Jeez, Merle Haggard lives near Redding, and you can hear him rambling about UFOs and the Book of Revelation on one of those lunar-rotation saucer-kook phone-in shows (Art Bell, etc.) any day of the week. But I had no idea Redding was producing music as severely mutant as the stuff on this 16-song Slam Buckra CD. You can tell Slam’s gotten bent while blasting plenty of Captain Beefheart, Dean Martin and Frank Zappa sides, and he sounds like he’s got a passing familiarity with Howlin’ Wolf, Van Dyke Parks and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, too. Silly me for thinking this was gonna be another routine bar-band blues workout, having never caught Mr. Buckra’s act at Harlow’s—’cause this is a whole ’nother animal crawlin’ up out of the swamp. And anyone who can rhyme a line like “Every day I get up I feel more and more like Walter Brennan” with “I miss John Lennon” is worth listening to. Fucking brilliant.