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Music Review - `Hot Chicken Wisdom ` by Rich Mahan (bm)

Rich Mahan - Hot Chicken Wisdom (click on image to watch video)

 22 December 2019

 

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Rich Mahan’s Hot Chicken Wisdom covers a wide swath of musical styles through colorful characters and equally vivid imagery.

Mahan and an impressive cast of collaborators, including Johnny Paycheck’s harmonica player PT Gazell and Bonnie Bramblett’s daughter Bekka, explore the overlap between country storytelling and classic rock. For instance, Mahan and friends crafted funky ZZ Top homage “Boots Off,” hazy desert journey “Stoned as a Roman Slave” and a twangier take on Chuck Prophet’s introspective songs, “Open Up Your Heart.”

Other tracks capture a twisted sense of humor, likely learned by listening to Bobby Bare and Kinky Friedman. Boot-scooter “Tick on My Taint” is as absurd as you’d hope, and “I Smoke Pot” pulls off the type of dead-end loser that even Toby Keith can’t quite master. 

Beyond bugs grabbing hold where the sun doesn’t shine, Mahan sings about such evergreen topics as not fitting in (“Hippie in the City”) and mealtime decisions (“Day drinking,” “Coffee in the Morning” and “Hot Chicken & An Ice Cold 40”). He even covers the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody” and the Grateful Dead’s “Loose Lucy” in such a way that they suit a colorful collection of stories and sounds.

Per its liner notes, the album pays homage to the late Nashville producer Brian “Brain” Harrison. Many of these songs either made Harrison laugh or took shape after Mahan heard one of his friend’s crazy stories or nuggets of wisdom.

 

 

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