Montrose: Montrose

Rating: 95%

Montrose_-_-s-t-.jpgWhile looking through the used records over at Hagerstown, I saw this album. I remember, when I was younger, hearing this album on cassette and more recently, I burned a copy of it from my brother. So, when I came across this 1973 lp, I quickly grabbed it.

The music is brilliant. It’s soaked in that classic Blues Rock style, and was a hard hitter. Sometimes, I think that this album was a bit ahead of it’s time.  It stood out as an original piece of work. It was tuneful and raw. This was early American Heavy Metal as it was being born. I love the catchy melodies. 

The musicianship was top notch. The vocal work of Sammy Hagar, I will say was great. Now, I am not a big fan of Sammy Hagar, but he does this album justice. Ronnie Montrose’s guitar work is brilliantThe guitar riffs are so bad ass. Just the opening of “Bad Motor Scooter” with the usage of the slide and tremolo bar was born one awesome opening riff. I have heard many bands use this riff since then. The solos are just as good, making Ronnie Montrose one of the best all-time guitarists. The rhythm section of bassist Bill Church and drummer Denny Carmassi provide such great tempos, melodies, and harmonies. Everything is so well balanced on this record. This is a solid debut by a band that I think is underrated. 

Track listing:

Side 1
1. “Rock the Nation” 3:03
2. “Bad Motor Scooter”  3:41
3. “Space Station #5”  5:18
4. “I Don’t Want It” 2:58

Side 2
5. “Good Rockin’ Tonight”  2:59
6. “Rock Candy” 5:05
7. “One Thing on My Mind” 3:41
8. “Make It Last” 5:31


Better Than the Rest: George Thorogood and the Destroyers

Rating: 85%

BetterThantheRestThis album was recorded in 1974, but was later released in 1979 as the third album once Thorogood had become better known. It was released in 1986 as “Nadine” which I had on CD.

George Thorogood sounds very raw vocally on this album. That may be due to the fact that this recording was when he was younger. His guitar playing is electrifying. The rhythm section consisting of bassist Michael Levine (whom the album is dedicate to), and drummer Jeff Simon really showcase some very nice melodies.

Although, none of the songs are written by Thorogood, he does have a way of making these songs his. Because of that, the only negative thing I have to say is the album is unoriginal. With that being said, all of the positive things I can say is that the album is raw, tuneful, and melodious. Vocally, it’s very raspy and raw. George has a very distinctive voice. 

All and all, when I found this in the record shop for $6.00, I have to by to it. This album was the last studio album I need for my vinyl collection aside from “Live”.

Track listing:

“In the Night Time” (Michael Henderson, Sylvester Rivers) – 3:08
“I’m Ready” (Willie Dixon) – 2:46
“Goodbye Baby” (Joe Josea, Jules Taub, Sam Ling) – 3:08
“Howlin for My Darling” (Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf) – 3:24
“My Weakness” (Vetter Smith, Wilson) – 2:26
“Nadine” (Chuck Berry) – 4:03
“My Way” (Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart) – 1:56
“You’re Gonna Miss Me” (Eddie Jones) – 2:14
“Worried About My Baby” (Wolf) – 3:29
“Huckle Up Baby” (Bernard Besman, John Lee Hooker) – 2:24

George Thorogood and the Destroyers: George Thorogood and the Destroyers

Rating: 95%

George_ThorogoodI recently picked this vinyl LP up at my local record store. I was pleased with the fact that this was the very first album by the band. So…1977 was the year that George Thorogood and the Destroyers released their debut record.

Musically, this album sets the career for young George Thorogood and his backing band. It’s Bluesy, hard rocking, heavy slide guitar drenched, and great sounding Rock n’ Roll. George Thorogood knows his way around the frets of his guitar with that metal slide. I can’t think of any modern musician that is that good with a slide. The rhythm section of guitarist  Ron Smith, bassist Billy Blough, and drummer Jeff Simon is outstanding. They provide some great sounding rhythms and even keel tempos. I love it when I hear musicians complimenting each other by their style of playing.

The music is raw and drenched with whisky. It’s so power driven by electricity that one can’t help to tap their foot or play air guitar. One thing is for sure, George Thorogood pays tribute to the African American Blues musicians like no other. His music is real, and his covers are played with feeling and made to be his. This is the type of music I want to listen to on a hot summer night while drinking a few beers and playing along with my guitar.

Track listing:

“You Got to Lose” (Earl Hooker) – 3:15
“Madison Blues” (Elmore James) – 4:24
“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” (John Lee Hooker) – 8:20
“Kind Hearted Woman” (Robert Johnson) – 3:48
“Can’t Stop Lovin'” (E. James) – 3:04
“Ride On Josephine” (Ellas McDaniel) – 4:17
“Homesick Boy” – 3:02
“John Hardy” (Traditional) – 3:18
“I’ll Change My Style” (William Parker, Manuel Villa) – 3:57
“Delaware Slide” (Thorogood) – 7:45

Mutha Live! Black Oak Arkansas

Rating: 90%

R-380941-1297103126.jpeg.jpgIn 1976, Black Oak Arkansas released Mutha Live! It was recorded on Mother’s Day on 1975. This performance starts off with the bands most popular hit “Jim Dandy.” It also has a small collection of their other well known songs such as “Hot And Nasty.” 

For a live album, this is a really good performance on behalf of the band. The sound of the music is rich, rhythmic, and full. It’s always good to hear what a band sounds like once they are live. Some sound great, others not so great and B.O.A. sounds better to me, live than in the studio. 

With regards to the band, they sound solid and they are engaging with the audienceTommy Aldridge on the drums is throwing out some steady tempos. Thundering along on bass is Pat Daugherty and he is clearly heard and is not overshadowed by the guitars. Jimmy Henderson, Stan Knight, and Ricky Reynolds on guitars is what gives this band that full and rich sound. It’s heavy and distorted, but doesn’t take away any of the feel to the music. Then on vocals is the one and only James Mangrum who sounds like he is on top of his game. 

Track listing:

A1 Jim Dandy
A2 Fancy Nancy
A3 Lord Have Mercy On My Soul
A4 Cryin’ Shame
A5 Fever In My Mind
B1 Hey Ya’ll
B2 Rebel
B3 Taxman (George Harrison)
B4 Hot And Nasty