Today marks the 25th anniversary of what many fans regard as King’s X’s magnum opus. I don’t even remember the circumstances surrounding my discovery of this album. I just remember that one day it didn’t exist for me, and the next I couldn’t imagine a world without it.
Many words have been written and much has been said about this album that, for many, defined the King’s X sound, and I feel completely inadequate to add any more than to simply state that Gretchen will remain one of my favorite albums of all time for a very, very long time to come.
Grinder Blues is a blues-based power trio made up of King’s X’s dUg Pinnick on bass/vocals and roots rock brothers Jabo and Scot Bihlman on guitar/vocals and drums/vocals, respectively. The idea behind the band was to offer a fresh, updated take—or, to quote Jabo Bihlman, a “heavy, twisted take”—on 1950’s Chicago blues but to avoid all the clichés of the genre while keeping the music simple and fun. And according to dUg, to “rock out.”
Good grief, dUg must be one of the hardest working men in rock ‘n’ roll right now.
Every time we’re about to get onstage at those festivals I think, ‘Man, we’re gonna get bottled – it’s gonna be nuts.’ But no: there’s dudes with leather jackets and upside-down crosses tattooed on their faces, going ‘Love will find a way!’ All the Slayer fans f*cking love Tesla.
Tesla guitarist Dave Rude on the band’s fears as to how they will be received being sandwiched between much heavier bands at festivals like Download, Classic Rock interview
Still slammed at work, but I always have time to squeeze in a Five. Squeeze out a Five?! Whatever.
Led Zeppelin - "Whole Lotta Love" (BBC Sessions, 1997)
I don’t like the original much on a good day, so this is a skipper.
Led Zeppelin - "Celebration Day" (Led Zeppelin III, 1970)
Geez, what’s up, iTunes?! At least I like this Zeppelin tune.
Caedmon’s Call - "The High Countries" (Back Home, 2003)
OK, iTunes is definitely in a weird mood this morning. This is almost a little too chill for today, but I’ll let it play out.
Joe Satriani - "Summer Song" (Time Machine, 1993)
I love the original album version of this song. This live version? Not so much. I love Satch, but I really don’t see the point of seeing him live unless it’s something like G3 or a clinic.
Toad the Wet Sprocket - “Whatever I Fear” (KBCO Studio C, Volume 9, 1992)
Ahh…I love this stripped down, live in-studio version of one of my favorite Toad tunes. And bongos!
Here’s a quick Five from 12:30 this morning as I was wrapping up some work on a project that I am desperately behind on, hence the almost non-existent commentary from me. Enjoy the weekend. I know I won’t be unless I get a lot more done today than I have up to this point.
Black ‘N Blue - "Chains Around Heaven" (Black ‘N Blue, 1984)
Ah, this takes me back to my hair metal teenage days.
Andrew Osenga - "Wanted" (Letters to the Editor, Vol. 1, 2007)
Opening track of a really cool recording project by CCM artist Andrew Osenga that I wrote much more about in this Five.