After packaging delays and the usual record-business snafus, we finally got our hands on a copy of the new Thunderado, a project of Paul Beebe and Hunter Perrin. Like Thunderado's live shows, the album features a stripped-down, three-piece power trio; for the purposes of this recording, the third slot is filled by guest super-drummer Kenny Aronoff.
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Houston native and John Fogerty axeman Perrin's guitar essentially drives the album as he works his way through everything from folksy soft-rockers like "See You Now" to blazing spaghetti western instrumentals like "Juarez" that recall the Ventures and Duane Eddy. Perrin shows off his hot boogie licks on swinging rocker "Midnight Kiss Kiss," and "Is It Me?" follows with essentially the same melody but with quieter, jazzier solos.
Quiet and slightly spooky, "40 Days" is the catchiest lyric and oddest vibe on the album. But the real Thunderado power trio Southern boogie thing that is the highlight of the live shows comes full force on "When You Lie": "When you lie I just have to smile/ Come on, pretty baby, won't you lie with me a while?"
Thunderado will be joined by former Press music award winners The Handsomes, who haven't exactly made music a career, but have made these Christmas Day after-dinner affairs a Continental tradition. - William Michael Smith
9 p.m. tonight at the Continental Club, 3700 Main, 713-529-9899.