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Dan Baird
 Buffalo Nickel, American Recordings CD 430372-2, 1996

 Right on the dime

If you've ever pounded the dashboard of a 1965 GTO, keeping time with the classic rock blaring from a KRACO 8-track, then this Baird's for you. A driving force behind the Georgia Satellites ("Keep Your Hands to Yourself"), Baird left over the usual artistic differences in 1985.  Buffalo Nickel, his second solo album, packs a swagger that harkens back to classic '70s bands like the Stones and the Faces. Producer Brendan O' Brien's four on the floor guitar sound is the perfect complement to Baird's solid songwriting and dirty ass rock'n'roll vocals. "On My Way" takes a page from Rod the Mod's "Stay With Me" and adds an awesome guitar break. "Younger Face" is a telling look at the fate that awaits musicians who don't die young. "Wake Up Jake" comes off like a Dixie fried AC/DC, melding guitars set on 11 with honky tonk lyrics and a cowbell. And Baird's update of "Hush" (you do remember Deep Purple, right?) is the definitive version, with original songwriter Joe South himself contributing backup vocals. Albums this pure and honest are as rare these days as, well, buffalo head nickels. --  Scott Boggan

Copyright © 1996 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.