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Non-Prog CD Reviews

General Lee Band

Rebel by Choice

Review by Gary Hill

Imagine modern, harder edged versions of classic Southern rock songs. It’s not too tough to wrap your head around. The kicker, though, is that this is a German band. They manage to capture the southern rock twang and bring a real raw texture to it. I like pretty much everything here. In some instances, I like these versions better than the original. This is quite a cool, if unexpected, set. 


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Wild Eyed Southern Boys

This is a cover of a 38 Special tune. I’d have to say that I’m not a big fan of that band. Well, I like this version quite a bit. There are things here that make think of Kiss. Other elements remind me of ZZ Top. The secondary female voice adds quite a bit of variety. All in all, this rocker is southern in texture and a catchy rocker.

Homesick
This rocker has a definite 1970s vibe, but with a bit of WASP kind of energy and raw nature. I’d definitely be confident making comparisons to Black Oak Arkansas in a lot of ways. It’s a screamer and quite a cool tune. The cut was originally written and recorded by Atlanta Rhythm Section, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard that version.
Dead and Gone
I love the raw blues rocking vibe on this cut. Since it was originally by Molly Hatchet, it’s got all the Southern rock you’d expect with plenty of harder rocking sound mixed into it in this version.
Call Me the Breeze
I really like this Lynyrd Skynyrd cover a lot. It rocks quite well and still manages to convey a lot of the original magic of the piece. It’s a fun shuffle.
Swamp Music
This Skynyrd tune works pretty well here. It’s also a rather shuffling tune. I like some of the sounds on this cut, despite it not being one of my favorites from the original act.
I Know a Little
Continuing with Lynyrd Skynyrd, this boogie is a lot of fun. This is a lot closer to the original than some of the other music here. It’s just plain cool.
Long Way from Home

This time we get a cover a Stevie Ray Vaughn tune. I love this high energy rocker. It’s a real screamer and features more prominent female vocals than some of the other cuts do.

Shake Your Moneymaker
Turning their attention to a blues classic from Elmore James, the guitar soloing on this is on fire. The whole cut really rocks like crazy. It’s one of the best tunes here, really. I like this one a lot.
Stormy Monday Blues
A T Bone Walker number, the performance of this one is a classy, traditional blues one. The instrumental section, with its scorching hot guitar soloing is especially potent. I also really like both the non-lyrical soaring female vocal section and the bass soloing that follows.
 
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