Missoula’s Ednor Therriault, aka Bob Wire, has his sixth CD out, after a period away from the scene, writing and woodshedding. How we’ve missed him!
The guitar-slinger’s sense of humor pervades his tales of regular people and their sometimes irregular lives. Wire likes to create stories that people can see themselves in, and there are plenty here, surrounded by a wall of guitars. Ready yourself for boogie, honky-tonk, rockabilly, old-time rock, and a ballad or two.
The picker and his core trio, fellow guitarist Chip “Lunchpail” Whitson, drummer Bob “Cousin Bob” Sularz, and Gary “Mr. Milner” Milner on bass, laid down rhythm tracks. He then enlisted others to pitch in: David Colledge, electric guitar; Grace Decker, fiddle; John Rosett, steel guitar; and Russ Parsons, organ.
On any Bob Wire endeavor, expect lots of electric guitar interplay. Guitar riffs are tacked onto the tail-end of lyrical phrases, creating tension and moving the songs along. There’s all-out dueling, too, as on “Runaway Hobo Train,” which has Wire and Whitson engaged in a “guitar freakout wank-fest,” as Wire puts it. Drum work propels the clickety-clack feel of the rails; it’s a great jitterbugger.
The “Bonanza” sound infiltrates “Kitchen Radio,” a moody country song with lots of tremolo. And Colledge rocks the cookin’ “Skin-Deep Boogie,” about – what else? – tattoos. Then there’s the hilarious crunchy rocker, “Don’t Touch My Hat,” with its two-guitar attack à la the Rolling Stones.
The Texas-swinger, “Mr. Bubble Saved My Marriage,” is another laugher; “If the flowers don’t melt her heart, maybe the tub’ll …,” Wire sings in his boisterous baritone. Decker’s countrified fiddle and Rosett’s silky steel guitar add snippets on this ‘un.
The only non-Wire tune is Nate Schweber’s mellow “Mountain Stream”; Decker and Sophia Therriault, the musician’s daughter, sing harmony on it.
And for cheesy glitz, listen to the spoken-word intro to “Welcome to Las Vegas,” by Wire’s son Hudson, who perfectly imitates the casino barker over the loudspeaker. Background frivolity was recorded in Sin City casinos.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of this album, so it’s best to check it out. Visit facebook.com/bobwiremusic.
– Mariss McTucker