Advertisement

Album Review: King of the Tramps — Wild Water

  • 88
    Shares

King of the Tramps

Wild Water
www.kingofthetramps.com

Todd Partridge sent me King of the Tramps’ 2016 release, Complir con el Diablo, for review the day after the 2016 presidential election, and it included a note that said, “It’s an apolitical protest and love record perfect for a day like today.”

The Tramps’ latest album, Wild Water, returns with the southern rock-influenced formula the band is known for — dual Allman Brothers-style guitar leads, searing slide, driving drums and lots of groove. Partridge draws from his small town Iowa experiences, yet delivers songs I think can resonate with anyone. But, while I wouldn’t call Wild Water a political record per se, it’s clear that Partridge has had some hot button issues on his mind.

Track three, “Smoke ’Em,” includes the perspective of the 99 percent: “Got both ends fightin’ just to get to the middle; red state blue state/it’s your ass on the griddle/poor is poor no matter where you come from” sung over the top of an Exile On Main Street-esque riff.

But the real message song here is a cover of the Mann/Weill/Russell track “None of Us Are Free,” originally covered by Ray Charles but perhaps more famously by Solomon Burke. “None of us are free/None of us are free/None of us are free, if one of us are chained/None of us are free.” Amen.

Lest we think that Partridge and band have consigned to political pulpit pounding, they include “Just Dance” a four-on-the-floor anthemic stomper that delivers the clarion call to “dance and let the worlds collide” and (in the non-radio friendly version) “Fuck it! Just Dance.” Sage advice.

“Byron’s Boogie” is a tribute to his regular roost, Byron’s in Pomeroy, Iowa — possibly the coolest bar in a small town anywhere. A bunch of Iowa bands and Iowa regulars get called out: “We got Brother Trucker, Kevin Gordon, Joe and Vicki Price/Studebaker John, baby play the blues nice/Kelly Richey, David Zollo, Jon Dee Graham/Doing the Byron’s Boogie/Doing the Byron’s Boogie.”

King of the Tramps continue to do what they do best: translating their stories into floor-shaking rock and blues, delivering it as gospel to the masses. Partridge is still writing about love, but for Wild Water, his protests are now political, and that’s gospel, too.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 249.


  • 88
    Shares
Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

Advertisement

Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

July 2020 marks Little Village’s 19th anniversary. With our community of readers alongside us, we’ll be ready for what the next 19 have in store.

BECOME A SUPPORTER:

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.