Webb Wilder – More Like Me

January 01, 1970

(Blind Pig)





It’s no accident that a rollicking version of “Ju Ju Man”
kicks off Wilder’s newest album; his unquenched penchant for roots-rock majesty
is similar to that of fellow guitar slinger and cultural archivist Dave
Edmunds. “We play both kinds of music – rock and roll,” says Wilder, and both forms converge often on More Like Me. Wilder’s song selection is
as impeccable and reliable as his guitar wrangling skills (although he shares
that slot with produced Joe V. McMahan and longtime associate George “The Tone
Chaperone” Bradfute). And one listen to the soulful gumbo of a title track
confirms his self-deprecating wit is intact and flourishing.



The whole album swings, from the gospel rocker “Still Water
Runs Deep” to the pop rockabilly of “She Said Yeah” and the swampy slide guitar
of “Honky Tonkin’ (In Mississippi)”.  Wilder’s
spacey guitar solos lift the reverb drenched version of Roky Erickson’s “Don’t
Slander Me”; he even throws in a subtle nod to Paul Revere and the Raiders’
“Kicks” on his way out the door. Usually when Wilder grabs a cover tune it’s a
rocker; the exception here is “Sudden Stop”, slow enough to be a prom grind



Wilder is also a strong songwriter and adds a few gems of
his own. Catchy power chords propel “Pretty Is as Pretty Does” (featuring a
sitar solo!) while “Come Around” layers classic Badfinger guitar sounds atop a
Tom Petty chassis. One of the biggest surprises is his mid-tempo “Too Cool for
Love”, lyrically clever (think Costello/Hiatt territory) and blessed with an
irresistible hook; with sweet background vocals and subtle Hammond organ accents it’s a jukebox classic
waiting to happen. This is a glorious record, quite possibly his best, and
that’s saying something.



Standout Tracks: “Too Cool for Love,” “Still Water Runs Deep,” “Pretty Is As Pretty Does” BILL




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