EXCLUSIVE NEW DOWNLOAD: D. Charles Speer & the Helix - Shorty, A Bastard Cat
(Photo: Victor Harshbarger)
You can’t not like a song when the first line goes, “I’ll be your bastard tonight,” especially when it comes in a full-throated voice like D. Charles Speer’s. “Shorty, A Bastard Cat” is some boogie rock of the highest water, gathering a half century of American music traditions — Bakersfield country and deep-Texas psychedelia, chiefly — into a rollicking concoction that’s kinda like whipping out a fission bomb in the middle of a saloon fight: Everyone just goes, “Whoa!” Speer (a.k.a. Dave Shuford of No Neck Blues Band) has a posse of real heavies in the Helix (Hans Chew is a badass on the piano); their album Distillation arrives next month on high-quality vinyl and download from Three Lobed (pre-order and hear another tune here). “Shorty” closes the album in full gallop, toward the horizon where the desert meets permanent sunset. Play me out, Johnny!