Webb Wilder has been making great music for better than 30 years with a dozen studio and live albums to his credit. With his band of various ne’er-do-wells the Beatnecks, Wilder has cranked out a heady, unique blend of roots-rock, rockabilly, blues, and country music that owes as much to the British Invasion as it does the Delta blues. It’s a sound that could only be pulled off by the big man from Mississippi.
Wilder’s last album was 2015’s critically-acclaimed Mississippi Mōderne, of which the Reverend wrote “in the hands of a lesser artist, this ramshackle mix of garage-rock, blues, and old-school country music would sink like an over-inflated soufflé, and the album’s often over-the-top lyrics would lack in sincerity coming from a singer without Wilder’s charismatic personality. Backed by the grizzled veterans that comprise the Beatnecks, though, Wilder delivers a powerful and entertaining collection…” Mississippi Mōderne was Wilder’s first studio effort in six years and only his second since 2005’s excellent About Time, so none of us thought that we’d hear from him again anytime soon.
On April 27th, 2018 however, Landslide Records will release Wilder’s odds ‘n’ sods collection Powerful Stuff! A sixteen-song album comprised of previously-unreleased studio and live tracks dating from 1985 to 1993, the album primarily features the original Beatnecks band of Wilder on vocals and guitar, guitarist Donny “The Twangler” Roberts, bassist Denny “Cletus” Blakely, and drummer Jimmy Lester.
Much of the material on Powerful Stuff! was produced by Wilder’s longtime friend and collaborator R.S. “Bobby” Field and special guests include keyboardist Al Kooper, noted guitarist David Grisman, and bassist Willie Weeks. Powerful Stuff! features seven studio tracks and nine live performances including original material written by Wilder and Field and raucous covers of songs by Ike & Tina Turner (“Nutbush City Limits”), fellow Nashvillian Steve Forbert (“Catbird Seat”), Cajun fiddle legend Doug Kershaw (“Hey Mae”), and Little Richard (“Lucille”). Among the originals, “Powerful Stuff” was originally recorded by Wilder and the Beatnecks but remained unreleased after the Fabulous Thunderbirds had a hit with the song; it’s presented here as a rowdy live version.
If you’re in the Music City at the end of the month, Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks will perform at the official CD release party for Powerful Stuff! on Sunday, April 29th at Nashville’s Exit/In, a venue where several of the tracks on the new CD were originally recorded live in 1986. The current Beatnecks lineup includes Webb Wilder, drummer Jimmy Lester, bassist Tom Comet, and guitarist Bob Williams. Check out the album’s tracklist below and then order your copy from Amazon.com!
Webb Wilder's Powerful Stuff! track list:
1. Make That Move
2. New Day
3. No Great Shakes
4. Lost In The Shuffle
5. Powerful Stuff *
6. Ain’t That A Lot Of Love
7. Wild About You Baby *
8. Animal Lover
9. Nutbush City Limits *
10. High Rollin’
11. Catbird Seat *
12. Hey Mae *
13. Revenooer Man *
14. Is This All There Is? *
15. Dead and Starting To Cool *
16. Lucille *
* live tracks
Also on That Devil Music.com: Webb Wilder’s Mississippi Mōderne CD review
Buy the CD from Amazon.com: Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks’ Powerful Stuff!