Bold statement right? And even bolder if you consider that I’ve only seen the few clips of the show in question that live on YouTube. And yes, even bolder, since the concert happened before I was born.
Wet Willie, the great unsung heroes of Southern fried soul, know how to put on a f@#!ing show. If you’ve never heard of Wet Willie, think of them like the Big Star of southern/classic rock. They are known and adored by countless musicians that you have heard of but for some reason, they never made it into the mainstream consciences like many of the bands they toured with did. A while back, CMT aired a list show featuring the best in Southern Rock songs and Wet Willie’s, “Keep On Smiling” came in at eleven. Famous artists providing commentary talked about how Mick Jagger wished he had Jimmy Hall’s voice.
Jimmy is in my top five favorite front men/rock vocalists of all time but it’s the band in it’s entirety that makes the magic happen. For example, “The Williettes,” their backup singer duo, featuring Donna Hall, (Jimmy’s sister) deserve a better description than the simple, “backup singers”. The talent and energy they bring to the band are a big part of what makes the band so unique.
Wet Willie’s high-energy live show feels more like a Rhythm & Blues review than what you might think when you hear the phrase southern rock so don’t let that throw you – they transcend the genera.
On to the show now. The place – Macon, Georgia. The year – 1973. The setting – an outdoor festival. My friends, let me just say that the crowd shots are just the cherry on top of this delicious rock sundae. If you can watch these clips and not get up and SHAKE IT, you may want to go breathe on a window to ensure you are in fact, still alive.