Why Tom Hambridge is so favored by such figures as Johnny Van Zant and Delbert McClinton is plainly evident in Boom!, as this disc loudly shouts "Nashville" from every cut, from the radio anthemic opener, I Keep Things, to the Mississipi sass of The Upside of Lonely, a jilted male's appraisal of being slovenly, testosteronic, and unchained. As more than one of us has found out after X amount of failed amours, there are indeed benefits to the singleton gig…at least until a certain anatomical region starts in again and says "Hey! Time to go out and make another mistake!". And, yes, this cut struts like a tomcat prowling the lower East side on an emancipated Saturday night.
Hambridge is a bit of an oddity, a record producer who's also a gin-yoo-wine muso and can stand on the stage with the pros, giving them what-fer while grinnin' from ear to ear. Having produced Buddy Guy and Georgie Thorogood, the gent has little he needs to prove, and possessing a smart-ass psychology and roustabout attitude not all that far from Warren Zevon's doesn't hurt either. Sly humor abounds, and I guarantee you've never heard a start-up to a song quite like Nine Pound Hammer's. I nearly snorted bourbon out my nose as the cut cranked in, so bizarrely twisted is it. The rest of the song fits its genesis like a torn bejeweled glove, too: strange, quirky, and appropriate. In the 70s, this track alone would've had us running to the record shop to nab the single.
'N ya better feel like getting toasty and shit-kicking for this one, pilgrims. Too bad Hambridge never cut a disc for the old J. Geils Band, 'cause that would've been one hellacious affair. Oh, ya liked J.Geils? Well, sure, so did I, kinda, but when I was plunking their slabs on the plattern, Boom! was what I really wanted. No shit, Bubba, this disc alone walks all over Petey Wolf 'n da boyz. Had those 70s bastards composed and played like this, I woulda been all over 'em like white on rice. I mean, catch Rob McNelly's nasty-sloppy riffs on The Pistol and you can put most of the Geils catalogue back in the LP stack. In fact, the more I listen to this CD, the more I'm convinced Hambridge is the new Zevon, grittier and funkier, but a cat after the dear departed's heart.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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