Roy Loney

Shake It or Leave It

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Even though Roy Loney parted company with the Flamin' Groovies in 1971 and his solo work has been sporadic ever since, the man remains a rock & roll howler of the first order, and this set recorded with the Longshots -- his Seattle-based backing band featuring Scott McCaughey and Tad Hutchinson of the late, lamented Young Fresh Fellows -- leaves little doubt that the man can still wail when the spirit moves him. Loney also continues to write fine songs these days, and there are a dozen spiffy new numbers on Shake It or Leave It; while Loney is still best known for the Groovies' garage/rockabilly fusion, he's got plenty of other tricks up his sleeve, and though longtime fans will welcome the rockabilly boogie of "Raw Deal" and the fuzzy garage rumble of "Don't Like Nothin'," Loney sounds just as comfortable with the faux-Western shuffle of "Big Fat Nada," the keening folk-rock of "The Great Divide," the Shakespearian whimsy of "Hamlet's Brother, Happy," and the moody semi-psychedelia of "Subterranean Waterfalls." Vocally, if Loney's voice isn't quite the flamethrower it was years ago, he can still make a band rock and he sounds strong and confident, and his guests -- including Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman, ex-Screaming Trees percussionist Mark Pickerel, and Windbreakers guitar ace Bobby Sutliff -- give him plenty of room to shine. Shake It or Leave It is a solid blast of rock action from a man who's been wailing across the better part of four decades, and he and his partners have plenty of life in them yet.

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