Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Shuffle: Hank Jr., Van Zant, Jesse James Dupree, Savatage, Kiuas

We open this week’s shuffle with a decidedly Southern-flavored trio of songs.

Hank Williams Jr., “Sometimes I Feel Like Joe Montana.”  From the album Stormy (1999). This song is pretty typical of Hank Jr.’s later period. It’s not a bad song about longing for the glory days, but it certainly doesn’t live up to his classic material. Then again it could just be that, as a Saints fan, I still have bad thoughts about Joe Montana and those 49ers from the NFC West days. That could cloud my judgment.

Van Zant, “Nobody Gonna Tell Me What to Do.” From the album Get Right with the Man (2005). Telling your boss to stuff it has been a popular topic in the blue collar world of country music probably ever since the genre has existed, the most famous being the David Allan Coe-penned “Take This Job and Shove It,” popularized by Johnny Paycheck. This tune isn’t much different from most of the rest of its kind, but sometimes you just need one of these songs, and this is a good choice.

Jesse James Dupree and Dixie Inc., “Wash Me Away.” From the album Rev It Up and Go Go (2008). This lively hard rocker was one of the more Jackyl-flavored numbers from Dupree’s solo album. Sorry I couldn’t find a version of it online to include.

Savatage, “Mentally Yours.” From the album Gutter Ballet (1989). I love, love, love this album, and I love, love, love this song. Of course, you already knew that. It’s Savatage, after all. I love the unsettled, soft piano at the beginning and then Jon Oliva’s raspy, sinister vocals when the heavier part of the song comes around. It was the first album that Oliva played piano on, and he used the instrument masterfully.

Kiuas, “On Winds of Death We Ride.” From the album The Spirit of Ukko (2005). Wow, two songs in the same shuffle that I can’t find an online version of. That’s a shame too, because this is a fantastic song. I remember getting a review copy of The Spirit of Ukko, not knowing anything about the band, and being blown away by the mix of power, traditional and extreme metal. This song is a chest-thumping, sword-waving slab of what makes me love metal in the first place.

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