Jack Oblivian & The Sheiks - Lone Ranger Of Love
Amazing album from Jack O!
Originally on Jack's Mony records, sweet & necessary reissue on Memphis' Black & Wyatt Records... LA CHARRA!
53rd & 3rd Said:
Jack Oblivian is a legend of Memphis garage rock and hometown label Black & Wyatt is giving us an early Christmas present with the vinyl re-release of the 2016 Jack Oblivian and the Sheiks album ‘Lone Ranger of Love‘.
Jack initially released the album on his own label – Mony Records and it has long been sold out. Diehards will recognize a few tracks from the 2019 release ‘Lost Weekend‘ but here he is backed by The Sheiks and a few friends and they kick things up a notch or two especially on a track like the garage rock stomper ‘Boy in a Bubble.’ The Sheiks have been Jack’s band since 2014 and have performed as a trio of Keith Cooper (lead guitar), Frank McLallen (bass guitar) and Graham Winchester (drums). In 2015 Seth Moody joined Jack’s band on saxophone, keyboards and guitar.
Things kick off with a double blast of garage rock heaven with ‘Boy in a Bubble‘ and the super catchy ‘Hey Killer‘. The Velvet Underground swagger of ‘Fast Friends‘ follows and it’s all-aboard for the locomotive rhythm of ‘Home in My Hand‘ featuring Billy Gibson on harmonica. The Sheiks practically take over on the muscular ‘Downtown,‘ with its Stooges power, it’s one of the strongest tracks in this treasure chest. The funky shuffle of ‘Blind Love‘ and the Costello-esque power pop of ‘Stick to Me‘ show just how adept of a songwriter Jack is, he sees no distinction between garage rock, blues, rockabilly, country, soul, R&B, and power pop.
The title track has a Stax meets The Cramps vibe and leads into ‘La Charra Pt. 1/Pt 2‘ – 5-minutes of the coolest garage jive you’ll hear. The album closes with a pair of covers. Jack’s take on the Christopher Cross staple ‘Ride Like the Wind‘ is up next. The original is a guilty pleasure of mine and this version is amazing, with its subtle samba beat and ethereal Wurlitzer from Adam Woodard. Jack O takes it from an AOR anthem into gothic Johnny Dowd territory. The outlaw country ditty ‘Runnin’ From the Law‘ originally released in 1967 by Gene Nitz closes the album.
‘Lone Ranger of Love‘ is clearly an example of a pro making the album he wants to make and we’re all better off for it. That The Sheiks are no slouches makes it a double whammy!