Too Slim and the Taildraggers – High Desert Heat
10 tracks/49 minutes
Too Slim (Tim Langford) and the Taildraggers offer up their seventh album with a huge offering of guitar and Southern rock originals. One cover and nine new songs are featured here and the sound is not for the faint of heart.
The band is Too Slim/Tim Langford on guitars and vocals, Jeff “Shakey” Fowlkes on drums and vocals, Zach Kasik on bass and vocals and guest Sheldon “Bent Reed” Ziro on harp. The sound is big, the sound is rocking and the band gives a no-holds barred performance.
Things kick off with the Chambers Brothers “The Time Has Come,” the lone cover here. Slim takes the psychedelic rock more down the path of early hard rock like Steppenwolf or Mountain, avoiding the mushrooms and blue sunglasses until the outro. It’s interesting and cool. “Trouble” is next, a big rock tune with a little blue harp added. This is the bluesiest cut on the album and it’s a lot of fun. “Broken White Line” returns to the rock side, perhaps in a manner more like ‘Foreigner meets Marshall Tucker.’ It’s a nice, driving rocker with a huge guitar solo. “Stories To Tell” picks the pace up some more, bringing the sound into the 1980’s or early ’90’s heavy rock sound. Stinging lead guitar and solo work will delight the big ax lovers. “One Step at a Time” has more of a 1970’s Southern Rock feel with big guitar and gritty vocals. A slow to moderate pace is kept; it almost feels like things are under restraint and are waiting to break out.
Next up is another Southern rocker entitled “What You Said.” More big guitar and grit and grime on the vocals. Next up is “Run Away,” a bit of a funky rocker with some cool pedal effects on the guitar. “A Little More Time” has a slow, rock ballad anthem feel and sound. We have next “Lay Down Your Gun,” a cut with distorted vocals and guitar that could be classified a psychedelic punk Southern rock tune. Passionate vocals, a big sound and slow pace makes your head bob to the beat as the band grinds this one out. The band concludes with the title track, with a western movie soundtrack sort of opening. A mournful instrumental, one can feel the searing heat from the sun in the heat of a high desert here; this could make a great soundtrack for a John Ford movie if he were alive today and looking for rock songs to go with cinematic effects.
If you are looking for blues you won’t find much here other than that second track. Modern Southern rock, lots of big guitar and vocals, blockbuster power and an original sound is what’s featured here. If that’s your cup of tea, then this one will please the heck out of you!