Push Me Again (Touch & Go)
by Jon Sarre
This is, hands down, the best Blues Explosion record to come out since Extra Width! Mr. P.W. Long didn’t even haveta go and stick “Blues” anywhere in the name of his backin’ band, either. Long (ex-singer/guitar mangler for Mule, son) simply named his thing Reelfoot and, well, I dunno what a Reelfoot is, but it sure as fuck stomps the shit outta the notion that the blues are some kinda hip-hop fusion with guitars, or, for that matter, somethin’ that fat, bald, white guys play on their harps at the House of Pancakes or whatever it’s called. P.W. Long’s blues are heavy, hand-clappin’, or hand-wringin’, jump-fer-joy, or jump cuz that man with the gun says ya haveta, blaze a rotgut trail to hell on a Saturday night and fall on yer knees Sunday and feel bad, cuz ya felt so good!
Push Me Again, this record is called, and it shoves off with “Signifyin’ Honkey,” a soulful slugfest that sounds like four crackers (Long, ex-Jesus Lizard skin-beater Mac McNeilly, bassthumper Dan Maister and ace organ-grinder Mark Boyce) drunk on Hee Haw reruns and scratchy copies of Booker T records locked in a head cuttin’ competition with Jon Spencer’s crew (and takin’ the round). From there, kinda Rockyesque, they tangle with Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones (and all their session men) (“Say It Ain’t So,” where McNeilly plays the back-up hollerin’ Keef to Long’s Mick yodellin’ like a barefoot Dwight Yoakam out of his head on moonshine). You’d almost think that Preston W. Long had a pact with the devil or somethin’, but then he starts preachin’ like blues pioneer Son House-gone-heavier-than-Led-electric like he was Hendrix’ kid brother, yammerin’ ’bout how we need to save the American family (song’s called “Stand Up,” honest). Sweet Jesus? Nah, but yer not off by much, P.W. Long and one ass-whuppin’ of a record.
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