In the mid and late 60s there was a certain group of musicians fighting for a sound that is hard to define. It was pure rock and roll but also had a sense of self deprecation and swagger all at once. Dylan and Lou Reed pulled it off but it still isn’t common to this day.
Enter Chicagoland’s Ike Reilly 50 years later, you’ll hear some singing organs, squealing guitars and lots of strong blues roots. You’ll also get Reilly’s spitfire lyrics that ultimately give the songs their humility and shameless honesty. On songs like “She Haunts My Hideouts” you’ll find Reilly talk-sing-rapping over a full band going for, as Dylan put it “that thin wild mercury sound.” You’ll find the blues littered all over here too, on “Been Let Down” Reilly gets into a backrooom lounge jam and on the closing “To Die In Her Arms” you’ll find some horns decorating another straight up blues romp. It gets a little political on “Bolt Cutter Again” as Reilly takes on Trumps travel ban head on with his signature storytelling style. The most intoxicating story may be “Clean Blood Blues” though, the track is a catchy, has some hot licks and again the spitfire lyrics with a backhanded sense of humor steal the show.
If you’re familiar with Ike Reilly and his Assassination you’ll love this record, if you’re not familiar it would be hard not to enjoy it as well. It is another great record in a long line of really strong recordings for one of the most underrated artists in the country.
Key Tracks: “Clean Blood Blues” “Bolt Cutter Again” “She Haunts My Hideouts”