22. January 2005 · Comments Off on Slash and Burn · Categories: That's Entertainment!

Some bands just belong in a bar…on a summer’s night with lots of ceiling fans blowing and the skylights wide open to let the smoke out and gusts of fresh air in so you can catch your breath if/when you get off the dance floor.

1985-Out on what was then the outskirts of Las Vegas was one of those wonderful, rare finds, a real live Rock’n’Roll BARN. Practically in the middle of the desert, the only lights for a couple of miles on that road. That smell of damp desert drifted in, sage and dust and a tinge of…something on the edge…

A friend of mine from Chicago had called…BoDeans were heading out west…no…not The BoDeans…just BoDeans…yes just like Jethro…no…they’re NOT a shit-kicker band…look STFU, trust me and just go…and bring a girl…you’re gonna wanna dance…have I ever lead you wrong?

BoDeans? Is she freakin’ kiddin’ me with this? Well…she did take me to Depeche Mode before anyone else had heard of them…

On that night a group of guys, from Wisconsin for Pete’s sake, set up their two guitars, their base, and their drum kit, and took everyone in that barn to school. They taught us how Springsteen ought to sound, how he wanted to growl. They showed us what Mellancamp was all about. They put Bob Seger on notice. The lead guitarist gave a lesson in harmonics that would make The Edge cry in frustration.

We drank a bit too much. We danced WAY too much. The smell of the desert blew through the roof and we danced some more. It was one of those nights that you just know you’re never going to forget. And you swear you’ll follow this band forever because…DAMN they can play and sing and that growl just sent a shiver through everyone…

That was almost 20 years ago…

A couple weeks ago I heard “Good Things” on Radio Paradise and that night came rolling back into my memory.

Went to Borders this weekend and picked up some books we were looking for and then headed upstairs to the music section. They had “Best of BoDeans: Slash and Burn”. I just grinned when I looked at that set of tracks.

I bought it and I’ve played it and played it and played it some more. I’ve listened to other music this week, don’t be silly, but BoDeans has been getting as much car CD time as GreenDay. I took it over to our friend’s house for our regular card night. They loved it…I knew they would.

They’ve got a LOT of music out and I wish I could have bought it all, but this one album does wrap up their feel with great respect. Some of their best stuff is recorded live. Sing alongs and anthems that roll through the back of your head.

And no…they’re NOT the guys who did the theme from Friends, unfortunately, at least for me, their “Closer to Free” was the theme from “Party of Five.” Somehow it was their only hit.

Basically if you like rock’n’roll in the old school tradition…if you honestly miss The Replacements, if you’re still waiting for a new Springsteen album that just plain rocks, pick up “Slash and Burn.” It will fill in the gap very nicely.

Oh, and since it’s been an issue on some blogs the past week or two. I don’t get a dime from any of the bands I write about. T-Shirts would be appreciated and accepted, but other than that I just write about ’em ‘cuz I like ’em.

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