Now this is what I’m talkin’ about. These guys have been around for awhile in various forms, including as The Morells years ago. Some of you may know them as the Skeletons, who were big in the Minneapolis area 10 or 15 years ago. Whatever you want to call them, they are one of those fun, extremely talented bands who you know will never have a hit record because they’re just a little too off the wall. Kind of like a Midwestern NRBQ.
The fun for guitarists here comes for D. Clinton Thompson. What a player! He’s one of those guys who has a ton of imagination and can bring something new to a style of tune you might breeze through with licks we’ve been using and hearing for quite some time. Check out his solo on “Rock Bottom.” He plays beautifully through some very jazzy changes and then adds a nice little chord solo at the end. He does that kind of thing all day long. His solo in the very funny “Mom’s Got A Headache” (basically a song for kids that all parents and children can identify with) is a country-swing killer. On the rockabilly of “Hot Rod Baby” his solo is highlighted by a chromatic run that illustrates the imagination I was talking about earlier. In fact, that point kind of represents the whole band. The music here is rootsy rock, R&B, country, and blues. It’s the kind of stuff that can be very predictable in the wrong hands. That’s not a problem here. The band, and especially Thompson on lead, cooks. If you don’t know their work, check this one out. It’s a little familiar and a little different, all at the same time.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s July ’01 issue.