David Lee doesn’t look like Jim Dandy anymore. Nope, there he sits on Diamond Dave, with garments all the colors of kryptonite and gals in Buck Rogers headgear, reincarnating Neal Merryweather and the Space Rangers.
The album opens, and the jaw drops. It’s a Savoy Brown medley! DLR is making like a ceegar-puffin’ Chris Youlden; he’s packed up all the boogie from the non-“Endless Boogie” side of A Step Further and fried it up right, like he did for “Tobacco Road.”
The dancing beat drags you to the floor, a Steve Miller trip gets laid on, and it’s fair by way of crunchy guitar that quotes from a Buddy Miles lick. By the time Doors and Hendrix songs are deployed, it’s a joyful pig-roast record.
Newsmen deign to notice Dave these days only when the cops are called to escort a crackhead off his property or when someone sues the guy. It’s unfair middle-ageism at work. Diamond Dave is not just for people in Japan and Las Vegas. The man is the very definition of antic fun at your backyard cocktail party.
Related, because they too rip off Savoy Brown, are the New Orleans band Supagroup. They also wish to be recognized as AC/DC clones. All right, I can do that! There are kids on guitar and drums who look like Schoolboy Young. One of the schoolboys also doubles as Bon Scott.
Half of Supagroup is hardscrabble six-strings and rhythm purposefully mimicking High Voltage. The number to hear, though, is “I Need a Drink,” a slinky steal of Savoy Brown’s “Street Corner Talkin’,” which not only captures slouching-to-the-liquor-store bonhomie but is also more clever than one would think possible for guys who look barely 20. So invite them to your cocktail party with Dave already.