Nazareth rarely gets credit as an influential hard-rock band, though original guitarist Manny Charlton laid down killer riffs. This tribute features the loose collective Joecephus & the George Jonestown Massacre – led by guitarists/co-producers Joey Killingsworth and Dik LeDoux – and a variety of guests covering 1975’s Hair of the Dog, Nazareth’s biggest-selling album. The sledgehammer title track and gold-selling heartbreak ballad “Love Hurts” still receive steady airplay.
Some of these remakes don’t vary much, arrangement-wise, from the powerful originals, but they do crackle with energy. “Miss Misery” thunders with aggressive vocals from Nashville Pussy’s Ruyter Suys and snaky slide guitar from the Kentucky Headhunters’ Greg Martin. “Love Hurts” is a revelation; penned by country/pop songwriter Boudleaux Bryant and popularized by the Everly Brothers, this version is an emotional, straightforward country duet ballad between Suys and the Supersuckers’ Eddie Spaghetti, with stunning steel guitar by Eric Lewis. Charlton himself lets his guitar rip through “Changin’ Times.” Clutch’s Neil Fallon adds eerie, deep vocals to the haunting “Please Don’t Judas Me.”
Portions of the proceeds go to the Society for Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD) research, so grabbing this album gives you both kick-ass Nazareth covers and supports a worthy cause.
This article originally appeared in VG’s October 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.