The Fort Wayne, Indiana, duo of Frederick ‘Joe’ Evans (guitar/vocals) and Brenn ‘Sausage Paw’ Beck (vocals/percussion) are here boosted by producer Jim Diamond on bass, plus pianner and singing by James Leg (aka John Wesley Myers of the Black Diamond Heavies). The lo-fi garage-blues sound remains the same, though.
The twist on album number five is that Painkillers is a covers album, and you can learn a lot about folk from the company they keep. Including the Junior Kimbrough boogie that opens, they deliver 10 thumpers in just under 36 minutes, paying homage to legends such as John Lee Hooker (Shake It), Robert Johnson (Rambling On My Mind) and Willie Dixon (a harmonica-graced Little Red Rooster).
They also rattle teeth with Jimi Hendrix’s If 6 Was 9, Led Zeppelin’s arrangement of When The Levee Breaks and an inspired tilt at the Rolling Stones’s Sway.
A feral and fearsome collection, and no mistake.