Dan Sartain – Lives

January 01, 1970

(One Little Indian)




The pale, wiry Alabaman oozes cool credentials, including
some he seems to have conjured on his own. There’s a John Weiss (RFTC/Swami Records,
which released Sartain’s first coupla discs) connect. Especially as Sartain
nears 30, his whisper of a mustache keeps drawing John Waters comparisons. There’s
a running theme about cobras. He’s fanatical about atheism, makes passing
allusions to Satanism, burns with the fire of a preacher denouncing the latter,
and makes a good case for having done some bona-fide snake-running. Only other
southerner I know who’s this fanatically mixed-up is Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood character, Hazel Motes – and,
uh, yeah, that’s make-believe.


How much of this is or isn’t fiction, and how great it is
that someone’s livin’ rock ‘n’ roll
wouldn’t make us sit up if Sartain didn’t provide a rip-roaring blaze through a
sunglasses-after-dark kinda world. Whether the vehicle’s driving a la Johnny
Rivers/The Yardbirds (“Those Thoughts,” “Bohemian Grove”), the hip-shakin’
stomp of “Doin’ Anything I Say” and “Voodoo,” the smoky atmospherics of “Bad
Things Will Happen” the delicious Farfisa of “What You Gonna Do?,” or the laidback,
Kinks-ish strut of “Prayin’ for a Miracle,” Sartain’s sure to entertain anyone
who’s still jazzed about tricked-out gas guzzlers, Betty Page, greased-back
hair, and just about any music with “billy” at the end of the name.


Yeah, some of Sartain’s ravings are ridiculous. On “Walk
Among The Cobras IV” he spouts lines like “With a smile on their face/but it’s
the furthest thing from funny” and “Well, trust me when I tell yew that these
people ain’t yer friends.” But when he starts shouting, “Go, go… go!” and the
roadhouse snare and perfectly toned retro guitars stir up a hot crescendo, rockers
smile deeply, knowing all’s right with the world, at least in that bar, at that


DOWNLOAD: “Doin’ Anything
I Say,” “Walk Among The Cobras IV,” “Voodoo,” “Prayin’ For A Miracle” MARY




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