Andre Williams & The Sadies
First Appeared in The Music Box, November 1995, Volume 2, #10
Written by John Metzger
Andre Williams first hit the music scene in the 1950s and made a name for himself by crafting raunchy R&B ditties like Bacon Fat and Jail Bait. In contrast, The Sadies are a younger alternative-country band who hail from Canada. These two unlikely worlds collide with somewhat mixed results on the brand new Bloodshot Records release Red Dirt.
You've got to be truly a fan of Williams' music to enjoy this album. He co-wrote eight of the fourteen tracks on this disc with the Sadies' Dallas Good, and Williams imbues all of the songs with his signature style of gritty crooning and peculiar lyrics. It's rather difficult to take someone seriously when they sing, "She's all that and a bag of potato chips," but maybe that's the point.
Underneath it all though, The Sadies turn in some fine country-rock performances that help to polish some of Williams' raw material. For example, on I Understand (Do You), the band grinds out a Rolling Stones-infused groove as Williams unleashes his rage, and the album begins with the bold Hey Truckers, which rolls along on a bed of twangy-guitars. Williams and The Sadies also tackle several classic country tunes, including a moody cover of Harlan Howard's Busted, and a rousing rendition of Lefty Frizzell's I'm an Old, Old Man.
The recording sessions for Red Dirt were held in Chicago during the infamous Blizzard of '99. Perhaps this is the reason for the claustrophobic mood that pervades the album. It creates a feeling that is difficult to shake, and this ultimately bogs down the artists no matter how hard they tried to break free through their music.
Red Dirt is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1999 The Music Box