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THE WESTERN SIZZLERS
For Ol' Times Sake
Roar & Hide
Meanwhile, down in Georgia, they're covering Status Quo tunes! Whit the hell is aw that aboot? Yup, the Quo went doon to Georgia.
'Break The Rules' is the Quo cover and the whole thing reminded me of the Georgia Satellites mixed with the Black Crowes. And blow me down, if it isn't the brainchild of one Kevin Jennings, former manager of the Crowes, who has provided all the other songs here, ably supported on lead guitar by Rick Richards from the Georgia Satellites. Now, if I can just concentrate on next weeks Euromillions numbers.
Of course, the Quo comes about because (whisper it) Mr Jennings is an Englishman. But we won't hold that against him because this set of honky tonk, beer drinking, hell raising and pussy whipping tunes is a real treat.
It makes you wonder why he's hidden his songwriting chops under a bushel, but assisted here by assorted guests including Charlie Starr from Blackberry Smoke, bassist Jeff Bakos from Jason & The Scorchers and the aforementioned Rick Richards, his songs leap into life. Me like.
Thursday 14th November 2013
I absolutely loved last night's gig from Blackberry Smoke and The Western Sizzlers, which took placed at a jam-packed Barfly club in Camden. Both groups were making their UK debuts, which gave the evening a really special feel.
Featuring former Georgia Satellites legend Rick Richards on guitar and fronted by Kevin Jennings - who my mate Andy Beare thought looked a bit like Arfur Daley… never a bad thing! - The Western Sizzlers play a gnarly, authentic brand of Southern barroom boogie. Though he chips in with certain lead solos and slide guitar parts, Richards is like human rhythm machine - America's answer to Rick Parfitt, if you will, and this comparison held water as the band blazed through a shit-kicking rendition of the Frantic Four's own 'Break The Rules'. Praise is also due for their own songs such as 'One Day Closer To Crazy' and 'One More Beer', the latter of which is worthy of the Satellites themselves.
Such was the anticipation for the Atlanta band's first UK visit, the 200 lucky tickets to see Blackberry Smoke apparently sold out in less than an hour. A five-date tour now takes place in the springtime, just as their most recent album, 'The Whippoorwill', arrives on this side of the pond. Sporting some truly alarming facial hair and with three albums in a decade-long existence, the headliners were considerably less breakneck than their opening act, sounding more like the Black Crowes or the Allman Brothers, and it was no surprise when a snippet of the latter's 'Midnight Rider' bled into a mid-set 'Let Sleeping Dogs Lie'. Luckily, the annoying country rock tendencies that tend to permeate their records were left at the door (though 'Ride My Pony' was a close call…) but my own favourite of the band's songs, 'Up In Smoke', really got the crowd pumped up.
BBS cannot return to the UK quickly enough for yours truly, and the campaign to reinstall the Sizzlers as their tour's support act starts here.