Photos: Cortesy of the Record Labels
Fathers And Sons
Originally released as a double album set by Chess Records in 1969, Fathers and Sons is one of the greatest blues albums ever recorded. The idea was to bring Chicago blues godfather Muddy Waters together with a few younger blues practitioners in the hopes of re-kindling interest in the genre with an avid younger record-buying audience. After all, kids were being introduced to the blues at that time by artists like The Stones, Cream, Led Zeppelin and others. The project featured Muddy, along with his half- brother Otis Spann handling keyboard chores and Booker T. & The MGs bass player Donald "Duck" Dunn. The "younger" guest artists all had blossoming careers of their own: Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, Donald Sam Lay, Buddy Miles, and Phil Upchurch. One record was recorded live and the other in the studio. While the idea may not have been original the result was sensational. And it makes for road-worthy traveling music. Songs such as "All Aboard", "Blow Wind Blow", "Baby Please Don't Go", and the classic "Got My Mojo Workin'" all make great bike-riding anthems. The re-mastered version features a few extra unreleased tracks, most notably, "I Love the Life I Live (I Live the Life I Love)"-a good line all of us can believe in.
One Foot in the Ether
Band of Heathens
This is not the name of an outlaw biker club. But Band of Heathens' appeal to we who ride is obvious-they're different from the rest, "rest" being the current crop of rock bands. Accomplished players and songwriters with a large, ever-growing fan base and plenty of national acclaim, the band (Colin Brooks, John Chipman, Treavor Healon, Ed Jurdy, Gordy Quist, Seth Whitney) set about releasing their second album, One Foot in the Ether on their own label, eschewing major label support. Recorded in their home base of Austin, at first listen, the sound invites obvious comparisons to The Band and Little Feat. It's a coherent and polished effort, with real life subject matter as in "LA County Blues": "They got me on accessory, 30 days in jail; One headlight and a Louisville map, without a chance at bail...". Then there are songs like songs like "What's This World" and nifty lines like, "We clean our guns while we turn our sheets; We're like angels and demons and dogs in heat..." This is an amazingly good album that belongs on your holiday listening list! Band of Heathens are definitely firing on both V-Twin cylinders.
Live in New York
Put this one at the top of your Christmas wish list. Our friends at Rhino have been busy and have created another "must-have" in time for the holiday season. Live in New York is a 6 CD collection of the Doors 1970 concert at NY's legendary Felt Forum. Morrison, Densmore, Kreiger, and Manzarek were in top form for this show, which was just a few weeks prior to the release of their epic album Morrison Hotel. There's not enough space here to even sum up how great a project this is-the sound is phenomenal thanks to mastering chores handled by the band's longtime engineer Bruce Botnik. The mostly-unreleased tracks in this collection are a treasure trove of familiar Doors classics and there's enough music here to keep you entertained on a multi-state jaunt. Pray that this finds its way under your tree or onto your iPod this holiday season!
Mill City Rockers
MCR is short for Mill City Rockers, and if you've seen them playing at various biker events, consider yourself lucky. While their CD MCR was released in 2005, it deserves mention here because this magazine is for people who ride and we feel obliged to include bands that play for same. The album also happened to receive a Grammy nomination in 2006. Not bad indeed. And the band really does play lots of biker rallies, from Laconia on down to Daytona. No wonder they have the moniker "America's Favorite Biker Band". Headed by a father/son guitar duo that sound like Joe Perry and Ritchie Blackmore, the band even features a girl singer (and bike rider) in Kerry Cudmore. That's different. MCR will find favor with those who can't get enough good ol' American rock and roll. Let's hope there's a new album soon.
Heartaches & Hangovers
PsykNyne (as in "sick 9") is from the sledgehammer side of the workshop. A friend under the influence of exhaust fumes told me about this band-which also play lots of biker events. When I got on their website the music promptly blew out my puny little pc speakers. Remember the first time you heard AC/DC's Back in Black album? You knew it was good as soon as the needle hit the groove. So consider yourself forewarned: This band ain't playin' around. Sorry is the first single from their new album Heartaches & Hangovers-and it's a darn good album that you'll play all the way through; every song is high-octane fun. Plus they have a girl drummer (notice a theme here?). Got an amp and subwoofer stuffed in your bags? You'll enjoy playing this at max volume, and perhaps make enemies with the neighbors too. Seriously, this band is awesomely good and if you tend to like metalworking, this is it!