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'The Wicked Roots' And 'Drunk As Hell'

Phil Kane

phil kane

slowburner rocking the blueswhickeydick

Whiskeydick is a two man acoustic driven country outfit from Fort Worth, Texas. Describing themselves as redneck, porch sittin', rebel guitar pickin' music, Fritz plays rhythm guitar but his weapon of choice is his deep low down an' dirty voice and the Reverend Johnson plays lead guitar and does things, and I quote here: ""ith an acoustic that most can't do with an electric."

Both men had previously been in Metal bands but decided, after some consideration and a case of Jim, to get back to their country roots and form Whiskeydick. In the six years Fritz and The Reverend have been together they have released four albums; 'Rebel Flags And Whiskey', 'First Class White Trash' and the two we're interested in here, 'Drunk As Hell' and 'The Wicked Roots'.

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2010s 'Drunk As Hell' kicks off with the blistering country of 'Redemption' and just keeps on going with tales of hick town woes, regrets and drunken debauchery. The Devil doesn't get the lickings of a dog either. An album of prickly, rowdy country-rock that's been injected with a fucking big dose of southern Metal attitude, it would grace any biker's drinking hole with pride.

I could go through the killer tracks but it would be easier to say that there are none simply because they are all good. The worst it gets is the sunny 'Get It On' but even here there are echoes of the sort of acoustic stuff Rod Stewart used to do when he was good. Special mention must, however, go to 'Train Robbin', Gun Totin'. Dope Smokin', Guitar Pickin', Motherfuckin', Good Time Band' simply because the title and the song pretty much sums up the band, the music and the attitude of the album.

The new 'The Wicked Roots' takes up where 'Drunk As Hell' left off except it has a slightly more polished finish. It is a collection of songs that have been stripped back and played on acoustic rhythm and lead guitars with the odd electric lead embellishment and a massive voice. 'The Wicked Roots', despite its sparsely robust take on urban-country the variety of musical styles represented is quite impressive.

From the opening rowdy sing-along rocker 'Shootin' Guns', to the closing Irish drinking romp of 'Hillbilly Toast', a lot of ground gets covered. 'Murder Love Song', 'Evil's Got A Hold Of Me' and 'Horse Made Of Acid' are typical of the duo's darker, outlaw (wicked maybe?) country roots that are perfectly complemented with the country delta blues of 'The Ugly Tree' (there's a few of us fallen out of that fucker too) and the Mexican flavour of instrumental 'Day Of The Dead'.

These are a pair of country albums that juggle the outlaw country of Ryan Bingham, the wry, tragic-comic storytelling of Buck Satan and a very southern Metal attitude managing to mix up Johnny Cash, Elvis, Waylon Jennings, Black Label Society, Skynyrd and Pantera into a rather succulent southern country blues acoustic thing. Not as raw as some that have crossed the death decks recently, 'Drunk As Hell' and 'The Wicked Roots' would certainly keep the likes of Drive By Truckers on their toes.

Of course, I suppose the big question is do these albums belong on MetalTalk?

Well, yes they do and I'll tell you why.

These albums may have too much of a rebel outlaw attitude for the country guys an' dolls and it might be too acoustic and country for some Metal heads and their molls. Yet between the two albums there is not a single song that could not be adapted for a cranked up Les Paul/Marshall combo; clean, no add ons.


Not only are these boys old Metal heads but they have shared stages and held their own with, and I quote their website here, "Ray Wylie Hubbard, Foghat, Joe Buck Yourself, Antiseen, Andy Dick, Texas Hippie Coalition, Within Chaos, Wayne 'The Train' Hancock, Honky, Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies, Nashville Pussy, Green Jelly, Reverend Horton Heat, Lonesome Wyatt (those Poor Bastards), .357 String Band, Nick Oliveri (Queens Of The Stone Age), and The Supersuckers."

The quote continues...

"Artist that have offered guidance and kudos include: Dez Fafara of Devildriver, Rex Brown of Pantera/Down, Tom Maxwell of Hellyeah/Nothingface, Billy Milano of SOD/MOD, and Reverend Horton Heat. Special guests on Whiskeydick albums are: Gary Lindsey of Assjack/ Black Eyed Vermillion, Jeremy Thompson from Nashville Pussy, and JD Pinkus of Butthole Surfers/Honky. Nashville Pussy allowed us to cover their song, 'Hate And Whiskey' and JD Pinkus allowed us to cover 'You Left The Bottle'."

Now if that lot is not a big enough excuse to have them here then just remember that Whiskeydick have only done to southern rock and Metal what Hayseed Dixie did to 'DC and the Bad Shepherds did to The Clash and other assorted punk songs. I think that deserves a raised glass to honour Fritz and the Reverend and a very loud OH HELL YEAH! Don't you?



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