by Dan Ferguson
The New York Dolls
‘Cause I Said So
My copy of the original LP from the New York Dolls, bought through one of those records clubs that got me eight albums for a penny, has an album jacket held together by yellowed and crusty scotch tape. The vinyl itself? Well, the grooves are glazed by numerous playing since buying the thing back in '73. To these ears, The New York Dolls were the original punks. Jump forward 36 years and it's a different story. The New York Dolls as Americana band? Well, that appears the way the latest release in the comeback story of this glam pre-punk NYC combo seems to be marketed, at least in part. Originals David Johansen and Syl Sylvain and crew follow 2006‘s hard rocking One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This with an album which in large part cops an old school pop & roll aesthetic. Where I can hear all the naysayers now yelling sellout, the mix of catchy and tuneful melodies more attuned to Brill Building pop and playing tighter than a pair Johansen's leather pants are pretty attractive. Produced by Todd Rundgren whose own roots are ‘60s Philly soul and who produced the band's first single in ‘73, not to mention a ton of albums and incredible songs over the years, try not to dig the way the Dolls are aging on ‘Cause I Said So. Visit www.nydolls.org.
John Doe & The Sadies
Yep Roc Records
What sounded pretty promising on paper when word first came during the winter sounds just as good as the finished product. The album is Country Club and it pairs X-er John Doe with Canadian instrumentalists The Sadies for an album of covers from countrypolitan prime time, that being late 1960s Nashville, with a side of Bakersfield. Those who know The Sadies know that twang is a large part of their lexicon and they can lay it down with the best of them. They prove the perfect foil for the dry-voiced Doe who finds his niche on nuggets from Ray Price to Bobby Bare to Haggard on this album which plays it straight and is all the better for it. Visit www.yeproc.com/.
(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 - 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)