Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pound it out.

Booker T. Potato Hole (Anti)

An instant birthday present review. Thanks, GD!

Booker T. Jones has recently released a new album Potato Hole. Standing in for the MGs are the Drive-By Truckers,a most appropriate choice for a couple of reasons. Band members grew up around Muscle Shoals and some of their parents where session musicians who could have recorded with the MGs back in the late 60s/early 70s. Recently, The DBTs displayed their backing band R&B chops while supporting Bettye LaVette on her career reviving The Scene of The Crime, also on Anti. Don't blame for using 3 guitars when back in the day Steve Cropper was sufficient! And by the way o some tracks there are a massive five guitars providing a kudzu-thick jungle of sonic textures and timbres. For some time now beyond his studio producing duties, Booker T. has toured with Crazy Horse. Neil Young returns the favor providing yet again a further display of his brilliance as a guitarist of heat, passion, and refined lines. He becomes the ultimate session guy here.

The DBTs have been doing OutKasts's "Hey Ya" live for quite some time now, but the version that appears here takes on a whole new sense of freaky fun with Booker's funky leading Hammond B3 organ lines. They also cover Tom Waits' "Get Behind the Mule" which puts me in mind of The Eagles doing "Ol. No. 55." Surprisingly the least of the covers is the DBTs' own composition "Space City."

But the 3 really superb tracks on the record are the opener, "Pound it Out," "Native New Yorker," and the title track. The first track features lots of fuzzed out guitars and some searing leads by one suspects Neil. "Native New Yorker" has the feel of a lost instrumental outtake from Live Rust. On the title track Booker T. plays both acoustic and electric guitar.

Don't leave this little gem buried under the plantation floorboards.

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