But band bassist Mike Graham provides some insight which suggests that the Mysterious magician has a trick or two still up his sleeve. The new album--available at his shows--contains " . . . that old, bad-ass David Allan Coe stuff." Called Standing Too Close to the Flame, this is the rambunctious, challenging Coe of old, especially the soon-to-be classics "Lead Me Not Into Temptation (I Can Get There by Myself)" and the hard-guitar "Desperate Man." Graham provides further evidence that David Allan Coe, despite protestations to the contrary, still walks to the beat of a different drummer. Well, so to speak.
"When our drummer [longtime Coe stickman Kevin Hudson] got sick, David simply decided not to replace him. Our tour motto is 'Drum-Free in 93.'" Of course, this is the same group that, when its 11-foot-tall equipment truck failed to successfully limbo a ten-foot overpass, began calling it the "No Clearance Tour."
Coe doesn't particularly like being compared with the Outlaw of old. But he knows, too, that garnering commercial success in Nashville will be no easy task.
"I'm working real hard to make it happen," Coe says, "but I know it ain't going to be a walk. It would've happened before. Willie and those guys who made all the money really aren't musically any better. They're just a little more controllable." He pauses briefly.
"I just could never really be that way.