Dopers, Drunks, And Everyday Losers – Commander Cody
Dopers, Drunks, And Everyday Losers is everything anyone who has followed Commander Codys 40+ year career has come to expect: fun. No ones out to change the world here (unless you consider building a bridge between dope-smokin furry freaks and pill-poppin redneck truck drivers a form of Glasnost which I suppose it is, in its way). In fact, if you are familiar at all with the piano-thumping Commander (aka George Frayne) and his musical catalog, youll recognize a number of the cuts on Dopers – but dont mistake it for a greatest hits collection. What we have here is a revved-up Commander and a red-hot band (guitarist Mark Emerick, Randy Bramwell on bass, drummer Steve Barbuto, and killer pedal steel player Chris Olsen) tearing into old CC favorites, a few covers, and some new Frayne-penned tunes.
As much as the Commander and his cohorts (whether it was the original Lost Planet Airmen or the various lineups of the Commander Cody Band) have made a career of playing the part of the one-more-beer-might-be-too-many bad boys, make no mistake: these crazy bastards can play. Drop the needle on Dopers, Drunks, And Everyday Losers and hang on: WHAM! Emericks slide guitar nails you in the face, the Commanders topple-down-the-barroom-stairs piano grabs you by the shirt collar, and youre off.
Oh, I know: you think youre above the heart-wrenching pedal steel sob of Seeds And Stems Again or Wine Do Your Stuff,’ right? Yeah, well give a listen and then try to ignore it. Just try.
Or consider the bug-eyed, twitching, sweaty two minutes and twenty seconds of Semi Truck. Where else, I ask you, are you going to find lyrics like this?
Well here I sit
All alone with a broken heart
I took three bennies
And my semi-truck wont start
Laugh if you will three hours later youll find the songs speed-fueled melody slamming around in your head and wondering how it got there.
Lets face it if the Commander is going to cover a John Hiatt song, its probably not going to be Have A Little Faith In Me but the rollicking Tennessee Plates fits the bill perfectly. Thats the key to enjoying the Commander and his band: they take being serious about not being serious very seriously. Theyre not going to do a goofed-up version of a novelty song for a laugh, but they might slap you good-naturedly across the chops with an absolutely killer version of a really twisted, goofy song get it?
Woodstock wizard Professor Louie Hurwitz of the Crowmatix shared production chores on Dopers with the Commander, capturing the gonzo atmosphere of the sessions without sacrificing sound quality.
All in all, Dopers, Drunks, And Everyday Losers is a fun outing. Throw that rascal in and crank it up. We oughta make the state line before sunup if we dont pass out.