Car Wash (Alive)
By Craig Regala
Pretty much a stroll through America’s roots rhythm ‘n’ blues stuff that’s fired up many a rock band since the whole shebang took off, most notably another band from their town: Five Horse Johnson. These guys are closer to the root though, gigging as a blues club house band in Detroit (Sullys) is no surprise. Hefty harp/sax/slide action topping a rockin’ pushy ass-end and a pretty good phlegm growler up top works well. There were ’60s garage bands that leaned on this stuff hard, especially the ones with Mexican heritage and other rock-identified bands like The Rationals, also from Detroit rock city, and a cultural forebearer of our boys.
Most of the “blues rock” bands of the ’60s and ’70s and on were more Cream/Hendrix-degenerated rote bar rock and less greasy r’n’b, which is a shame, and maybe even a sin. Without genius, the grooveless blues rock trip undercut the physical/sexuality of the r’n’b groove. Car Wash definitely has straight-up piles of groove and should appeal to anyone who digs the straighter ’60s Beefheart stuff, fucking, the roughed-up side of Chicago blues, Hound Dog Taylor, Grand Funk, The Lee County Killers, and a buncha those Fat Possum folks.
These guys have gigged with the Dirtbombs, George Clinton, Albert Collins, Bocephus (that’s Hank Jr., for you young people), and about a half a billion other respectable units. Fun for the whole family, no irony involved.