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Bar Coda

Dread Zeppelin

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Album Review

On Bar Coda it's business as usual for Dread Zeppelin, meaning it's mostly mystical Zeppelin songs, sung by an Elvis impersonator and "inna reggae stylee." Little has changed in the band's Presley meets Marley meets Page and Plant world, save a winning effort to rally against the too-slick and sterile feel of some more recent albums. Here the band is much looser than usual while in the studio and duplicating everything that's great about their live shows. There are more humorous ad-libs, the searing guitar solos go longer, and the playful messing about the band so loves on-stage is everywhere, like when "Lemon Song" goes from slinky rock-reggae to a double-time ska workout. Better still are the quotes from "Hey Jude" and "We Are the World" that get stuck into "Suspicious Minds" or maybe the way lead singer Tortelvis changes the very Jamaican reference to "cornmeal porridge" in Marley's "No Woman No Cry" to "chicken fricassee," a meal much more suited for "The King." Longtime member Spice does a great job as producer, and when Tortelvis delivers the "Lemon Song"'s "Squeeze me baby, till the juice runs down my leg" in a Viva Las Vegas style, it has to be one of the greatest moments the band has put on record.

Biography

Formed: Pasadena, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Dread Zeppelin channeled the musical spirits of Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, and Bob Marley to create tongue-in-cheek novelty rock heartily endorsed by no less an authority than Robert Plant himself. Led by one Tortelvis — a 300-pound Elvis impersonator born Greg Tortell — the lineup also included guitarists Jah Paul Jo (Joe Ramsey) and Carl Jah (Carl Haasis), bassist Butt-Boy (Gary Putman), percussionist Ed Zeppelin (Bryant Fernandez), and drummer Fresh Cheese (Paul Masselli); playing...
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Bar Coda, Dread Zeppelin
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