Ed Petterson

The New Punk Blues of Ed Petterson
(Split Rock Records)

Petterson was born in New York City but lives in Nashville. He's not a punk, nor is his music bluesy, so the title of the CD is puzzling. Maybe he's just venting some leftover NYC attitude. Petterson's music is folky, funky and country, with a skewed vision and gruff vocal style that oddballs will appreciate. The players here include heavies like Reggie Young (Elvis, Neil Diamond, Wilson Pickett), who adds his fat, twangy licks to "Gather the Family Round," a rousing tale of self-destruction, and Bob Babbitt, bass player for the Motown hit factory. Babbitt brings his solid bottom to the slow groove of "Been There Before," a neat bit of faux Motown. There are also flashes of singer/songwriter sincerity on "Chelsea" and "June, 1945," a bit of heavy-handed protest on "Baghdad," and "Top Ten," a rockin' meditation on success in the music biz dedicated to Scott Kempner of the Dictators and Del Lords.

 
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