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John Eddie

Who The Hell Is John Eddie? – 2003 (Lost Highway)

Reviewed by Brian Steinberg

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CDs by John Eddie

Anyone expecting the gutter snarl John Eddie displayed in his younger years might be a little surprised by his latest effort. Eddie may best be recalled for his straight-out-of-the-swamps-of-Jersey bar-band sound on the 1980s single "Jungle Boy."

Here this Virginia-born upstart turns in a tuneful effort that brings maturity into the mix without sacrificing those elements that make the toe tap even as he laces his songs with hard-won humor. Check out "Family Tree," which shows how you can trip on your roots. "You can find me hanging/From the family tree," Eddie rues in this darkly humorous song. "Low Life" tackles living well below one's potential in belly-laugh fashion, while "Forty" ponders aging with a little gusto. "Well, I might be f--ing forty/But you're f--ing forty-one," the tune says.

Most songs are supervised by respected producer Jim Dickinson and accompanied by a trio of Kennys - Kenny Aronoff on drums, Kenny Aaronson on bass and Kenny Vaughn on guitar. Songstress Tift Merritt lends her pipes to three tracks.

Whoever the hell John Eddie is, he's got hard-won wisdom in spades, and he knows how to make it stick in your ear.