REVIEW: Webb Wilder’s “Powerful Stuff” is the Cream of the Crop


Let’s be honest. Who hasn’t thought of adopting some badass persona, and just living life as that character; maybe something like an in-your-face, rockin’ and rollin’ private detective, for instance? That would be fun, right? So fun, in fact, that John McMurray has been doing it for three decades, and he’s churned out some pretty fantastic music along the way. His 12th album, Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks’ Powerful Stuff (Landslide), is the cream of the crop. It’s a collection of previously unreleased material, gathered from his own tenure as Webb Wilder, as well as several interpretations done in classic Webb Wilder fashion. It’s all the stuff his fans have come to expect, but hey… why fix what ain’t broken?

Powerful Stuff includes tracks recorded between 1985 and 1993, most were recorded live with Wilder and the Beatnecks’ original line up; including Donny Roberts on guitar, Denny Blakely on bass, and Jimmy Lester on drums. You’ll also hear five tracks from a 1986 performance at the Exit/In, where Wilder and the current members of The Beatnecks featuring Tom Comet on bass, Rick Schell on drums, and guitarist Bob Williams played for the album’s release.

You’ll hear some excellent cover tunes of artists like Little Richard, Tina Turner, and Johnny Paycheck. The title track, an original written by Wally Wilson, Mike Henderson and close friend R.S. Field, was previously a hit for the Thunderbirds in the late 80’s. Another song “New Day” was co-written with Terry Anderson (the Yayhoos), and both of these songs feature Kelley Looney (Steve Earle) on bass.

As you’d expect, Wilder blends surfer-style guitar with elements of country, blues, rockabilly, and roots to create a unique, yet unequivocally nostalgic, brand of rock n roll perfection. This album is wonderfully suited for knocking back a few cold ones, shooting pool and dancing the night away… maybe even getting into a barroom brawl, although I wouldn’t particularly advise that! I can’t think of a better soundtrack for a wild Saturday night!

Wilder blew the dust off some excellent old recordings, and made them fit to blow the roof off! His guitar driven, retro-rock stylings are excellently showcased in this collection of hidden treasures. He somehow manages to keep breaking new ground, while both his persona and music seem to be perpetually stuck in the 1950’s. Trust me, my friends… there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

Get your copy, here!

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