Jim's last record, Big Foot,
was a top-notch effort that took him a couple
of years to make. This one took considerably less time, but that doesn't
mean the music is any less outstanding.
Before we talk about songs, I've got to mention the tone. I know Jim's a
Tele guy, and he gets such a great sound - whether it's a bright,
quick-picked thing, or a fat, singing tone, it's always right. Even when
he kicks in the effects, like a wah, it sounds magnificent. So kudos for that.
As far as the tunes go, there's some really good originals. The title cut
has a hook big enough to drive a truck through. It's highlighted by some
loud rock and a pop-tinged solo. The instrumental "Metal Jam" is like a
trip; segments start with some crunchy boogie, mix in a dash of spacey jam
rock, and even some metal-esque shredding (geez, Jim, I didn't know you
had it in ya!), and you've got a fun tune that has to be a hoot to play
There are some great covers, too. The record kicks off with a rockin'
version of "Subterrranean Homesick Blues" that features sinewy guitars and
nice beats. Bob would approve. There's also a nice cover of "The
Weight," with Jim stating the melody beautifully and soulfully before Merl
Saunders and Mavis Staples kick in on vocals. It's a nice tribute to the
folks he played with in the Band.
While we're on the subject, let me just say you have to admire Weider, who
stepped into an almost impossible position with those guys (love him or
not, you've got to admit most of us wouldn't want to take Robbie
Robertson's place), and filled the guitar chair with taste and sensitivity.
It's hard not to like this one. Weider's a great player, the band always
cooks, and the tunes are always good. Both Weider efforts are good
additions to any guitar/music lover's collection.
--John Heidt, Vintage Guitar magazine