Big drums and bass start the chunky opener, â€œPlugged In and Wired,â€ of Black Oak Arkansas’ new one,Â Back Thar Nâ€™ Over Yonder. This is a chock-full, 19-song sprawling collection of songs from all different times of these infamous bad boys’ career, an official return of this ’70s band. The sweet â€œSweet Delta Water,â€ another of the five first 2013 reunion tunes sees an even more distinct Jim Dandy vocal (sometimes he truly sounds like David Lee Roth – we see where Roth got it from – and on others, a real down-home country boy).
The boys’ attempt a loud cover of Dylanâ€™s â€œI Shall Be Released,â€ then weâ€™re into the “older” stuff (all of which works best for me). Thereâ€™s the real ‘7os rock romp of the spectacularly commercial unreleased studio recording of â€œGigiloâ€ (I could tell you a first-hand story about Dandyâ€™s prowess with the ladiesâ€¦but Iâ€™ll save that for another time), the wha wha and tight drumming to the bandâ€™s pretty lousy cover of â€œI Canâ€™t Get No (Satisfaction)â€ (another unreleased studio recording), and the blistering quick snake of â€œHot Rodâ€ is all tight nasty rock and works perfectly.
We get into slightly later stuff on the jangly 1974 tune, â€œThe Snakeâ€ (thereâ€™s Dandy swishing on his signature washboard). â€œLegal I.D.â€ has a wonderful, naughty lyric and piano and the remastered vocal (only) to â€œJim Dandyâ€ â€“why we need just that-opens into the full famous song. â€œSummer Swingâ€ certainly has a cool swing from drummer Tommy Aldridge (Iâ€™m guessing here seeing this bandâ€™s personnel changes, but he was in the band at this time) and acoustic guitar mixed with electric from a 1973 unreleased studio mix. â€œG Wizâ€ is a brand new instrumental featuring some cool slide playing and again tight big rockinâ€™ drums. Thereâ€™s even the band attempting to record a commercial for fast food chain Arbyâ€™s called â€œArbyâ€™s (I Want A Woman),â€ where the messy acoustic song gets going more than half way after all the studio talking and eating of burgers.
Mostly this album features lots of unreleased studio recordings of songs that were only ever released as live versions and that smattering of 2013 BOA. Back Thar Nâ€™ Over Yonder, from now or before, is classic BOA.