Electric Folk Boogie
When no one was looking, Jim Croce and the Grateful Dead hunkered down in Arkansas and produced four illegitimate sons who later formed the Damn Bullets. Historical evidence may suggest otherwise, but the music doesn’t lie: These guys are straight from the rock-and-roll loins of the ’70s. Their debut CD overflows with the guitar riffs and rhythms that defy genre classification—a bit of bluegrass funneled through folk with edges rounded by a rockabilly sensation. At their best (“Good Time Charlie,” “Georgia Brown” and “On My Way Home”) the group is great fun, and you can’t help but want to dance along. However, the former two tracks borrow too heavily from the Dead’s “The Golden Road” and “Sugar Magnolia” (likewise with the latter and Croce’s “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown”). The album occasionally slips into preachy territory and the hippie side of their heritage turns full force, particularly in the clichéd “Energy of One Bomb.” You can smell the patchouli oil when they suggest a bomb’s energy could be better used to “Feed all of creation, give the homeless habitation.” Still, if you fancy yourself a Deadhead—or don’t remember the ’70s well enough—these guys are a great trip.