Andre Williams & The New Orleans Hellhounds, Can You Deal With It?

Andre Williams & The New Orleans Hellhounds, Can You Deal With It?

I have to admit, sometimes it’s nice to not have to think too much about this stuff. I mean, c’mon — this is Chicago wildman Andre Williams, the dirtiest, funkiest, nastiest soul singer you’re ever in danger of mistaking for one of your grandpa’s old-timer friends. He’s a truly, truly raunchy dude, the original Dirty Old Man, and as evidenced by the grimy, funky soul of Can You Deal With It?, he ain’t changing. Don’t let the yelled/sung question in the album’s title track fool you, by the way; when Williams bawdily asks if the audience can deal with his old-man lecherousness, but the tongue-in-cheek delivery makes it pretty clear that he doesn’t really give a fuck if you don’t.

He’s got a pretty fucking incredible team of partners-in-crime for this one, too, in raw, barroom blues-rockers the New Orleans Hellhounds (who apparently also do time in/as Morning 40 Federation). I’m not familiar with the band, but they play gutbucket, bluesy, sloppy-but-who-cares? rawk with the kind of wild abandon that’s as genuine as bourbon in a dirty glass. The horns, frankly, are the best part, all thick and meaty enough to be cut with a knife (see “Never Had A Problem” or “If You Leave Me”), but the guitars have a nice roar to ’em, too, and the drums snap and crack like a bottle breaking on the sidewalk. Put it together, and it’s a fitting accompaniment for Williams’ too-sharp-for-his-age sideways leer. Add to that the bonus of Big Easy legend Quintron on slippery, soulful organ, and holy fuck, you’ve got yourself one hell of a platter of bluesy, funky, ballsy, entertaining soul.

There’s a somewhat apt resemblance to fellow womanizer Greg Dulli here, especially when Williams slows it down and goes Motown (“If It Wasn’t For You” or the slinky, dirty “Hear Ya Dance,” one of the album’s absolute highlights). He spins out quirky tales of lust, need, pain, and danger, all in that trademark slurry yelp or croon (which makes me think of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins at points, and in a good way), playful and nasty at the same time. It’s hard not to grin and chuckle when you heard the faux-mollifying tone in “Your Woman,” where Williams at first says he’s “giving back” another man’s woman, only to undercut it later on like he knows exactly how things will play out: “But if she walk back through that door / She ain’t your woman no more.” Can you deal with that?

(Bloodshot Records -- 3039 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL. 60618; http://www.bloodshotrecords.com/; Andre Williams -- http://www.myspace.com/68691228; Morning 40 Federation -- http://www.myspace.com/morning40federation)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Friday, April 10th, 2009. Filed under Reviews.

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One Response to “Andre Williams & The New Orleans Hellhounds, Can You Deal With It?

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Andre Williams + Only Beast + The Docs + Fidlar + The Orwells + Cancerstock 2013 + More on October 5th, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    […] and raw and just plain doesn’t give a fuck. His 2008 album with The New Orleans Hellhounds, Can You Deal With It?, is especially awesome, merging down-and-dirty Nawlins funk with cool-ass big-city soul and gritty, […]

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