Jerry McCain

Listen to Jerry McCain on Geronimo Rock & Roll

Update: McCain will dust off his insane Excello sides for this year's Stomp! Expect a two guitars and drums lineup tearing through "Geronimo Rock 'n' Roll" and more..

To study Jerry McCain's primal slices of Excello rock 'n' roll cannibalism is to witness a man standing upon the edge of something about to come completely unhinged. It's at once cathartic, otherworldly, bombastic, yet as earthy and solid as the Alabama clay from which it sprang. "Stay Out of Automobiles," "Geronimo Rock 'n' Roll," "I'm A Ding-Dong Daddy From a Rock 'n' Roll City," "Tryin' Just To Please," "Next Door Neighbor," "Choo Choo Rock." Were more telling titles ever scrawled on a shelved reel-to-reel tape box?

These masterpieces of mania are only rock 'n' roll in spirit, as they're like nothing that's come before them and nothing that's come since. And frankly, one wonders whether the world would have been a better place had they been unleashed in the '50s, because this is music, in the immortal words of Donald "Duck" Dunn, "Powerful enough to turn goat piss to gasoline." If there ever was a holy ghost of punk rock, it dwelt in the soul of Jerry McCain during those few short years that he employed ringing alarm clocks and rolled up magazines as musical instruments.

Of course, McCain had had a career in the blues prior to his presumed revelation to change the world. His pedigree dawned with some gut-bucket sides for Lillian McMurry's Trumpet label, and later, the brilliant two-sided stroke of genius "She's Tough," backed with "Steady" on Ace, not to mention a pile of nuggets cut for Jewel and, of course, the classic "Welfare Cadillac" on Royal American. Taken along with his Excello wild streak, you might find yourself asking: The perfect career? Quite possibly.

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