Webb Wilder & the Beatnecks, |
Born to be Wilder
(Blind Pig, 2008)
Webb Wilder is one big blast of rockabilly. A man who steadfastly refuses to conform to trends and fashions, Wilder insists on going his own way, even if -- or, especially if -- that way leads straight to the past. It's almost as though he's too tangled in his own roots to move out of them.
Not that anyone would want him to. Wilder is to American rockabilly what Rockpile was to British rock: a sound rooted in and devoted to yesterday that is in its development thoroughly today. Within his chosen timeframe, Wilder is as innovative as Picasso, adding fillips of blues, British invasion '60s sounds and full, hard-driving, straight-ahead rock 'n' roll.
"Baby, Please Don't Go" becomes, in Wilder's hands, a five-minute raveup complete with monologue, while the opening "Tough It Out" sounds like something Carl Perkins might do on acid.
And Webb adds a factor that most rock classicists have overlooked: humor. In "You Might Be Lonely for a Reason," he points out that, even though she's beautiful, the woman he's speaking to is lonely because she's just a little bit hard to take.
Recorded live before an appreciative audience, Born to be Wilder is, for those who aren't familiar with Wilder, a good introduction. Long-time fans will enjoy hearing live versions of their favorite songs.
Michael Scott Cain
27 September 2008
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