9 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It was known far and wide that Nebraska-born Les Dudek could shred. The guitar hero played with The Allman Brothers, Box Scaggs, and The Steve Miller Band, and then he turned down an offer to join Journey so he could focus on his own recording career. This 1977 solo album (produced by Bruce Botnick) is Dudek’s second of four, and it’s as overlooked as any of them. It’s a shame, because as far as rock ’n’ roll records go, this was one of that year’s best. The songs are expertly written and executed, rich with lots of guitars, organs, percussion, and spires of backup female vocals. There’s swampy Southern groove (“JailabamBoozle” and the dobro-enriched “Baby Sweet Baby”), white-boy soul (“Lady You’re Nasty” and “Avatar”), and poppy moments of filthy funk and blues (“What’s It Gonna Be” and the dueling-guitar instrumental “One to Beam Up”). With its two drummers and jazz-rock turns, “Zorro Rides Again” could’ve been an early Allmans jam, and the acoustic ballad “I Remember” tops off the album on a surprising note of graceful reminiscence, highlighted by Dudek’s pleasing tenor.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It was known far and wide that Nebraska-born Les Dudek could shred. The guitar hero played with The Allman Brothers, Box Scaggs, and The Steve Miller Band, and then he turned down an offer to join Journey so he could focus on his own recording career. This 1977 solo album (produced by Bruce Botnick) is Dudek’s second of four, and it’s as overlooked as any of them. It’s a shame, because as far as rock ’n’ roll records go, this was one of that year’s best. The songs are expertly written and executed, rich with lots of guitars, organs, percussion, and spires of backup female vocals. There’s swampy Southern groove (“JailabamBoozle” and the dobro-enriched “Baby Sweet Baby”), white-boy soul (“Lady You’re Nasty” and “Avatar”), and poppy moments of filthy funk and blues (“What’s It Gonna Be” and the dueling-guitar instrumental “One to Beam Up”). With its two drummers and jazz-rock turns, “Zorro Rides Again” could’ve been an early Allmans jam, and the acoustic ballad “I Remember” tops off the album on a surprising note of graceful reminiscence, highlighted by Dudek’s pleasing tenor.

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