RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Wet Willie – The Wetter the Better/ Left Coast Live
BGO Records

Rating: B

Wet Willie were one of founding fathers of the almighty southern rock genre to appear in the early 1970’s.  Signed by Capricorn Records, they never hit the big time like Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Bros or even The Marshall Tucker Band.  Still, they were able to sell a few albums and crisscrossed the country on tour for many years. 

Part of the reason the band never hit it as big as their friends is because they had a true mishmash of sounds going that made them more of an acquired taste.  While there is no doubt they were a southern rock band, Wet Willie liked to incorporate country, rock along with some sublime jazzy licks and rhythms and even a dab of blue-eyed soul into their music.  While this made them more unique it also limited their appeal.

While most known for the song “Keep on Smilin’” the band created and released a boatload of good music including the album The Wetter the Better.  Besides having one of the best album covers of all time, the album contained some great bluesy, southern fried tunes.  “Teaser,” “Baby Fat” and “Walkin’ By Myself” are rather addictive songs that once they get into your head have a hard time being silenced.  The final song, “Everybody’s Stoned” is a fan favorite that sums up the era well.

BGO Records has re-released The Wetter the Better but also included Wet Willie’s live album Left Coast Live for good measure.  Like most southern rock bands, Wet Willie was best when seen live.  They opened up and let their long hair flow as they cranked out plenty of solos and blasted out their unique sounds to an appreciative crowd.

The result of the live album and the studio album together makes for a great one/two punch.  Throw in some new liner notes and a great sound, as both have been digitally remastered, and you have a package worthy of a big ‘HELL YEAH!”

The Wetter The Better:
     No, No, No
    Baby Fat
    Ring You Up
    Comic Book Hero
    Walkin’ By Myself
    Everything That ’Cha Do (Will Come Back To You)
    Everybody’s Stoned

Left Coast Live:
   No, No, No
    Grits Ain’t Groceries
    Everything That ’Cha Do (Will Come Back To You)
    Lucy Was In Trouble
    Keep On Smilin’

By Jeb Wright