Album: Aerosmith: Honkiní On Bobo
Street Date: March 30, 2004
Reviewed by: Brian W.
For years now, Aerosmith has basically been a sweet Rock & Roll band. However in some of their earlier albums, particularly their debut in 1973, there was a touch of the blues. They lost that touch throughout the late 70ís and then into the 80s and 90s where they were primarily known for their Rock (and a little Pop-esque) albums. With Honkiní on Bobo, though, the band goes back to their roots, and pay homage to some of the greatest blues and soul artists that have ever lived. Covered on the album are greats such as Mississippi Fred McDowell, Big Joe Williams, Fleetwood Mac, and even Aretha Franklin.
1. Road Runner - The disc couldnít have started off any better than with this version of Ellas McDanielís (a.k.a Bo Didley) song. Tyler kicks it into high gear right from the beginning, and doesnít let up throughout the entire song. Definite blues conjoined with undeniable Aerosmith creating a kick-ass vibe thatíll get you excited to hear the rest of album.
2. Shame, Shame, Shame - From the moment this song starts, youíll find your foot taping along with it. There is almost like a Swing-type feel to it; makeís ya wanna dance. The only real shame about the song is that it runs only two minutes and fourteen seconds.
3. Eyesight to the Blind - This song has more of a blues feel than the first two. I love the piano and harmonica sounds, so much that Iíd love to hear the song done only with a piano and a harmonica. Vocally, Tyler is perfect, but he also plays the harp on this song.
4. Baby, Please Donít Go - This song was the first single off of the album. After slowing it up for the previous song, Aerosmith jumps right back into rock side of the blues. The bandís remake of Big Joe Williamsí classic song is unbelievable. Itís got the perfect amount of Aerosmith-ish sounds, but not taking away any of its blues-ness. Excellent rendition.
5. Never Loved A Girl - Tyler and the boys slow it up again with this version of Aretha Franklinís ďNever Loved a Man.Ē Lyrically and musically, this is a classic blues song. Itís what the blues are all about. Itís the perfect song for any guy whoís ever loved a girl who broke his heart.
6. Back Back Train - This is definitely one of the best, if not the best, songs on the album. Joe Perry steps behind the mic and takes over lead vocals, while Tracey Bonham sings back up to a song originally done by Mississippi Fred McDowell. I love the intro as Perry plucks on his Dobro for the first 40 seconds or so. Then his deep voice hits the mic, and itís just amazing. Mixing in Bonhamís sweet voice is great too.
7. You Gotta Move - This is another McDowell original. This is the perfect song for the middle of the album. The last few were more low key, somber blues, but with this one, Aerosmith jumps back into high gear. You Gotta Move has more great harmonica action as well.
8. The Grind - This is the only song written by Tyler & Co. on this album. Itís very bluesy, but also kind of reminds me of Crazy and Amazing, two of my least favorite Aerosmith songs. It just has a similar vibe. Possibly my personal least favorite on the album, however itís on the right album. I canít see this on any other previous Aerosmith CD.
9. I'm Ready - I couldn't tell at first whether I liked this song or not. Tylerís voice is different in this song. Itís not his same old loud and screechy (screechy in a cool way) singing ways. After sampling some older blues, I realized that this is how many singers sang the blues. Tyler showed a lot of passion vocally. Joey Kramer on drums was amazing as always. Excellent song.
10. Temperature - The song sounds like it was recorded in a bar, and it works perfectly. This is probably the blusiest song on the album. It's not the best song lyrically, but it sounds great instrumentally.
11. Stop Messin' Around - After a few more low key blue songs, Joe Perry again shows us is excellent vocal talent by taking the lead in this rockiní rendition of Fleetwood Macs song. This is just an awesome song and itís extremely well done by Aerosmith. Perryís guitar and Tylerís harmonica are sound nothing but stellar throughout the entire song.
12. Jesus Is On The Main Line - This gospel blues song ends the album. Iím kind of liking gospel music. Sure, I donít have any albums, but thereís just something about it. The song features Bonham again, as well as Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer and Tyler's daughter Chelsea all singing in the chorus. Jesus Is on the Main Line was a great way to close out the CD. Excellent, but repetitive, lyrics, with more cool-ass harmonica in the background.
Honestly, Iíve never been a fan of the blues. However, I became a huge fan of Aerosmith in the Ď90s and theyíve been my favorite band since, and even then I didnít know about some of their older stuff. Hell, their first Greatest Hits album came out three months after I was born. I didnít grow up on classic Aerosmith, so Iím glad that they went back to their roots. The album makes me want to learn how to play guitarÖand the harmonica. If youíre a fan of Aerosmith, buy this album. If you love the blues (or if youíve get Ďem) buy this album. If you donít know who Aerosmith is, buy this album and all their others.
Arrows To Athens:
Kings & Thieves
( Hear more )