Sunday, April 15, 2012

Andre Williams and the Sadies

Night and Day

Yep Roc Records

All-star albums like this one aren’t supposed to work. Too many moving parts, and nothing meshes. Or it works for a song or two, and the rest is dross.

Night and Day is one of the rare albums of this type that does work from start to finish. The sessions for this album began in 2008, when Williams was 70 and still addicted to drugs and drink, but clean by the time the sessions were finished. The result is a great album, an album that Williams and producer Jon Spencer worked hard to get everything to mesh, and it’s to their credit that they formed a good team and synced everything up just right.

Williams does have a lot to say: everything from, “Jail ain’t no fun,” to, “stay out of Mississippi,” to his dark take on being poor in America, and thanking God that he’s still alive (Williams is Jewish.) His tender side is shown in his duet with Sally Timms on “That’s My Desire,” and his giving the woman he dated and took good care of back to her boyfriend after he gets out of jail on “Your Old Lady.” There is also the romance of “Hey Baby.”

Musically, punky blues and country. The Sadies are wonderful throughout. Timms and Kelly Hogan’s sublime backing vocals on “I Got to Get Shorty Out of Jail,” and choice cameos from the likes of Jon Langford, the Gories, Matt Verta-Ray of Heavy Trash, and Danny Kroha. Put them all together and this is an album that rolls adroitly and sprightly rocks hotly and nimbly. It will be out May 15th.!/thesadies

Andrea Weiss

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