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Taildragger | Live | review | rock | Lollipop
Live (Paraigm Shift)
by Brian Varney
Taildragger are the elusive sort of band I've been trying to will into existence for a year or two. I remember hearing a passing mention of their name in an interview with John Garcia, was intrigued by what he said, poked around in search of releases, found nothing, and, figuring they hadn't put out an album, gave up. In fact, it turns out that they've been around for several years and have two records out, both of which they were kind enough to send me. Though a year-long build-up can lead to disappointment when finally confronted with reality, Taildragger are exactly what I hoped they'd be - an authentic Southern rock band. Hearing that sort of talk these days, your initial reaction might be to expect a heavier, stoner-rock type band. This was my initial suspicion, but rather than fuzzed-out Orange cabinets cranked to 11, Taildragger's sound has lots of acoustic slide guitar, a crunchy wall of electric rhythm guitar, and loose, swinging beats you could actually dance to if you felt the desire.
The southern twang in Jon McGee's voice is not an affectation, the ZZ Top cover is straight-up and fits flawlessly into the set, and the overall vibe is upbeat and fun. If I didn't already know, I'd have no reason to suspect that this wasn't made in 1974. These guys seem to have no idea that heavy metal or punk ever existed, and I don't have a problem with that.
Both discs are solid, though if I had to choose one, I'd probably go for the live one, just because they stretch out and jam a couple of times (I'm a big Allman Brothers fan, OK?) and for the cool, well-chosen covers (Cactus, ZZ Top, and the Rolling Stones).
(629 Price Ave, Lexington, KY 40508)