The Sender

All Killer No Filler (1977-2001)

The PR for this double-LP (and CD) casts the Senders as “punk,” concentrating on seven live tracks featuring guitarist Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls, Heartbreakers). But 24 other cuts reveal the New York club band’s capabilities with blues, rockabilly, and straight-ahead rock.

Howlin’ Wolf’s “Do the Do” (penned by Willie Dixon) is as good a cover as you’ll find, and singer/harpist Phil Marcade delivers an anguished reading of Lowell Fulson’s dirge-like “Tollin’ Bells.” Other sources include Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Willis, and the Glen Glenn rockabilly hit “One Cup of Coffee (and a Cigarette).” Think Dr. Feelgood of the Lower East Side.

Bandleader Marcade, who hails from France, penned great material like “Devil Shootin’ Dice,” a hit that should have been, spotlighting Barry Ryan’s slide. The MC5’s Wayne Kramer guests on a live version of the Stones’ “Empty Heart,” but the real story is the late Wild Bill Thompson on lead for most of the tracks. Be it raw rock or electrifying blues, his playing is a revelation. Whether blues for punks or punk for bluesers, the blues crowd needs to look past categories and give the guy some belated props.

This article originally appeared in VG’s March 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

No posts to display