Artist: The Beat Daddys
Title: No, We Ain't From Clarksville
Label: Waldoxy Records
Format: CD

By Michael Campbell

Stevie Ray Vaughan wannabes? It was mighty tempting to write these Daddys off as such, especially after catching their set at the Water Tower festival this summer. There's Tommy Stillwell (who, along with Larry Grisham, comprise the Beatdaddys) had some of the chops, the battered Fender Stratocaster, and even the bolero hat of the late, great you-know-who, and Grisham provided the vocal similarities. The stage show, while boasting a lot of the sweaty, sincere, intensity of an SRV performance, contained a lot of sloppy guitar work most untypical of Stevie Ray.

So along comes this studio recording and it's pretty satisfying. Perhaps it's the presence of the Muscle Shoals Horns, or maybe recording in Muscle Shoals, the Valhalla of 60's R &B, or the production team of Tommy Couch Jr. and Paul "Heavy" Lee; whatever, it has produced a set that Stevie Ray fans can enjoy without a trace of necropheliac guilt. The material itself is not innovative, but fun. The Horns alter the dynamic sufficiently to allow Stillwell to be himself.

The joyous thumping of "She Knocks Me Out," the minor key drama of "Different Name" along with the acoustic patience revealed in "Delta Song" delivers a convincing contribution to the Texas blues and R & B tradition.

To net it out: this thing rocks with some good-time Muscle Shoals/Texas R&B with musical and production values that SRV fans, among others, should enjoy.