Audley Freed and Peter Stroud have spent the last year bringing some serious rock and roll to Sheryl Crow's audiences, but they've also found some time to sneak off and make a great EP with their all-star side project, Big Hat, and it's the best four bucks you'll spend this December.
Keith Gattis is fronting the band, and along with the aforementioned guitar slingers, he's joined by the delightful Ike Stubblefield on the Hammond B-3, Skynyrd bassist Robert Kearns, and drummer Fred Eltringham of The Wallflowers.
Feather In The Breeze is the best southern fried rock I've heard in some time - it makes me remember why I loved Skynyrd, Wet Willie, and the Allmans to begin with. They sound like they play for a living, they're no weekend warriors - this is what they do every day of their lives and it shows. The guitars are perfect - the tones are fat, sweet, and the playing is sublime. Please, let this be the beginning - I need to see this played live.
Supersonic is the only way to close a show like this one - a rocker that is full of piss & vinegar. Some great slide guitar underpins things before a rear cocked wah announces a bit of death defying guitar gymnastics. Stroud and Freed aren't a good guitar team - they're great. Both play with abandonment, joy, and just enough restraint to keep it gentlemanly (and if you've ever shared the stage with another guitarist, take my word - it's not always easy).
|Dan Boul, Peter Stroud, and 65amps|
Special thanks to Dan Boul, Stroud's partner at 65amps for hipping me to this project. Talk about a fantastic endorsement for an amp company - these tones are fan-friggin'-tastic.