I assume you’ve heard about the tres hombres from down around La Grange? Trio of sharp-dressed men from deep in the heart of the Lone Star. Just three of them, right, but making more noise than a grand damn fandango. Well, nostalgia being what it is, even down there, these three decided to pay homage to those old border-blaster radio stations from the far shadows of their own lives. Only take a couple of minutes they said. Might even be a hit. Maybe you “Heard It On The X.” Three power chords and the truth about these radio renegades blasting illegal wattage from tall transmitters somewhere south of the border, and just outta the iron fist reach of the FCC.
Well today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl salutes those lunatic deejays from across the Rio Grande who thumbed their noses with one hand while turning the juice way up with the other, blasting that rock ‘n’ roll halfway across the U.S., damn near melting the antennae in the process. All that power just blowing other stations out of their path like leaves in the wind. And though the song in question is great just as it is, it’s short and it has a couple of holes in it. Well, as you know, here in the Way Back Studios, we have rules about that sort of thing. When we find a hole in a song, we stick something in it. First up, Savoy Brown with “Tell Mama.” A great track that also has a hole in it, as does Wet Willie’s “Red Hot Chicken.”
By the time we’re done, we’ll hear seven songs done in eleven parts. And as long as we’re down south with Wet Willie, we’ll take the “Memphis Train” with Buddy Miles and see if we can’t catch some Larry Raspberry and the Highsteppers, maybe drop by the Renezvous for some ribs while we’re in town. Then it’s down to Jacksonville where we’ll contract a bad case of “Road Fever” with Blackfoot. Oh, and Jimi Hendrix is in there somewhere. Overall it’s a rockin’ bunch of Delta based boogie, rhythm, and blues. And remember, you heard it on the Sirius-X…M.
|Z.Z. Top||Heard it on the X (part 1)|
|Savoy Brown||Tell Mama (part 1)|
|Z.Z. Top||Heard it on the X (part 2)|
|Wet Willie||Red Hot Chicken (part 1)|
|Buddy Miles||Memphis Train|
|Wet Willie||Red Hot Chicken (part 2)|
|Larry Raspberry and the Highsteppers||Jive Ass|
|Savoy Brown||Tell Mama (part 2)|
|Z.Z. Top||Heard it on the X (part 3)|
Do you remember back in 1966…country, Jesus, hillbilly blues, and no Stevie Nicks. ZZ Top singing about those border blaster radio stations where they learned their licks. Stations like the infamous X, the home of Howlin’ Wolfman Jack. Stations also immortalized in Wall of Voodoo’s classic “Mexican Radio.” Those stations are all gone now of course, but you can still hear them from as far away as. . . your imagination . . .or your nearest Sirius XM radio.
Just before the end of the ZZ Top, we heard “Road Fever” from Blackfoot, a band out of Jacksonville, Florida that was intertwined with Lynyrd Skynyrd, but they never really took off as a Southern Rock band which was how they started. So they kept tinkering with their sound until they were really more of a general hard rock outfit, and then they hit it. Elsewhere we took the Savoy Brown classic, “Tell Mama” and broke it in two, and in between the parts we had one from Jimi Hendrix, “Freedom” from Cry of Love and we took Wet Willie’s “Red Hot Chicken” and cut it in two, with Buddy Miles driving that “Memphis Train” of his right up the middle.
Then that “Jive Ass” Larry Raspberry showed up, High Steppin’ and Fancy Dancing. And if the price was right, baby you’d burn out both your eyes. After that we got back to the second part of the Savoy Brown and eventually the coda of the ZZ Top, that little old band from The Way Back Studios. If you wanna see the set lists and show commentaries, they’re posted at billfitzhugh.com where you can also find an email link if you wanna drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you. I’m Bill Fitzhugh, thanks for listening. I’ll be back sooner or later with a fresh batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl and I hope you’ll join us, right here in the Deep Tracks.