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Fast Man Raider Man
     

Fast Man Raider Man

by Frank Black
 

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Playing like the widescreen director's cut version of Honeycomb, Frank Black's sprawling double album Fast Man Raider Man reunites him with the Memphis session legends who played with him last time, and adds even more stars to the cast of characters. Along with veteran Catholics member Lyle Workman and Honeycomb

Overview

Playing like the widescreen director's cut version of Honeycomb, Frank Black's sprawling double album Fast Man Raider Man reunites him with the Memphis session legends who played with him last time, and adds even more stars to the cast of characters. Along with veteran Catholics member Lyle Workman and Honeycomb players Reggie Young, Buddy Miller, Spooner Oldham, and Chester Thompson, the roster also includes Al Kooper, Jon Tiven, Bobby Bare, Jr., the Band's Levon Helm, Cheap Trick's Tom Peterson, and Bad Company's Simon Kirke, giving Fast Man Raider Man the feel of an all-star jamboree. As on Honeycomb, the playing throughout the album is subtly excellent (and how could it not be with supporting musicians like these?). Jazzy guitars and saxophone give "If Your Poison Gets You" a sophisticated take on roots rock, while the lush horns on "My Terrible Ways" and the keyboards on "Highway to Lowdown" and "You Can't Crucify Yourself" are authentic, soulful touches. Though Fast Man Raider Man shares the warmth of Honeycomb, unlike that album -- which was recorded in just a few days in Memphis when all the players had the time to come together -- this set of songs is less urgent, and less overtly confessional. Black seems more and more comfortable in the Americana/alt-country direction of his later work, but fortunately it's the kind of comfort that allows him to keep elaborating on this sound. Indeed, the overall vibe of the album is just as important, if not more so, than the individual songs. However, highlights are scattered throughout both of Fast Man Raider Man's discs and include "Dirty Old Town," an Irish drinking song that Black transforms into an alternately heartfelt and rollicking duet with Marty Brown; the dramatic, Lou Reed-esque "End of the Summer"; "Where the Wind Is Going," a fun homage to Texas garage rock; and the breezy yet heartfelt ballad "Don't Cry That Way." This is easily one of Black's most eclectic albums, moving from gutsy rock like "Johnny Barleycorn," "Kiss My Ring," and "In the Time of My Own Ruin" to oddities such as "Dog Sleep," which switches between a rousing brass band and slow-motion passages that drift on woozy organs, to the genuinely soulful "Sad Old World" and "Golden Shore." Like the simultaneously released Devil's Workshop and Black Letter Days, Fast Man Raider Man could've been edited down to one disc's worth of songs; however, the flowing, laid-back feel of the whole set is a big part of its appeal. Indeed, if it weren't for the album's studio polish, it'd feel like an extremely well-recorded concert -- it has the ebb and flow of a good live set, and its expansive warmth ends up making its length work in its favor.

Editorial Reviews

Billboard - Troy Carpenter
Black sounds just as comfortable and confident cutting back-porch versions of Irish folk classics ("Dirty Old Town"), sultry New Orleans swamp-rock ("Dog Sleep") and old-timey country send-offs ("Sad Man's Song") as he did bridging the gap from underground punk to grunge in the late '80s.
Washington Post - Steve Knopper
A collection of well-written rock, soul and country songs, about topics ranging from Hurricane Katrina to tragic Polish coal miners. There's no common thread other than Black's flat but oddly alluring croon and all-star session men such as the Band's Levon Helm and Cheap Trick's Tom Petersson.
The Guardian - Dorian Lynskey
Amiable, assured, seldom surprising. Backed by an army of session veterans, [Black] roams through the country-tinged end of classic rock.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/24/2009
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0711297477627
catalogNumber:
849317
Rank:
211352

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Frank Black   Primary Artist,Guitar,Ukulele,Vocals
Marty Brown   Bass,Background Vocals
P.F. Sloan   Piano,Background Vocals
Steve Cropper   Guitar
Kooper   Organ
Chester Thompson   Drums
Ian McLagan   Keyboards
Billy Swan   Background Vocals
Jim Keltner   Percussion,Drums
Bob Babbitt   Bass
Billy Block   Drums,Background Vocals
Jack Clement   Dobro,Background Vocals
Steve Ferrone   Drums
Rich Gilbert   Pedal Steel Guitar
Levon Helm   Percussion,Drums
David Hood   Bass
Wayne Jackson   Trombone,Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Duane Jarvis   Guitar
Carol Kaye   Bass,Guitar
Simon Kirke   Percussion,Drums
Buddy Miller   Guitar,Background Vocals,Mando-Guitar
Spooner Oldham   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Jon Tiven   Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Alto Saxophone,Background Vocals
Lyle Workman   Guitar
Reggie Young   Guitar
Tom Petersson   Bass
Sierra Swan   Background Vocals
Rick DuVall   Background Vocals
Akil Thompson   Drums
Bobby Bare   Background Vocals
Ellis Hooks   Background Vocals
Jack Kidney   Harmonica,Tenor Saxophone
Mark Wilson Jordan   Keyboards
Brooks Watson   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Ewan MacColl   Composer
Marty Brown   Duet
Frank Black   Arranger,Composer
Dan Penn   Engineer
Jon Tiven   Producer,Engineer
Lyle Workman   Arranger
Jake Burns & The Big Wheel   Engineer
Michael Halsband   Original Photography
Marc Chevalier   Engineer
Reid Paley   Composer
Andrew Swainson   Illustrations
Traditional   Composer
Miles Wilson   Engineer

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