- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
Review: Wilko Johnson, Roger Daltrey rock on
Question of the Day
Wilko Johnson, former guitarist of rabble-rousing 1970s British rockers Dr. Feelgood, is enjoying a bittersweet late-career surge.
Johnson’s jagged playing and menacing stare helped give Dr. Feelgood’s bluesy rock an infectious, raucous energy. The band was briefly a sensation and foreshadowed punk’s anarchic spirit.
Then the group imploded and Johnson spent years as a cult hero, cherished by a tight coterie of fans.
Last year Johnson was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer; vowing to rock until the end, he set out on a farewell tour.
And finally the world is taking notice. There have been sold-out shows, a slot at this summer’s Glastonbury Festival and now an album with Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who.
Inspired by a shared love of early British rockers like Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, “Going Back Home” is deliberately rough-edged and retro - even the label, Chess Records, is a heritage brand resurrected for the release.
The title track sets the tone of robust, rocking R&B. Daltrey growls lustily over Johnson’s choppy riffs and it’s spiced with lashings of dirty harmonica from Steve Weston and galumphing piano from ex-Style Council keyboardist Mick Talbot.
Songs like “Keep it Out of Sight” and “All Through the City” have a swaggering energy and raw yearning. “Some Kind of Hero” is a meaty slice of the blues on the evergreen topic of a cheatin’ woman, but the lyrical bravado is laced with British self-deprecation: “I wish I was some kind of hero.”
The album’s rough-hewn quality is less of an asset on a ballad like “Turned 21” or a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window.”
“Going Back Home” is not going to win awards for innovation, but it’s feisty fun and a rousing testament to a distinctive figure in British rock history.
Follow Jill Lawless at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
- Crime-ridden U.S. cities differ on ways to fight gun violence
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq