Saturday, July 29, 2017

Paul Nelson Band - Badass Generation


2016 –Walk the Dog Music / Friday Music Inc.

By Phillip Smith; July 29, 2017


One of the hottest albums I’ve heard this year is Badass Generation from The Paul Nelson Band.  Featuring a dozen wonderfully written and performed original tunes, the album is a surefire hit in my book.  Nelson, who was awarded a Grammy for performing on guitar and producing the legendary Johnny Winter’s 2014 Step Back album, fronts one tight as hell band.  This killer quartet consists of Nelson on guitar, singer Martin Fredheim, bassist Christopher Alexander, and drummer Chris Reddan 

I love the thick Texas-style blues riff on “Down Home Boogie”.  The licks are searing and the slide guitar is sweet and buttery.  Fredheim’s vocals are amazingly powerful and confident.  “Keep it All Together” has an instant likeability and hooks me with its southern-blues-rock charm.  With only a few listens under my belt, “Please Come Home” has already clawed itself inside my head, waiting to be running on auto-play upon my awakening.  Nelson’s guitar performance is this ballad is spacy and cosmic.  It reminds me tremendously of Jerry Garcia from the Dead’s In the Dark era.  It’s a fabulous song indeed.

“Swamp Thing”, Nelson’s nitty gritty guilty-pleasure love song, is one big ball of fun.  With an infectious hook surrounded by the sounds of the night, the tone is perfectly set.  The grinding intro on “Trouble” is chockful of gusto.  Reddan’s full-on drum attack is terrific and Nelson’s solo on the bridge is downright awe-inspiring.  When the dual guitar rings out on “Take it Back”, I immediately think of one my favorite bands, Black Oak Arkansas. I have to turn the volume up a notch or two for this badass album closer.  It’s rock and roll at its best.

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