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It Came from Nashville

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Album Review

There's an old-fashioned, good-time quality about Webb Wilder & the Beatnecks that makes this weird outfit fun to listen to. Recorded in the 1980s, It Came From Nashville revels in electric guitars and straightforward rock & roll, which really wasn't the norm for the time unless one counts the Stray Cats. Wilder's vocals possess a dramatic flare that put songs like "I'm Wise to You" and "Move on Down the Line" right over the top in the best sense. At times the material runs close to camp (as with the spoken intro to "Devil's Right Hand"), while at other times it sounds as though it should've had commercial potential ("It Gets in Your Blood"). Mostly, though, Webb, Donny "The Twangler" Roberts, Denny Blakely, Jimmy Lester, and the Ionizer cut straight to the chase, combining no nonsense rockabilly to create little jewels like "Poolside" and "Ruff Rider." As with early rock, meaningful lyrics make way for a more visceral approach, leading to music that you feel in your bones. The re-release of It Came From Nashville in 2004 (also on Landslide) includes a half-dozen unreleased live tracks, lengthening the album's running time to over 70 minutes. Webb Wilder and the gang may have not taken themselves as serious as musical peers like U2 and R.E.M., but they nonetheless created a solid album that harked back to the roots of rock. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Genre: Rock

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

The Webb Wilder character was created for a short film about a backwoods private detective who fell out of the '50s and happened to be a musician. With his group, Wilder combines the surf guitar of the Ventures with the rock roots of Duane Eddy, drawing on the feel of both country music and film noir. Though sometimes bordering on the gimmicky, the band is quite humorous yet plays serious music. It Came from Nashville featured a cover of Steve Earle's "Devil's Right Hand," appropriate because, like...
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It Came from Nashville, Webb Wilder
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