Barrence Whitfield and The Savages 'Dig Thy Savage Soul' - Bloodshot

Though he has released two previous albums made with Tom Russell this new album is more rock than roots as are much of his back catalogue. It comes from the insurgent country label Bloodshot, whose output lately, in truth, has often moved away from that particular tag. Never-the-less it's a great album with Whitfield giving a dynamic and distinstictively powerful vocal performance. His Savages, led by producer/guitarist Peter Greenberg, keep it mean, tight and rockin'. The rest of the band Peter Lenker on bass, Andy Johns on drums and Tom Quartulti on sax are right up there too.

The opening song The Corner Man is full on and opens the album with attitude and that savage soul. The song Oscar Levant could have easily come off any New York Dolls album and Whitfiled and David Johanson are, at times here, not that far apart in the way they deliver a song and Dolls fans would do well to check out the album. Barrence Whitfield fans will already know they treat they're in for. Much of the album is taken at a hot-rod race pace. There is much to set the pulse racing with powerful songs like Bread, which extols the mighty dollar, or the grooving Daddy's Gone To Bed.

There are moments were the uptempo attitude takes a break and Whitfield on I'm Sad About It channels Little Richard, someone he was no doubt influenced by. Dig Thy Savage Soul is no soul soother but takes a rather more incendiary path that packs a powerful punch and is a knockout album and one of the year's best even if it is unlikely to appeal to some hardcore country fans in the main. But then again it might as they could warm to it's savage truth as much as I do.