Monday, May 19, 2008

Song of the Week 5/16/08

I finally got around to picking up this new (well, I guess a reunion after 33 years isn’t that new) Tom Petty side project last week after hearing “Scare Easy” for the umpteenth time on WFUV. After one spin on the subway ride home, my initial suspicious were confirmed--this is the best Petty original in a decade. It’s catchy as hell, it has a great “let’s get this down on tape live here in our rehearsal space” sound, guitarist and fellow moonlighting Heartbreaker Mike Campbell plays the hell out of the solo and the chorus is one of Petty’s strongest in age. He sounds absolutely recharged, which I’m grateful for after seeing some average Heartbreakers performances over the past two tours.

I love how Petty snarls these lines in harmony with guitarist Tom Leadon on the chorus:

“I don’t scare easy
I don’t fall apart
When I’m under the gun
You can break my heart
And I ain’t gonna run
I don’t scare easy
For no one”

Mudcrutch is the band that Petty and Campbell (along with keyboardist Benmont Tench) were in before the Heartbreakers were born. I’m pretty sure this country-rock-slash- psychedelic sound would not have brought them a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career like the Heartbreakers. But unlike most of us who will never have that opportunity, Petty and company got to get back together with some old friends and see if that magic from long ago was still there.

BONUS: Here’s the official video:

And to prove the undeniable greatness that is named Mike Campbell, check out his solo in this live version from Santa Cruz last month.

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