UNDERTAKIN' DADDY - South Filthy (Beast Records)
The more I listen to this rock and roll thing the more obvious is the debt owed to the creators of the form. Of course everything since has been derivations thereof. This is the order of things. You often can't go wrong when a bunch of old-hands gets together to relate their version of a trip to the wellspring, especially when they're well-storied, and so it is with South Filthy.
South Filthy are veterans with mileage on their clocks via membership of the Oblivians, Doug Sahm's band, Fabulous Thunderbirds and Big Foot Chester. This 2009 effort is their third album and it's an all-too-brief cornucopia of Memphis blues and rootsy soul, played straight down the line. It's in the same neighbourhood as Heavy Trash but low key, even homely, by comparison.
Oblivians collaborator Monsieur Jeffrey Evan is on vocals and guitar, Walter Daniels shares the mic and blows up some righteous harp, Rick Moorehead plays stand-up and electric bass and Mick Buck is on the traps. That's the core, but a barnyard of guests (including John Schooley and Jack Oblivian) stop by to join the party. Which is an apt descriptor. Not one of those riotous, out-of-your-mind-on-a-Satdee-night parties, more a casual hoedown where a bunch pals get together for a blow, so let's roll tape. The singers growl or intone, the rhythm section locks in and we're looking at the commodity markets to figure out what the Crossroads rate is for souls this week.
While the forefathers didn't have fuzztone they did have that swing and that's what drives "Watchin' The 710 Roll By". Trainspotting never sounded this good. "The House On Old Lonesome Road" and the bacon fat streaked "Bring It To Jerome" have an authentic feel that's warmer than a roomful of powered-up valve amps. Daniels' fulsome harmonica only adds to the lasciviousness of "Down South" while Monty Newtown's playful ivory tickling is the icing on the title track.
It's on vinyl so that may account for the brevity (eight songs) but would they have lost fidelity noticeably if they'd squeezed on a couple more tunes? This ain't no audophile release. Odds are that "Undertakin' Daddy" will probably leave you wanting more, too. Another winner on the mighty little Beast Records label in Western France. - The Barman
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