The Wabash Cannonballs take good old fashioned blues and merge it with rock and punk then add a dash of old style country. The type you used to get before it was hospitalised with a case of 'Achy Breaky Heart'. The result brings a new sound to a classic musical tradition.
While the band certainly acknowledge the influence of the old masters, they also give the music a freshness and vitality - not to mention the loudness and brashness - that is needed if the music is to stay alive. To progress you must learn from the past, not live in it. And they certainly seem to have taken that to heart. "The Apocalypse Song" provides a storming opening and one we can only describe as a cross between The Clash with James Cotton on harmonica. "The Long Lonesome Blues of Lockjaw McMurphy" sees a departure from their harder rocking sound and instead we hear them in more of a traditional story telling, acoustic blues mode.
With "Your Smiling Dipsomania" we are treated to a country-folk cross that has more than a hint of a Bob Dylan influenced ballad style. Whereas with "Zodiac Woman" and "The Big 10-4" the blues bastard child, heavy metal, makes a guest appearance to a thundering beat. Fortunately the petulant brat is kept under control and isn't allowed to indulge in those excessive drum solos. They finish as they started with a raucous blend of blues, rock and punk that crashes its way to suitably satisfying crescendo.
This is a band that certainly approaches their music head on. No holds barred and no punches pulled. If The Clash or The Stranglers were to do the blues it would probably sound like this. Or, to put it another way, if John Lee Hooker or Muddy Waters were to do punk rock, then this is what you would be listening to.