Straight From the Heart
If you like it raw and heartfelt, pick up this new disk by the original guitarist and songwriter for the L.A. band Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs. With help from his buds Mike Watt (Minutemen, Firehose) , John Doe (X) and Dave Alvin (The Blasters), Guitarlos has put together 17 songs that blend zydeco, honky-tonk and Robert Johnson-style blues in a seamless masterpiece that speaks of the whiskey, bad women, trains and ultimately the redemptive power of real music and true love. Moving back and forth between raunchy roadhouse rhythms and tender waltzes, Guitarlos takes accordion riffs, harp breaks and plaintive pedal-steel lines to new places while at the same paying tribute to the traditions. Dust my broom, indeed. The title song was written from Guitarlos’ hospital bed while he was recovering from near-fatal congestive heart failure after years of living on the streets of San Francisco. It don’t get more real.