Put your seat belt on before you "drive" this one. Thackery lets loose on both guitar and vocals here, with a solid, screaming set of originals and a handful of covers. Although it probably wasn't the intention, Drive to Survive quickly became synonymous with "Apache," the jungle drum-flavored surf instrumental that Thackery included simply because he "wanted to do a surf tune that no one had messed with." In reality, more than 20 artists had recorded the Ventures tune by the time Drive to Survive was released. Nonetheless, it served as a much-requested anthem of sorts in Thackery's live shows for years to come. "All About My Girl" is a Jimmy McGriff-meets-Albert Collins instrumental, and "Burford's Bop" is high-energy swing. Thackery delivers tough, gritty vocals on the JL Hooker/ZZ Top-style "You Got Work to Do." The bluesiest offering, "Rub On Up," features some serious guitar licks and has lyrics that could make just about anyone blush. The real gem on Drive to Survive, though, is the ballad "That's How I Feel." Drummer Mark Stutso handles the vocals, and both the song and the singing are superb.
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AllMusic Review by Ann Wickstrom