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Home Blues Andre Williams Andre Williams and The Sadies - Red Dirt (1999)

Andre Williams and The Sadies - Red Dirt (1999)

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Andre Williams and The Sadies - Red Dirt (1999)

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1. Hey Truckers
2. Busted
3. She's A Bag Of Potato Chips
4. I Can Tell
5. Pardon Me (I've Got Someone To Kill)
6. Weapon Of Mass Destruction
7. Easy On The Eyes
8. I'm An Old, Old Man (Tryin' To Live While I Can)
9. Tramp Trail
10. Psycho
11. I Understand (Do You)
12. Old John play
13. Queen Of The World play
14. My Sister Stole My Woman

Musicians:
Andre Williams (vocals);
Travis Good (guitar, dobro, mandolin, fiddle);
Dallas Good (guitar, piano, organ);
Sean Dean (acoustic bass);
Mike Belitsky (drums).

 

Andre Williams, a collectors' cult figure who talk-sang his way through such '50s and '60s R&B novelties as "Jail Bait," "Bacon Fat," and "Cadillac Jack," waves his freak flag high on the very first track, "Hey Truckers" (rhymes with "bad you-know-whatters"). Though he cites his Alabama farm-boy upbringing as credentials, his X-rated country sounds like none you've heard before--sort of a midair crash between Screamin' Jay Hawkins, mid-'60s Bob Dylan, and the local honky-tonk hero. And while his originals, cowritten with Sadie Dallas Good, play on traditional country themes, they are more than merely clever; they are unfailingly melodic, full of nice arranging touches, and somehow true to the form, thanks in large part to Toronto's quirky cowpunk quartet the Sadies. His vocals range from a bellow to a rumbling recitation. And both Johnny Paycheck's "Pardon Me (I've Got Someone to Kill)" and Leon Payne's "Psycho" are present and accounted for, as are more conventional gems from Harlan Howard and Lefty Frizzell. Not for everyone, but perversely likable. --John Morthland

In the late '90s, Andre Williams was undergoing a bit of a renaissance as small, independent labels realized that this R&B/rap pioneer still had plenty of gas left in the tank; they started recording him again for the first time in several decades. It also helped that enlightened times give the more salacious aspects of his art a wider playground than they had back in the 1950s and early '60s, when he was cutting his streetwise, spoken-word classics for labels like Fortune and Chess. Efforts for St. George and others focused on the style and substance of those landmark recordings, but this one put a different spin on the Andre Williams sound.

Backed by the country-rock group the Sadies, this is Williams' country album. He applies his rappin' mastery to Johnny Paycheck's "Pardon Me (I've Got Someone to Kill)," Leon Payne's "Psycho," Harlan Howard's "Busted," Eddy Arnold's "Easy on the Eyes," and Lefty Frizzell's "I'm an Old, Old Man." His patented slow drawl makes these songs his own, while the band provides minimal support, rife with twangy guitars, mandolins, fiddles, and dobros throughout. Williams and guitarist Dallas Good co-wrote everything else, with "She's a Bag of Potato Chips," the moody and downright eerie "I Can Tell," and the goofy opener "Hey Truckers" being standouts. It's the aural antidote to the CMA Awards. -- AMG

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Last Updated (Saturday, 31 August 2013 16:35)

 

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