CD Review of Dan Baird and Homemade Sin by Dan Baird and Homemade Sin
Recommended if you like
The Faces, The Rolling Stones,
The Georgia Satellites
Label
Jerkin Crocus
Dan Baird and Homemade Sin:
Dan Baird and Homemade Sin

Reviewed by Jeff Giles

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I
t’s become rather fashionable to bemoan the current state of rock & roll, and to pine for the days when the music was mostly about giving the finger to authority, blowing off steam, and having a good time. Play anything from the Stones’ Let It Bleed or Sticky Fingers – or any random Faces track – to an over-30 rock fan, and odds are high you’ll hear them utter the phrase, “They don’t make records like this anymore.”

Well, the next time you hear those words, you can just point your nostalgic friend in the direction of Dan Baird, who is making records like that anymore, and his latest studio release, Dan Baird and Homemade Sin. It’s a welcome return to solo territory for Baird, who has spent the last dozen years alternating between part-time gigs like the roots-rock supergroup the Yayhoos and tours of Europe, where audiences will happily pay to hear classic rock from artists other than the Eagles and AC/DC – and it’s also a damn fine album, offering proof that good old-fashioned rock & roll is alive and well, even if you can’t hear it underneath all the Linkin Park and Staind.

If you’ve never heard one of Baird’s albums – or don’t remember him from his days fronting the Georgia Satellites – the recipe is simple: drop four on the floor, crank up the amps, stay reasonably close to the melody, and repeat as necessary. It’s simple music, with very few moving parts, but it works; by shamelessly stealing from the playbooks of artists like the Faces, Stones, and NRBQ, Baird reminds us that there’s still plenty of room on their pages. (It’s a lesson that many of the artists in question would do well to learn for themselves, but that’s a battle best saved for another day.)

In Homemade Sin, Baird has aligned himself with some impeccable talent, including former Satellites drummer Mauro Magellan, bassist Keith Christopher, and Jason & the Scorchers guitarist Warner Hodges; toss in songwriting contributions from the great Terry Anderson and the one and only Tommy Womack, and you’ve got everything you need for a liquored-up, deep-fried, Southern rock party – the type of album that, no matter how loud you raise the volume, still begs to be turned up higher.

If there’s a problem with the record, it’s that Homemade Sin doesn’t represent Baird’s best batch of songs; though there isn’t anything you’re necessarily going to feel like skipping over, Baird can typically be counted on to deliver at least one instant classic per album, and nothing here really kicks you in the sweet spot. What it lacks in highs, though, it makes up for with consistency – and the solidly satisfying impact of tracks such as “Two for Tuesday,” which finds Baird reveling in the simple pleasure of hearing a double shot of Creedence on his local classic rock station: “I\'m in love with this road, I\'m in love with this car / I\'m in love with a radio station that’s playin’ me some CCR / ‘Cause it’s two for Tuesday in America, and I’m gonna turn it up loud / It doesn’t matter what the next song is, ‘cause Johnny never let me down.”

Dan Baird has never let us down either, and even though Homemade Sin isn’t his strongest album, it’s plenty good enough – and easily one of the best records rock fans are going to hear all year. If you miss the sound of a few guys getting together and playing in the same room, you don’t want to miss this.

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