I always thought the Soledad Brothers were members of the Black Panthers. Turns out, sometime around ten years ago out Toledo way a bunch of white kids gave themselves that moniker and proceeded to release a series of the best Keef-rock records since the Glimmer Twins left St. Tropez. The title of this post is not meant to be ironic: although they haven’t released anything since 2006’s The Hardest Walk, these guys better not have gone the way of George Jackson and the Panthers, or at least if they have gone away, let’s hope they went out in a blaze of fire. For these guys are Rolling Stonesy good. They are Fleshtones good. ‘Nuff said.
Imagine you’re in Heaven, and St. Peter’s showing you around, and he asks you what, in your opinion, would make Heaven an actual Paradise. So you go for it and say, Well, I kind of wish the Stones hadn’t gone on to suck so bad after Mick Taylor left, and maybe I get in the vault where they keep Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones and all the out-takes from Exile On Main Street. So St. Peter goes, How would you like to hear a band of young folk from Ohio who actually produced an update to Exile? And you go, Wait, didn’t Liz Phair try that? Because didn’t she go to school in Ohio? (This is a complicated fantasy.) And St. Pete goes, No, man, go to the Universal Juke Box we keep over there, and here are some nickels so you can track down an obscure compilation and listen to The Soledad Brothers”Prodigal Stones Blues,” and damn, boy, if you haven’t fulfilled your definition of musical Heaven.
And of course, the man is right.