Dig Thy Savage Soul (Bloodshot), the new release by Barrence Whitfield & the Savages, charges at you with the ferocity of a feisty boxing contender in the brightly lit ring of roots rock-n-roll.
Looking swift and decisive at the outset Whitfield pummels the punk region early. His smooth vocal punches find their mark with a gruff, effortless flurry. There is deft offensive execution on the gritty rocker “Hangman’s Token.” Always quick to the spot with the rockabilly shuffle Whitfield remains on balance throughout. He scores often with uppercuts of R&B, letting the hands go, so to speak, on numbers like “My Baby Didn’t Come Home.”
Whitfield surrounds himself with veteran corner men for this one. Peter Greenberg (guitar) and Phil Lenker (bass) are worthy conspirators (and original Savages) from the first-wave Boston punk scene. Tenor saxophonist Tom Quartulli (The Toasters) brings good organic energy (“Bread”) and does all he can to further the rockabilly aspect.The tracks on Dig Thy Savage Soul clip by as quickly as 12 two-minute championship rounds. With time to spare Whitfield and company score an impressive TKO (Total Knockout).
Available at Bloodshot records store: Dig Thy Savage Soul