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Hendryx, Nona and Gary Lucas: The World of Captain Beefheart

Gary Lucas is an American guitarist who has been plying his trade for decades as both a solo artist and as a session player. Nona Hendrix, distant cousin of the late Jimi Hendrix, found fame in the '60s and '70s with Patti Labelle and the Bluebelles and later with Labelle and as a solo artist in the '80s. The artists first played together a couple years back at a Symphonic Beefheart concert with the Metropole Orchestra at Amsterdam's Paradiso. On their new album the duo reinterpret twelve Captain Beefheart tracks and enlist the help of a few other musicians including Jesse Krakow (bass), Jordan Shapiro (keyboards) and Richard Dworkin (drums). Kiki Hawkins and Keith Fluitt provide background vocals.

Hendryx is a great choice to tackle the Captain's strange and experimental approach as she completely nails it. She captures the essence of Captain Beefheart while also making the music quite accessible. As far as Gary Lucas' guitar, well, it speaks for itself.

On the first track "Sun Zoom Spark", a quirky and soul driven rocker, an urgent guitar riff and vocal captures the weirdness that was Beefheart. "My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains" is even more accessible with really catchy background vocals and melodic guitar work from Lucas. On the hardcore blues of "Sure 'Nuff 'n Yes I Do" Lucas really lights a fire under his axe slinging, featuring some of his most potent soloing on the disc. More fiery guitar work can be heard on "The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or The Big Dig)" while the soulful "Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles" has Hendryx putting in a riveting performance. Lucas' fretwork is again of a very high standard. The soul driven ballad "I'm Glad" is the prettiest track with deliciously retro backing vocals. The loan instrumental is the blistering "Suction Prints" where Lucas lays down more great chops.

The World Of Captain Beefheart will be essential listening for Beefheart fans but even those not familiar with his work should find something to appreciate here, after all, this has plenty of soul.

Track Listing:
1. Sun Zoom Spark
2. My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains
3. Sure 'Nuff 'n Yes I Do
4. I'm Glad
5. The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or The Big Dig)
6. Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles
7. Suction Prints
8. Sugar 'n Spikes
9. When Big Joan Sets Up
10. Too Much Time
11. When It Blows Its Stacks
12. Tropical Hot Dog Night

Added: March 25th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 586
Language: english

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