Monday, July 27, 2015

Wet Willie - Dixie Rock (1975 us, excellent funky boogie southern rock)

Dixie Rock is a worthy successor and another excellent yet underrated entry in the band's catalog. With their picture dominating the back cover, backing singers the Williettes (Ella Avery and Donna Hall) receive featured treatment, and their contribution adds substantial gospel flavor to the group's approach. Avery's duet with frontman Jimmy Hall on "Mama Don't Raise No Fools" is one of the disc's highlights, and the stripped-down version of Albert Brumly's "He Set Me Free" could have come directly off a traditional spiritual album. 

But "Leona" (a minor hit single), is pure greasy Southern singalong funk and rock that, along with the title cut, slots into Willie's established sound. The R&B-drenched "It's Gonna Stop Rainin' Soon," featuring sublime slide work from Ricky Hirsch and Jimmy Hall's mournful harp along with the deep Delta blues of "Jailhouse Moan," help make this one of the band's most cohesive works, although it takes a few spins for their charms to be appreciated. 
by Hal Horowitz
1. She's My Lady (John Anthony, Jerry Weaver) - 3:30
2. Ain't He a Mess (John Anthony, Lewis Ross) - 2:57
3. Dixie Rock (Jimmy Hall, Ricky Hirsch) - 5:11
4. Poor Judge of Character (Ricky Hirsch) - 3:22
5. Mama Didn't Raise No Fools (John Anthony, Ella Avery, Jack Hall, Jimmy Hall, Ricky Hirsch, Lewis Ross) - 5:04
6. It's Gonna Stop Rainin' Soon (Jack Hall, Jimmy Hall) - 4:02
7. Jailhouse Moan (Jimmy Hall, Ricky Hirsch) - 4:26
8. He Set Me Free (Albert E. Brumley) - 1:27
9. Leona (Jack Hall, Jimmy Hall, William D. Shore, David Wills) - 4:38
10.Take It to the Music (Ricky Hirsch) - 3:36

Wet Willie
*John Anthony - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Jack Hall - Bass, Vocals
*Jimmy Hall - Harmonica, Percussion, Saxophone, Vocals
*Ricky Hirsch - Bottleneck Guitar,  Vocals, Guitar
*Lewis Ross - Congas, Drums, Percussion
*Ella Avery - Vocals
*Earl Ford - Trombone
*Mike Duke - Keyboards, Vocals
*Donna Hall - Vocals
*Mama Hall - Keyboards, Piano, Vocals
*Susan Hall - Vocals
*Joyce Knight - Vocals

1973  Wet Willie - Drippin' Wet Live
1974  Wet Willie - Keep On Smilin

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