distilled, but joyously unrefined

Bone, Hair and Hide (Homestead)

By Cary Stemle

Bodeco is...enigmatic, raw, urgent...and wide-open honest. And an incredibly tight ensemble that provides the perfect roost for front man Ricky Feather and his quirky mix of bohemian craziness and cooking rhythm and blues.

Concern number one when considering Bodeco caught on tape is just how successful that medium can be at capturing the essence of the band's live sound. On that count, folks who buy Bone, Hair and Hide have absolutely nothing to fear. The songs sound great.

There is a definite theatrical component to Bodeco, but it wouldn't be appealing if they could not play. And play they can.

Conjuring an exquisite, Exile on Main Street-like groove, Feather sings every note with unfettered passion, baring his tortured, ornery soul for himself and all to see.

The style is best exemplified by "Suicide Ride," driven by Wink O'Bannon's gliding, forceful rhythm guitar, and "Spank Your Fanny," a humorous rave-up that deftly unmasks Feather's considerable vulgar side.

More than anything, Bodeco is about grooves, and on every cut it takes about a nanosecond for bassist Jimmy Brown and drummer Brian Burkett to lock in. And, like a snapping turtle, once they do they don't let go. I defy you not to dance.

If you've never seen Bodeco play, chances are this recording won't quite do it for you, for Bodeco must be seen to be appreciated. But that is easily remedied -- go see the band.

Like Bone, Hair and Hide, it's a hell of a lot of fun.