Alvin Youngblood Hart achieves the vibe of golden guitar in the first moments of Motivational Speaker. Lit up ‘n’ lambent, he burns straight to the center of the groove. “Goin’ down to Chickee-saw”—not the title of the tune but it should be—Hart sings, laying the ax down over a merciless shuffle that won’t be topped by anyone this year in its power to get the fingers popping and the feet tapping. For the title tune, Alvin sings and goes home as crunchingly as the Woodstock icon, Mr. Lee.
The blow-by-blow to the rest of it could be described—but suffice it to say the guitar hero steps aside using just body English to let the rhythm and songs shine through, just like in the old days, when being funky and really loud ‘n’ thudly was virtuous. F’r instance, Hart offhandedly plays country more hicked and merry than anything on CMT, pancaked with Free’s bloozoid tons-o-sobs B-side rumination on a shit-heel, “The Worm.” Deserving of the Congressional Medal of Honor for Satisfying Hard Rock 2005 or a Silver Star in pop, easy. Plus the lyrics, hardness, and variety crease Serj Tankian.