Fricke's Picks: Charlie Pickett's Charge


There are no hits on Bar Band Americanus: The Best of Charlie Pickett And (Bloodshot), but the title of this anthology of Eighties hard labor and country-garage gunfire by singer-guitarist Charlie Pickett is no lie. Pickett forged his brawling-roots mix of Johnny Thunders, Sun Records and trailer-park Lou Reed in Florida bars, then bottled it to in-your-face effect on hot vinyl like the 1981 single "If This Is Love, Can I Get My Money Back?" the 1984 EP Cowboy Junkie Au-Go-Go and the 1988 album The Wilderness (produced by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck). That rattle 'n' smack now sounds raucously prescient, like a long-lost high-time link between the Replacements and the Drive-By Truckers, while this collection's one new track, "Penny Instead," shows that Pickett — who now works as an attorney but still finds time to play for the door hasn't forgotten how to set a saloon afire.

[From Issue 1070 — January 9, 2009]

Alternate Take Main Next


David Fricke

Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke has more than 10,000 albums in his New York apartment. His first record review for the magazine was Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' (RS 290).

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