Songs of Aerosmith (Heavy Hip Mama)
by Craig Regala
High concept trib. disc, the tribute being to “the blues,” really, with Aerosmith’s tunes being the lens to focus in on this seminal (as in semen-ok?) American Music form. Aerosmith’s take on the blues always had/has plenty of rhythmn/funk/boogie woogie fun as well as the bit of the dealin’ with the devil at the crossroads part that drives scholars just fucking apeshit. Why it’s an OK listen: A) Aerosmith’s songliness, Tyler loved The Beatles for a reason: tune impact; B) decent people involved and a nice roughshod recording. The Lou Ann Barton take on “One Way Street” is great. It’s always good to hear old school power-bopper Marshall Crenshaw show people how much he knows about all things nascent to rock and roll. Live, he’s been known to whip out Molly Hatchet’s “Flirtin’ With Disaster.” Lou Gramm is about halfway home to atoning for being such an unbearable asshole on those Foreigner recs, although that trait did focus a couple great AOR cuts; like if the recent Offspring stuff was better and personally vicious instead of “commentary.” Much of the other stuff here is big beat blues rock that’d fit right in with the whole late ’80s beer commercial aspect of chubby guys in sports bars in Chicago congratulating each other for getting (false, actually) cell numbers from the girls working at Hooters. Guys I can at least hang out with for a bit of fun, guys who often have punk rock kids and are OK with it, as long as they clean the pool and mow the grass. So, it doesn’t seem like a cash-in as much as a rear guard action, some kind of lever to “respect the roots,” which I could give a fuck about. As soon as that happens, it’s museum time, dead shit hangin’ on the wall to study. In the end, it’s OK, I just can’t imagine anyone buying it, y’know? But a bunch of people really dug the Lou Gramm “I Wanna Know What Love Is” performance with the choir and whatnot, so maybe they’ll put a few bucks towards this. The rest: Joe Louis Walker, Otis Clay, Donald Kinsey, Rusty Zinn and Pinetop Perkins with Ronnie Baker Brooks, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Cathy Richardson with Wayne Baker Brooks, Lou Gramm and Sugar Blue, Marshall Crenshaw and Sugar Blue, Crystal Taliefero with Joanna Connor, Kim McFarland, Gebald McClendon, Tad Robinson.