Rick Derringer

Spring Fever

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Coming off the triumph that was his debut, All American Boy, Derringer sticks to his guns and delivers some hot rockers ("Gimme More," the rollicking "Still Alive and Well," the synth-laden "Rock"), poppier rockers ("Tomorrow," "Roll With Me"), and a couple of weird surprises: a recasting of the McCoys' (Derringer's first band) big hit "Hang On Sloopy" as a cod reggae dance track that -- against all odds -- works rather well in a silly way, as well as a moody and ominous take on Rufus Thomas' garage band staple "Walkin' the Dog," which features Derringer's rather tenuous falsetto but also some tough guitar slinging. The only song that falls flat is the jokey 12-bar jam "Skyscraper Blues," and it is still not terrible, just a little boring. Throughout the album, Derringer displays an impish charm vocally, a reckless approach to guitar, and an ear for a good hook. While not as strong as his debut, the record is about as good a straightforward rock release as you were liable to hear in 1975. It still sounds good today, too, and you can't say that about too many albums from 30 years ago.

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