Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Centerline by Warner E Hodges

Centerline cover art

Artist: Warner E Hodges
Title: Centerline
Catalogue Number: Jerkin' Crocus JERK10
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2008

Anyone who has witnessed Warner E Hodges in one of his live outings with Jason Ringenberg will no doubt attest to his prodigious, maniacal greatness. Now, the man himself has decided to cut a record of his own. Hodges plays it safe on Centerline, delivering a decent country-rock record that Scorchers fans will openly embrace. While lacking the intensity of Jason and the Scorchers in their prime, this record will blow the cowboy hats clean off the heads of southern rock fans.

"Gimme, Gimme" invites you to crack open the beers and start the party. It's clear from the beginning that Hodges means business on this album. And not business in the "three-piece suit" sense! Opening songs on albums ought to draw the listener in and this song does just that.

A rendition of Merle Haggard's "Branded Man" goes down nicely, while "Hell to Pay" benefits from Dan Baird's presence. As co-producer of the album, Baird's influence is easily detected on the album. However, this isn't a Yayhoos album by any means. That said, "I Love You, Baby" could easily have been a discarded song from the last Yayhoos album had it not been penned by Hodges. "Air That I Breathe" is the only serious love song on the album, and veers into 70s rock territory. While not the most interesting song on the album, "She's Tuff" careers back into dirty blues-rock like a trucker drunk at the wheel, and leads us nicely to the album's closer - the Ringenberg-penned "Harvest Moon". Despite the title, it's a terrific song and, at that, a terrific end to the album.

Centerline sounds like the work of a man who has waited for this opportunity since puberty. Crammed with energy and spirit, fans of bluesy rock 'n' roll will love this album.
Review Date: October 13 2008