Not another Dave Edmunds album I hear you say.
I like Dave Edmunds and you should do.
That’s not an order but a suggestion.
If we had more Dave Edmunds in this world we would have less James Blunts … and that is not a bad thing.
Read any of my other comments for Dave Edmunds information but, musically, it would be safe to call Dave a Americanophile.
The guy wears his heart on his sleeve. As I said in another comment: “His passion for his chosen music is not something by an affected dilettante, it is neither superficial nor an attempt to jump on the band wagon. He is passionate and is not afraid of doing some well-considered covers of old songs, which though not always successful are always sincere”.
Dave’s Englishness is not necessarily subsumed as it rears its head on individual songs, but it does remain hidden a lot. When it does poke through it’s not to steal another culture, repackage it and call it your own (like Mumford & Sons do) but to acknowledge the universality of the music itself. When he digs into the roots of rock bag he goes back to the songs and sounds that influenced Elvis and Chuck Berry not back to the Irish and Scottish folk songs or English sea shanties which may have been their base. Edmunds knows that rock n roll could not have come from any place in the world bar the South of the United States even if they do sing in English.
Musical archaeology aside Dave is smart.
And he has a taste.
A lot of taste.
You cannot leave his albums without thinking “that was fun”. Sometimes there are things a little deeper there, sometimes not. But, either way you know you have had a fun, popular culture, history and music lesson.
Dave writes convincing rock and roll originals also but on this album he abandons any song writing and does a batch of covers as well as some originals written by his band. He had lost his old Rockpile / Nick Lowe backing band and had attracted a new group of musicians for this album. He reunited with old Love Sculpture band mates, guitarist Micky Gee and bassist John David, and adding drummer Dave Charles and Geraint Watkins on keys and accordion. The sound difference between the new and the old is minimal , maybe a little more retro and less poppy, but ultimately Dave is running the show and knows what he wants to sound like.
Tracks (best in italics)
- From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come) – (Bruce Springsteen) – Springsteen’s more retro rock n roll songs are perfect for Edmunds. The un mistakeable Springsteen style is there though. A great toe tapper of a song. In his 2005 book on Springsteen, “The Ties That Bind”, author Gary Graff explains: “When (Edmunds) went to see Springsteen perform at Wembley Arena (in 1981), he expected a good show but not necessarily a new song to record. "I was backstage in the hospitality area after the gig," Edmunds remembered, "and one of his crew of road managers tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Bruce wants to meet you.’ I went back and had this great talk with him, and he played me this song and said, ‘I’d like you to do this, if you like it.’ He said he’d send me the tape, which he did."
- Me And The Boys – (Terry Adams) – a 70s style rocker / thumper by NRBQ. None to subtle but engaging enough.
- Bail You Out – (Chris Rees) – a most enjoyable Louisiana styled song which you could here Doug Kershaw doing ….
- Generation Rumble – (Graham Lyle) – this is light and witty and much like a Chuck Berry tune.
- Other Guys Girls – (C Gent) – an excellent little toe tapper about youthful wondering ….
- Warmed Over Kisses (Left Over Love) – (Gary Geld, Peter Udell) – a Bryan Hyland song that Dave upends giving the song the sound of a traditional country hoe down. You’d never guess this guy was from England
- Deep In The Heart Of Texas – (Geraint Watkins) – more of a Joe Ely type country rock number – excellent.
- Louisiana Man – (Doug Kershaw) – The old Cajun rock song. Apparently it’s been covered over 800 times. I don’t know about that but it certainly is the song most associated with Kershaw and it has been covered a lot.
- Paula Meet Jeanne – (Jude Cole) –
- One More Night – (Liam Grundy) – Liam Grundy is another English (Irish?) rockabilly roots rocker who has been around since the 70s.
- Dear Dad – (Chuck Berry) – a cover of a great song from the underrated “Chuck Berry in London” album from 1965. Only Chuck Berry can write a song that every kid (well at least every western kid in 1965) can relate to…..
Dear Dad, don’t get mad,
What I’m asking for
Is by the next semester
Can I get another car ?
This one here is sick’ning
On a wide dual road.
I might as well be walking
As to drive this old Ford.
Edmunds albums are all varying shades of good…. I’m keeping it.
1982 Me And The Boys Mainstream Rock #47
1982 From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come) Mainstream Rock #28
1982 D.E. 7th The Billboard 200 #46
attached MP3 below