Remember that glorious scene in Ghost World where Steve Buscemi's date takes him to an awful sports bar and declares "If you like authentic blues, you really gotta check out Blues Hammer?" immediately before some angry-looking white dudes start shredding and spitting out lyrics about how they been behind the mule pickin' cotton all day long? The Stone Foxes are a Bay Area band that's been behind the mule for a few years now, pickin' whatever cotton, TV placements (Sons of Anarchy, natch), and NPR gigs a contemporary white blues-rock outfit can muster in the wake of The Black Keys' unexpected rise. Their biggest break has been a commercial for Jack Daniel's in which they give the Blues Hammer treatment to Slim Harpo's originally sinuous come-on "I'm a King Bee," a track previously reinvented in very different ways by Mick Jagger and John Belushi. For these Foxes, the ancient, primal blues is not Robert Johnson's but Zeppelin's — that's their starting point, and any original Willie Dixon mojo that might have survived after Jimmy Page's intervention is now but the faintest remnant within their lead-balloon sound. Each generation gets the roots they deserve, right?
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