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Andre Williams & the Sadies

Red Dirt – 1999 (Bloodshot)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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CDs by Andre Williams & the Sadies

According to the press release, this album's got both kinds of music: country and soul. But if expecting a Charley Pride or Joe Tex sound-a-like, "Mr. Rhythm" lets you know otherwise right from the the first track ("Hey Truckers"), with the courteous howyado, "Hello, truckers, bad motherfuckers/Smokey on your tail, trying to put you in jail?/Keep on truckin', truckers."

However, if comparisons make you feel safer out there in the terrifying world of CD-purchasing, then try this: "Red Dirt" sounds like what might happen if R.L. Burnside tried to channel the spirit of Wynonie Harris and had a backing band of rowdy Canadian guys who like Willie Nelson and watch a lot of Sergio Leone westerns.

And that's a good thing. Williams, the author of the R&B classic "Shake a Tail Feather," and The Sadies of Toronto have made a very fun and offbeat album that features sweaty originals like "My Sister Stole My Woman" and "She's a Bag of Potato Chips" and psychotic (in a Hasil Adkins sort of way) covers of Johnny Paycheck's "Pardon Me, I've Got Someone to Kill" and The Bottle Rockets' "Queen of the World." This may not be an essential purchase, but it's guaranteed to leave you with a greasy smile and a worn out tail-feather.