Real to Reel

I read that it’s not only OK to listen to classic rock, it’s also required. That makes the latest Tesla album, Real to Reel, a collection of 13 classic rock covers, a must-listen. Say what you want about the band that is arguably Sacramento’s greatest cultural export, their classic-rock taste is impeccable. Songs that benefit from “Tesla-fication” include Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin,” the James Gang’s “Walk Away” and, believe it or not, the Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women.” These takes aren’t necessarily better than the originals (although some are, amazingly enough), but they won’t cause you to cringe, either. Not as successful are cuts at Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You” and Derek and the Dominoes’ “Bell Bottom Blues.” Singer Jeff Keith just can’t hit those high notes the same since his nuts dropped.