October 5, 2006

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The Radiators, Dreaming Out Loud
Radz Records, 2006

Picked up and summarily kicked to the curb by Sony at one point during their 28 years of bloozing, New Orleans’ Radiators will blend right in should the cynics prove right about any future de-colorization of the city.

For centuries now the band’s worked on propagating a meme that makes them out to be as N’wallins as shrimp-induced botulism, but when parsed correctly they’re a local-hero blues band stirring a prison-cafeteria kettle of Springsteen, the Dead and the Allmans, their singer (Ed Volker, who bends it like Darius Rucker after battling a case of Michelob Lite to a tie) proving himself almost but not quite capable of getting their Mardi Gras float unstuck from its local-hero mud. The drinking game associated with a CD like this is checking off its clichés against the list used by your own hometown troupe of attention-addicted fossils clinging to half-imagined Glory Days (Truffle, in New Hampshire’s case). Were only the results of such exercises newsworthy, although “Wrestling With the Angel” does steal the verse from the Police’s “Walking In Your Footsteps,” causing irony-meters to overheat worldwide. C-

— Eric W. Saeger