Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 114

HIT LIST REVIEWS
Gov't Mule

Revolution Come...
Revolution Go

Dan Hicks

I Scare Myself: A Memoir
Dan Hicks began as
a California folksingerguitarist who loved jazz
and vintage pop. In mid'60s San Francisco, he
drummed with the pioneering Charlatans
before switching to guitar and vocals. Blending his quirky, sardonic original tunes with
'40s harmonies from two female singers into
an acoustic, violin-driven ensemble based
on the Quintet of the Hot Club of France,
Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks were born.
The band's three early-'70s albums for
Blue Thumb Records were acclaimed but
seemed at least 20 years ahead of their
time. After the group acrimoniously
disbanded in '73, Hicks fell into over two
decades of alcoholic dissolution and tells
those tales here with disarming candor
and minimal drama.

Thank You, Friends: Big
Star's Third Live...And More

Big Star in 2016, with
Jeff Tweedy (right).

SUPERNOVA

B

so deep into the archaeology of a single LP.
Straying from the
band's power pop, the
album allowed Chilton
to branch out with his
strong guitar playing. He
ranged from driving rock
licks to ambient sounds,
finding a new freedom in
his experimentation - all
of which is on show here.
To further honor the
album, drummer Stephens assembled a band
of fans to play it live in
2016, captured here on
the two-CD, one-DVD
or Blu-Ray Thank You,
Friends. The lineup of
stars is almost unbelievable: Jeff Tweedy and Pat
Sansone of Wilco, Mike
Mills of R.E.M., Robyn
Hitchcock, Dan Wilson
of Semisonic, Ira Kaplan
of Yo La Tengo, Benmont
Tench from Tom Petty's
Heartbreakers, the Kronos Quartet, and more.
Finally, Looking
Forward collects 22 postBig Star tracks by Bell,
six previously unissued.
These encompass Bell's
solo efforts, which, along
with Chilton's A Man
Called Destruction, will
be reissued in various expanded editions later this
year. - Michael Dregni

ig Star's Third was
Gurls" - Big Star still
alternately hailed as
inspired a power-pop and
one of the darkest
alt-rock renaissance in the
albums ever made, a
'80s and '90s, with their
shambling wreck, and
praises sung loudly by
an LP that simply should
R.E.M. and The Replacenever have been released.
ments, among others.
Now, four-plus decades
Best of is a fine entry
after its 1974 recording
point to the band. The 16
sessions, it's often viewed
tracks show the band's
as masterpiece and one of
most commercial side;
the most influential rock
in other words, there's
albums of all time.
little from Third. The
The band formed in
now-rare single versions
Memphis in '71 featuring
of six tunes are the
singers/songwriters/guitar- highlights for diehards.
ists Alex Chilton and Chris
The gem of these new
Bell, drummer Jody Stereleases is Complete
phens, and bassist Andy
Third, which captures
Hummel. At the time, the
the making of the mythic
group found only modest
album - and in exhaussuccess, truly cutting
tive detail. The three-CD
only one album together
set comes in a clamshell
- 1972's #1 Record. They
case with an extensive
were already falling apart
liner book and 69 tracks,
while recording '74's
29 of which are previRadio City, Bell quitting the
ously unheard session
band during the sessions
recordings, demos, and
- twice. Third was made
alt mixes by producer Jim
by only half the group,
Dickinson and engineer
Chilton and Stephens, and
John Fry. Rarely does a
wasn't released until '78.
collection allow you to dig
With
such a
short discography
and only
one hit
- the everinfectious
Big Star
Chris Bell
"SepThe Best of Big Star
Looking Forward:
tember
Complete Third
The Roots of Big Star

VINTAGE GUITAR

114

October 2017

Alex Chilton
A Man Called
Destruction

Big Star: Courtesy Omnivore Recordings.

Gov't Mule's 10th
studio album treads
the similar hard rock
me e t s s out her n
blues territory of past albums, but with the
added dimension of the polarized social and
political climate of the United States.
Triple-thick power chords laced with lustrous organ permeate the album with Warren
Haynes' beautifully gruff, Southern-fried
rasp up top. The band consists of Haynes
on guitar and vocals, drummer Matt Abts,
Danny Louis on keys, and bassist Jorgen
Carlsson. Produced by Haynes and Gordie
Johnson, the album also features the production talents of Don Was on the songs "Pressure
Under Fire" and "Dreams & Songs."
Blues guitarist Jimmie Vaughan makes
an appearance on "Burning Point," adding
signature Texas sizzle to Haynes' scorching
wah-wah lines.
The album is a landmark in Haynes'
songwriting as he expands his ideas lyrically
and thematically, conjuring a diversity of
influences, as with the gospel-imbued "The
Man I Want To Be" and the clean R&B
soulfulness of "Sarah, Surrender." While
the single "Stone Cold Rage" is classic Gov't
Mule with it's "Funk #49"-inspired riff, the
funk-fused title track yields hip compositional twists, jamming, and sarcasm in the
face of adversity. - Oscar Jordan

Jody Stephens, Mike
Mills, Jeff Tweedy,
and More


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open

Contents
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Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 3
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