another amazing song. Webb told me that The Ionizer and he had been working on that song for years and finally finished it.
The tour that never ends will continue and you can bet that Webb Wilder will be near your town sometime in the future. Do yourself a favor and get out of the rut that radio has put you in. Reall people are out there and they are playing real music. You just need to find them. Webb Wilder is not only real but excellent as well. Check it out- you will not be disappointed.
Roch On Music
By Roch Parisien
Acres of Suede ****
The self-proclaimed "Last of the Full-Grown Men" returns with a bad suit-day's worth of dry wit-infused roots rockin' party music, by far his most consistently cool slab since underrated 1989 major label release Hybrid Vigor.
On one hand, Wilder takes his most accessible, radio-friendly stab to date with "No Great Shakes," a rousing slide guitar anthem (with the delightfully self-deprecating "the crystal ball ain't all it's cracked up to be/the Psychic Hotline, hell, that's way too deep for me...") that would feel right at home as a John Hiatt show-stopper. Long time producer and songwriting/instrumentalist collaborator R.S. Field tops himself with the stirring, acoustic ballad "Fall In Place."
On the other hand, there's no dearth of that trademark snake oil that makes Webb...ah...wilder, including the rebellious "Loud Music," manic "Flat Out Get It,"cheesy space-age "Rocket To Nowhere," freeform interior decoration tips via "Scattered, Smothered and Covered," and liberal excerpts from the inspirational _Webb Wilder's Motivational Tips for Teens Manifesto and Rock'n'Roll Pamphlet_.
Keyboards gracing "Soul Mate" fall somewhere between Tex-Mex Farfisa and early-Elvis Costello and The Attractions aggro. For a change of pace history lesson, we learn that "The Olde Elephant Man" "took a lick from an ugly stick/Made all the people of London sick." Nothing like a little kultur with your corn flakes in the morning.
With _Acres of Suede_, The wily Wilder weaves a tangled Webb for afficionados of vintage rock'n'roll in its myriad of country, blues, and pop personalities and forms.
***** - a "desert island" disc; may change your life.
**** - excellent; a long-term keeper.
*** - a good disc, worth repeated listening.
** - fair, but there are better things to spend money on.
* - a waste of valuable natural resources.
Copyright 1996 Rocon Communications
\010101 Productions Limited - All Rights Reserved
Roch Parisien...........................Communications Consulting
Rocon Communications....................Editorial Services
010101 Productions Limited..............Music/Multimedia journalist at large
Here's the review from Stereo Review September 1996... It's in the "Best Of The Month" section and was written by Steve Simels
NOTE: A BIG THANKS to Heath Peek for providing this!
WEBB WILDER: LOUD MUSIC, BIG LAUGHS
If you haven't already encountered Webb Wilder, let's simply state up front that he's one of the most, er, unlikely characters to have emerged from rock-and-roll at this or any other moment. Bespectacled and dressed in thrift-shop clothes, he could pass for Buddy Holly's slightly nerdy older brother. But when he starts singing in his trademark twangy baritone (which suggests a cross between a late-night televangelist and a game-show host), Wilder becomes the self-proclaimed Last of the Full Grown Men, purveyor of a music that's a tough-as-nails synthsis of Sixties Brit-pop and its Big Star / Cheap Trick derivatives, surf instrumentals, "Exile on Main Street"-era Rolling Stones, hard country a la Steve Earle, and rootsy New Wave bands like Rockpile. And as you may have guessed, Wilder can be extremely funny; as self-mythologizing rock-biz constructs go, he's a lot closer to Bobcat Goldthwaite than to Ziggy Stardust.
"Acres of Suede," his latest (after a 1995 covers set), offers all of the above plus gobs of great guitars, here played mostly by the star himself, long-time producer / collaborator R S Field, and David Grissom (of John Mellencamp's band). At times the textures and interplay have an almost compositional grandeur, a Nashville power-pop version of Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd's mesh with Television (No Great Shakes, Carryin' the News to Mary). Elsewhere, the players hark back to ferocious, vaguely psychedelic Yardbirds-style rave-ups (the minute-plus instrumental coda to the aptly titled Loud Music, which must be heard to be believed). Beyond that, as if that wasn't enough, is a brace of inimiably goofy songs that make hash of Nick Lowe's dictum about the appalling lack of humor and realism in contemporary music. Highlights include the mutant rockabilly ode The Olde Elephant Man ("He became the toast of London town / because a pachyderm slapped his mama down"), the Ventures-on-Ecstasy romp Rocket to Nowhere ("This galaxy is too small for me"), and Scattered, Smothered, and Covered, a delerious bachelor-pad seduction rap that quotes from the Count Five's garage classic Psychotic Reaction and thus offers a sneaky aural metaphor for our culture's recent sexual mores.
In short, it adds up to another terrific album from Webb Wilder. Frankly, if this guy didn't already exist, somebody - probably Wilder himself - would have to invent him.