RCA Victor Records
The Smokey and the Bandit guy… or is it Cannonball Run?
Anyway, he’s the country music guy that cackles a lot and looks vaguely like Lady Elaine from Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Yeah, him. I knew very little about him outside of “Eastbound and Down” before taking my dad’s vinyl collection. Luckily (or unluckily) my dad had approximately 6,000 Jerry Reed records to go through. So there’s that. I’m now Jerry Reed’s biggest fan — by default.
Jerry Reed, Live featuring Hot Stuff, was released in 1979 on RCA Victor Records. Recorded live at the Exit/In in Nashville, Tennessee, I really have no frame of reference to how much of his career the record covers.
I am of two minds when it comes to Jerry Reed. His faster, rockier stuff, the “outlaw country” style of work is really good. Like, really good. Where he falters are his ballads — which are super sappy and remind me of something people in the 70’s lost their virginity to in a Monte Carlo. Ok, that’s super specific. It’s super schmaltzy. It has strings. It’s bad. But when he rocks, he rocks hard. Live featuring Hot Stuff shows off a lot of the rock n’ roll side of Jerry.
If I had a favorite Jerry Reed song it would be “Guitar Man”. When Jerry Reed is “on” his music is like a freight train. It chugs along, rattling and shaking everything in it’s path. It’s the soundtrack of a roadhouse somewhere in Texas that I would get my ass kicked. “It’s gonna be loud, hang on to whatcha got, I’ll try not to hurt you bad”, he says before the song starts. Hell, if every Jerry Reed song had this tempo, momentum and energy I’d be a huge fan. Not to mention, the guy can SHRED on guitar when he wants to.
3.5/5 cackling jerry reed heads