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Record Reviews

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Christopher Gray, February 4, 2000, Music

Walter Daniels, the Oblivians & Monsieur Jeffrey Evans

Melissa's Garage Revisited (Sympathy for the Record Industry)

How Walter Daniels and his Bigfoot Chester posse of gutter-blues roughnecks have eluded Mississippi's Fat Possum Records is beyond me. Just listen to the way he and Memphis scuzz-garage kings the Oblivians mangle Marty Robbins' "Don't Worry," turning a chiming, sunny country ballad into a menacing, shifty-eyed admonition. And Bo Diddley's "Dearest Darling" hardly needs any help being low-down, but in their hands, it's nastier than a revenge fuck in a supply closet. All material was recorded in April 1995, though the first five songs (with Daniels singing lead) were originally released on an Undone EP; the last four, featuring wildman Monsieur Jeffrey Evans, are just now seeing the light of day. Things escape Howlin' Wolf's meaty clutches a bit on the near-psychedelic "Someday My Prince Will Come" and the almost disco strut of Lowell Fulsom's "Bending Like a Willow Tree," but this sinister, coarse slab of wax belongs on the killing floor -- down there with all the grime, spilled beer, and maybe a little blood. Somebody please give Daniels R.L. Burnside's phone number while he's still alive. They need to record an album together now!


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