.38 Special Live at Sturgis (CMC/BMG)
Live at Sturgis
CMC/BMG Slowly it builds ... the eerie whoosh which erupts into the thundering roar of the crowd ... the full 10-count drum solo, a tom-tom ripple worthy of Thor (the god and the Austin drummer) ... "Alright! You feel good tonight?!" ... and of course, that familiar chug-chug churning guitar riff. Any record that begins this way has gotta rawk, man. "Rockin' Into the Night"! I had totally forgotten what a completely motherfucking genius song that is, with its slightly off, syncopated backbeat and pure, heavenly Southern rock harmony fifths. And how long do you think it took the throng of drunken bikers at the Midwest's biggest bike rally to take the cue from the lead singer to "Lemme hear you!!! Everybody sing it!!!"? Yup. Mere seconds. "Oooohhh Oooohhh Rockin'! Yes, you're rockin'!" And man, when the boys pull a fast one and rip into "20th Century Fox" ... whooooo, it'll make the most redneck of roots start to rise again, just like the South! I had almost forgotten how much .38 Special had influenced cheesy Eighties hair bands and Nineties pop-country. But it all came clear with the first Knacky power chords of "Back Where You Belong" and the jingle-jangle of "If I'd Been the One." Same with the Dixie-Dregged sophistication of all those chord and key changes in "Wild Eyed Southern Boys." But who wasn't trying to be Steely Dan or at least the Doobie Brothers back then? And as on any good comeback live CD, the .38ers even confound the horde with the very excellent new number, "Fade to Blue," from their 1997 Razor n' Tie slab, Resolution. Boy, this record sure brought me back where I belong, that's for sure, and I haven't even mentioned "Hold on Loosely." Who didn't lose their virginity to that one? I can't believe I missed this show. I just wish I had been there to have caught a pick, or lit a lighter, or crawled up the hairy back of some biker so that I could shake my tits right at the band! Thank God for .38 Special. Hey, Kathy, wanna take a roadtrip to Sturgis, 2000???