Friday, July 2, 2010

Pssst: We sure like this candy

I sure like that candy
I don't go for them turnip greens
I sure like that candy
I don't go for them turnip greens
So when you put it on the table
Oh, Mama, think about me

Who could have a figured a simple 12-bar blues vamp would help save the day and quite possibly the year in music?

June is already shot in the ass but the summer of 2010 promises to live forever in the blues-fueled jams on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' new album Mojo. It's simply the best damn collection of songs we've heard at the Sanctuary in quite some time.

Tom Petty has rarely disappointed. Make that never.  The lousy show we saw at the Metrodome back in 1986 could be blamed on a venue that was shitty for everything except dead-of-winter boat shows and monster truck extravaganzas.  (We can't actually vouch for the trucks.)  Every album we've heard since his 1976 debut has included some memorable and redeeming music.  When we stack up our most played discs the pile is sure to include Damn the Torpedoes (1979), Southern Accents (1985) and Full Moon Fever (1989).

And unlike his other 21st century issues,  The Last DJ (2002) and Highway Companion (2006), which are great albums but needed some time to digest, Mojo was so enjoyable the first time through we were concerned the thrill might be short-lived.  Four listens later we're here to confirm: This is a great album that'll stick to your rock-starved ribs for months and years to come.

After rediscovering his roots with the 2008 release of Mudcrutch we weren't sure which direction Petty might turn. These days he may be calling himself a California dude, but he drives straight throught the heart of Florida on "U.S. 41" where it all began for him. By the time you get to that song you've already been transformed by the the exemplary twin-tone guitars of Petty and Mike Campbell and the agreeable bite of Benmont Tench's electric organ. Add Steve Ferrone's drums, Ron Blair's knowing bass lines and some great harp work by Scott Thurston and you are reminded once again that great rock music -- that would be Mojo -- is a simple formula that ought to work more often than it seems to.

The Heartbreakers have bottled it once again, delivering a glorious summer romp that is both fresh and revealing. We're pretty certain the 180 gram vinyl platters will be pure gold, but right now we can't get past the ear candy of the Mojo CD. This is damn fine stuff. Make room for PSSST (Personal Six String Sanctuary Tout) No. 19, the first new release to go up on the big board. Now pass it along...


  1. Brilliant - the summer saved by a collection that will surely become one-a the Heartbreakers' best-loved and most respected albums. And the two-LP vinyl edition IS golden. Here's a SSS Special offer: the first person to send me an e-mail at will get, in return, the code for downloading the entire album of MOJO digitally (I really am an analogue boy!): it's a one-time only FLAC/Apple Lossless download (the code came with the LPs). Folks, MOJO is a keeper.

  2. We have a winner! Seems some are up as early
    as I! We'll do this again the next time vinyl
    has a digital download (David Gilmour did it
    with his 'Live in Gdansk' a few years ago).

  3. And appropriately it goes to a Florida boy who could use a shot of good ol' rock elixir!

  4. The picture of the band in the studio is a classic and I liked the track notes that listed all their gear. Mike Campbell basically played one guitar on the record - his trusty Les Paul. Way to keep it old-school Mike!

  5. I have not, and am anxious to hear his new album MOJO, it's gotta be good, like you said he doesn't do anything bad,

  6. I saw Petty and the boys at The Gorge in Washington state in 2009 ... I admit I was expecting a do-the-drill play-through of The Hits. I couldn't have been more wrong. Mike Campbell is God, and Benmont is the patron saint of keyboard players ... and Petty turns it up when the lights go on. Pure showman. Side note: Steve Winwood was the opening act. I was curious, but had no big hopes. Best two-fer I've ever seen.