Categories
Articles
Social
tags
Holly Gleason Bonnaroo death #vivaroo Bonnaroo 2015 Guy Clark Prada Dada The Zelda Chronicles Zelda pet loss Alex Bevan Emmylou Harris Lee Ann Womack the Wonderspaniel Aerosmith Ali Berlow Bruce Springsteen Dwight Yoakam James Taylor John Oates Kenny Chesney Matraca Berg Patty Loveless Tom Petty Vince Gill Andy Langer Bob Dylan Cleveland Dan Baird Dawes disco Donna Summer Earl Scruggs Earth Wind & Fire Ed Helms Jackson Browne Jim James Johnny Cash Lou Reed Lyle Lovett Michael Stanley Mumford & Sons Music pop music punk Reggie Watts Rita Houston Rodney Crowell Ronnie Dunn Sam Bush Sherman Halsey Steve Popovich Tim McGraw Townes Van Zandt WFUV Willie Nelson " supermoderls " THE LITTLE PRINCE "Faith "The Voice 27 Club 9/11 addiction Akron Allen Brown Allison Krauss Allman Brothers Almost Famous Americana Amy Winehouse Andy Parker Anna Nicole Smith Antoine de Saint-Exupery Ashley Capps Atlanta Rhythm Section Authenticity Bangles Beatles BeeGees Belle & Sebastian Big K.R.I.T. Bill Bentley Bill Johnson Billy idol Black Prairie bluegrass Bluegrass Situation Bob Seger Brenwtood Vets Britney Spears Buddy & Julie Miller C. Orrico Cameron Crowe Carnival Music Cat Powers Catherine Deneuve CBGBs Celebrity Culture Charlie Sexton Chris Mad Dog Russo Chris Stapleton Chris Whitley Christopher Hanna Cindy Crawford Clash Clive Davis Cobain cowpunk Cultural Icons Cyrinda Fox Dan Einstein Dan Fogelberg Dan Tyminski D'Angelo Danny Joe Brown Danny Morrison David Bowie David Byrne David Gleason Dazz Band death of a pet Del McCoury Del McCoury Band Delaney & Bonnie Dennis Kucinich Dick Clark Dignity Dolly Parton Doobies Doug Dillard driving Dylan Eddie Montgomery Elle King Elton John EMI Music Eric Clapton ESQUIRE facing the inevitable Fame Whores father fathers & daughters Feank Yankovic Fellini feminism film Flatt + Scruggs Foals Forest Hills Stadium Frank Sinatra Funk Brothers Garth Brooks Gary Stewart Gary W Clark Gary Wells George Harrison George Jones George Michael George Strait Gerald LeVert Gil Scott-Heron Glenn O'Brien golf Grammy Awards Grammy mourning grief Guitar Town Guster heartland hippies HITS Hot Chelle Rae Hozier I Will Always Love You iconic death integrity Jack Johnson James Brown janet jackson Jason Isbell Jeff Bates Jeff Hanna Jewly Hight Jim Halsey Jimmy Jam Jimmy Webb Joan Didion Joe Diffie Joe Ely John Bassette John Fullbright John Hiatt John Hobbs John Leland John Prine Joni Mitchell Joplin Kacey Musgraves Keith Knudsen Ken Weinstein Kentucky Headhunters KKen Weinstein Leon Russell Leonard Cohen Levon Helm Life Lilly Pulitzer Little Feat loss Lowell George Madonna Marlene Dietrich Marshall Chapman Mary Chapin Carpenter Matt and Kim Meatloaf Merle Haggard Midway Midwest moonshiners Morrison mourning MTV music festivals Music Row My Friend Bob My Morning Jacket Naomi Campbell Nas Nathan Bell Nei Young nihilism in pop music Nile Rodgers Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Of Monsters and Men old huard Nashville Palm Beach Parliament Funkedelic passion Patsi Bale Cox Patsi Cox Patti Davis Paul McCartney Paul William Phil Walden Philip Bailey places polka pop culture Preservation Hall Jazz Band press conferences Prince Purple Rain Radnor Lake Ramones Ray Price Rayland Baxter Reeves Gabrels Retirement Rhiannon Giddens Richard Corliss Richard Gehr Richard Pryor Robin Gibb Rock & Soul Superjam Rust Belt Ryan Miller Sarah Godinez scenes Scooter Caruso sex Shiela E smells Solange Knowles songs songwriiter songwriter spoiled rock stars Springsteen Steve Earle Steven Tyler Stevie Nicks Stevie Ray Vaughn Stevie Wonder stinky goodness Sturgill Simpson Tammy Wynette Tammy Wynnette Tangiers Tears for Fears Terry Lewis THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN The Bluegrass Situation The Bodyguard The Dreaming Fields the Hermit Club the Kentucky Headhunters the Players the Shaker Heights Country Club the things that matter the wonder spaniel thoughts Tim Hensley TIME Magazine Tin Machine Trixie Whitley University of Miami untimely death Valerie Carter Verdine White Village Voice Waffle House Waylon Jennings Wendy Pearl WHAM! Whitney Houston Whitney Houston death Wilco Wonderspaniel Wu Tang Clan WVUM Ziggy Stardust
Tuesday
Feb262008

Dan Baird’s Homemade Sin

There is that left leg, pumping like electroshock set to quick-strike metronome. It's attached the black-headed, pork-pie hat wearing yowler who hurls himself at the mic without ever losing solid contact with the floor beneath his sneakers. This guy is a true believer, and he ain't afraid to let it rock.

This man is Dan Baird, who's brought his new band Homemade Sin with Jason & the Scorchers guitarist Warner Hodges, to Nashville after extended European tours to let it fly, and see how it lands back home. It is an act of faith and an act of combustion, pure and simple. Hardcore three chord rock and roll with a steam engine back beat and Baird's drawlin' howl that's all the yowl of a mountain cat with its balls caught in barbed wire.

No fuss, no muss. Just four grown men on a clean stage, walking out, plugging in and hitting the downstroke. Quick buzz, blur and straight into the Georgia Satellite's "I Dunno" with as much charge-load as anything the Replacements or the Ramones ever served up, lyrics flying, guitars whirling and a sense of thrilling release about finally getting it all out.

It's a funny thing about the Satellites: for the people who got it, they were the real deal, throttle and exhilaration that touched on the great ones: Stones, Faces, Who, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly without ever dropping a plectrum. To the drive-by observers, they were one merely one more band punching it out in the bars, surfing a very lucky Warhol 15 by virtue of a novelty song that worked the oldest axiom mothers had plied on their daughters coming into puberty since the 50s.

Ironically, for Baird – who sets it up with "I don't know… maybe you don't wanna hear the huggy-kissie song" — "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" has become its own blaring insurrection manifesto. Sure, it's been played in bars, on concert stages and frat houses every night for the past two decades, but in Homemade Sins' hands, the down-on-the-groove classic is almost a salacious confrontation. It's the rage against the assumptions, the dismissals and, of course, the unthinking denial of hormonal meltdown.

Not that it was all full-rut blaring. When Baird slowed things down for the gut-ripping "All Over But The Crying," it was the attenuated moment of reckoning for a faithless girl who thinks she's smarter than the guy – only to realize, he's letting her play her game, because he's done. By dropping the pilot light to a slow quiet flex, single notes hitting the stage like stakes going through the floor, the intensity draws the room to a hush.

That kind of a witness at a rock show is staggering. In some cases more staggering even than the ability to take late middle aged women who're well into their fade and return them to their former 20-something hottie glory, shaking their asses as if anyone still cared – or the paunchy guy well past his rock 'n' roll prime pawing his dates crotch right out in the open.

But that's the alchemy: dissolving time and propriety, releasing the inner beast in the people. And that's Homemade Sin. Down on the dance floor, the normally reserved flung themselves at the stage, roiling and boiling like it was the second to last night of Spring Break and they couldn't believe life was so good.

And it's not that life is so good. It's that Baird, Hodges, veteran bass player Keith Christopher and Satellites drummer Mauro Magellan haven't forgotten. Indeed, they recognize the power of Hodges' whipping Creedence's "Fortunate Son" into a frenzy, of the dumb kid ardor of Baird's solo semi-hit "I Love You, Period," of the jettison punch of why even bother with what went wrong "6 Years Gone" and the surging bolt of "Railroad Steel."

Feel it. Put it all down. Spin it out with a couple Telecasters and a beat that'll topple the constraints that bind you. Do it with dignity. Do it tight. Do it hard. It's not about showing off – though Hodges can toss a guitar over his shoulder at rapid speed – but getting it done. Period.

Perhaps for the true believers, there is a moment where the doubt rolls back, and the fact that all there is is a tweed amp and some reverb that'll save you, is the reason a band like Homemade Sin doesn't just matter: they're critical.

Certainly "Younger Face" offers a heightened interpretation, but it's not about what was – staggering though that might be; no, it's about what is: the fact that new songs like "Leave Well Enough Alone" and "2 For Tuesday" bristles with the same static electricity that made the Satellites gap-toothed lightning that the Satellites struck with all those years ago.

In a world where it's about marketing, demographics and what will the radio play, the argument could be made, this doesn't fit. But to a churning catharsis of too many people wondering "Where did all the music that hit hard with melodic thrust go?", in Nashville's legendary Exit/In, they're essential.

Because in the end, there is no substitute. You can talk all you want, but you either rock or you don't. Without bands like this, though, it won't be long before people won't have any measure to judge the difference. That is perhaps even more important than a jam-packed 90 minutes that quoted from T. Rex ("Bang A Gong") and the Beach Boys ("Do You Wanna Dance?") on its way to a wind-up, wind-out of the revving "Railroad Steel" into the bawdy drawling tale of white trash heart throb "Dixie Beauderaunt."

In times like these, it is bold men who lean into the reverb, throw caution to the wind and let it rock. Homemade Sin has that boldness in their veins and sustain, and they came to let it rock.

Whew, thank God somebody remembers how.

--Holly Gleason
February 8, 2008

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.
Member Account Required
You must have a member account on this website in order to post comments. Log in to your account to enable posting.