Pretty hard to screw up this one. You’ve got Bill Kirchen and Redd Volkaert on guitar, Joe Goldmark on pedal steel, and Dallas Wayne on vocals, along with the killer rhythm section of Johnny Castle (bass) and Jack O’Dell (drums). There’s three studio recordings, and nine live tracks.
Between Kirchen and Volkaert you’ve got a built-in country licks tutorial. “Truck-Drivin’ Man” has some marvelous interaction and traded solos. Kirchen’s big, fat tone mixes beautifully with Redd’s cool stew of dazzling single-lines and cool chord soloing. “I Got a Rocket in My Pocket” shows off a pretty good rock band for a batch of guys calling themselves Twangbangers. Nasty, rockin’ solos are everywhere. “She Loves Anything That Swings” is a guitar tour de force. Everyone shines on this very fun piece that mixes lyrical mischief with fretboard fire. You could pretty much throw this one on, try to figure out all of Redd’s, Bill’s, and Joe’s solos, and you’re set to join a country band.
Guitarists will especially love the updated live version of “Hot Rod Lincoln,” on which Bill revisits his Commander Cody days; car and driver meet everyone from Johnny Cash to the Beatles to Jaco Pasotrius to Jimi Hendrix. And, of course, you get a musical quote to go along with each pass! Really, really fun, and a fantastic display of musicianship by the entire band.
Dallas Wayne is also featured doing several of his songs that show off his considerable skills as a singer and writer. “The Stuff Inside” is a classic drinking song that should be covered by the likes of George Jones.
In all, this is a fine package. Whether it’s swampy rock and roll, swinging country, or twangin’ fun, it’s all here. Recommended for all guitarists, but especially Tele enthusiasts.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’02 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.