» Album Review: World Famous Headliners – s/t
Album Review: World Famous Headliners – s/t
For twenty-plus years, Al Anderson was the guitarist in critics-darlings NRBQ. Though no longer a member of that band, Anderson has returned for occasional reunion projects and shows. But his focus these days is on his own band – his first since leaving NRBQ, The World Famous Headliners. The wryly-named group isn’t filled with household names, but it does feature Nashville-based players with impressive résumés. Multi-instrumentalist Shawn Camp, guitarist Pat McLaughlin, bassist Michael Rhodes and drummer Greg Morrow all have well-deserved reputations in the music business mostly (though not exclusively) within the country idiom. But the music on the group’s self-titled debut leans toward rock’roll with a c&w bent.
There’s a loose and smirky feel to the songs. To wit: the vocalized backing on “Give Your Love to Me” is the sound of a bunch of guys who wanted a horn section but couldn’t round up the cash to rent one. Anderson’s expressive guitar work is all over the record, but it feels more like a band effort than a guitar showcase. “Mamarita” feels like Los Lobos, and the stacked lead vocal harmonies on “Can I” and “Heart of Gold” are absolutely ear candy.
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With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.