Joecephus & The George Jonestown Massacre: An Album Review

Black Oak Arkansas was a pre-cursor to the spandex wearing, David Lee Roth clones of the 80s hard rock scene.  Turns out, Roth was a clone of BOA’s Jim Dandy.  If you’ve never heard of these legends, Joecephus & The George Jonestown Massacre can get you right into it.  Their new double album, Mutants of the Monster is a tribute to Black Oak Arkansas.  Resident album reviewer Jude Falcon took a listen and here’s what he had to say.

Mutants of the Monster: A Tribute to Black Oak Arkansas

I was challenged to write a review of a tribute album to Black Oak Arkansas and I can honestly tell you that I never thought I’d see the day that happened. I unearthed B.O.A. in middle school when I bought my “Dazed and Confused” soundtrack (both of them) and instantly fell in love with what they did. Dismally, they were well beyond their prime in 1993 but that didn’t stop me from looking further into these founding fathers of spandex wearing, triple guitar shredding, bass thudding, powerhouse of drums band of brothers and sister.

Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas
Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas

There are select creeds of people who are probably well aware of what I mean, but for those of you who don’t, here is why Black Oak Arkansas are something you should know about. They are credited for inspiring Van Halen, Motley Crue, Molly Hatchet, and everything in-between that can be called, but aren’t limited to, “Southern Rock”.

More importantly, I hope that a new generation of people will be introduced to B.O.A. because of this album. Also, all of the proceeds are donated to a charity to benefit a Memphis animal charity called The Savior Foundation.

Joecephus (middle) and co-producer Dik LeDoux (left) with Jimmy Henderson (original BOA guitarist)
Joecephus (middle) and co-producer Dik LeDoux (left) with Jimmy Henderson (original BOA guitarist)

The album encompasses the fun party vibe that Jim “Dandy” Mangrum always put forth with his raspy voice and stage presence. I feel like the essence and sentiment were perfectly nailed on many of the songs, where as other songs were obviously made into people’s own version and I love that it’s not a carbon copy of what already exists. If you don’t like that then buy the original records from 30 years ago. This CD reminded how much I love B.O.A.

Being asked to review the album also let me discover Joecephus & The George Jonestown Massacre( say that three times fast) who are on a mission to save the pop rocks and cola version of country music on the radio today, which is so far removed from the country music I grew up with. To that, gentleman, I say CHEERS! They provided the spine and most of the music on the tribute album and are in fine form if I must say so myself. They breathe new life into many well known classics with a few modern touches.

Joecephus & the George Jonestown Massacre with Bill Davis from Dash Rip Rock
Joecephus & the George Jonestown Massacre with Bill Davis from Dash Rip Rock

Featured artists include BOA members Jim ”Dandy” Mangrum, Rickie Lee Reynolds and Jimmy Henderson, Shooter Jennings, Jello Biafra, Eddie Spaghetti (Supersuckers), Greg Ginn (Black Flag), Nik Turner (Hawkwind), Michael Denner (Mercyful Fate, King Diamond), Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson Band), Blaine Cartwright and Ruyter Suys (Nashville Pussy), and a host of others.

Producer Dik Ledoux and bassist Brian Costner with Blaine and Ruyter from Nashville Pussy
Producer Dik Ledoux and bassist Brian Costner with Blaine and Ruyter from Nashville Pussy

What I found most plausible here is that there is a true dignity and recognition for what was done by Black Oak Arkansas originally and is a theme that can be felt throughout the album.

Jude Falcon

TRACK LISTING:

1. Hey Y’all 
feat. Blaine Cartwright and Ruyter Suys
2. Uncle Lijiah 
feat. Jimbo Mathus and Robby Turner
3. Hot Rod  
feat. Shooter Jennings
4. Swimmin’ in Quicksand  
feat. JD Pinkus and Nik Turner
5. Hot and Nasty  
feat. Eddie Spaghetti and Brian Venable
6. When Electricity Came to Arkansas 
feat. Jeff Clayton , Greg Ginn and Rickie Lee Reynolds
7. Short Life Line 
feat. Bill Davis
8. Fever in My Mind  
feat. Jim “Dandy” Mangrum
9. High ‘N’ Dry 
feat. Whiskeydick
10. Lord Have Mercy on My Soul  
feat. Jeff Clayton  and Paul Leary
11. Mutants of the Monster  
feat. CT and Micheal Denner
12. Mad Man 
13. Strong Enough to Be Gentle 
feat. Ruyter Suys and Jimmy Henderson
14. Jim Dandy 
feat. Jello Biafra, Ruyter Suys and Bonnie Buitrago
15. Rock ‘N’ Roll  
Nine Pound Hammer feat. Joecephus
16. The Wild Bunch   
feat. Kyle Turley and Mickey Raphael
17. Keep the Faith 
The Kentucky Bridgeburners

LINKS

Joecephus & The George Jonestown Massacre Official Website: http://www.jk47.com/

Mutants of The Monster Soundcloud Page: https://soundcloud.com/saustex/sets/mutants-of-the-monster-a

Black Oak Arkansas official website: http://www.blackoakarkansas.net/

 

 

 

 

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