Yes, I know it comes as a shock. Ol’ Buffalo actually listens to music other than Southern Rock and Outlaw Country. I’m afraid it is true. I like a whole lot of different styles, and because of that, I have decided to start recommending a “Non-Southern” Pick of the Week, for your approval.
This week, I want to give a big ol’ thumbs up to the double DVD Zappa Plays Zappa. There is also a CD of the material available, but I have really enjoyed watching Frank Zappa’s son Dweezil lead a band made up of some of Frank’s former side men through a live show featuring some of daddy’s best tuneage.
The show was recorded during last summer’s tour, which was so popular that D.Z. decided to do it all again this year. Last year, my friend Denny Walley, one of Frank’s alumni, sat in during their Atlanta show, and I was kind of hoping one of his guest shots would end up on the DVD, but alas, it didn’t happen. Even still, Zappa Plays Zappa manages to be an amazing tribute to the music of the late great Frank.
With players that include Steve Vai, Joe Travers, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Terry Bozzio and more, the band is as tight and professional as you’d expect. Frank was known for keeping his musicians in tip top form, and the band here seems to really honor that memory.
Dweezil has stated that he woodshedded like never before to learn the songs and the lead guitar parts of his father. Of course, any of us old Zappa fans know that Frank was one of the most excellent guitar players ever, so Dweez had his work cut out for him.
The audience is digging it, singing along with the songs and rocking out to the jams, like the amazing Dweezil solo during “I am the Slime.”
Other choice performances include one of my all time favorite Frank tunes, “Montana,” “Call Any Vegetable,” “Punky’s Whips,” and another favorite of mine, “Zomby Woof.”
The entire show is just a lot of fun, and some of the most creative and original orchestrated rock and roll ever written. Songs written by a true rock legend and played with a lot of love by his son.
A killer DVD. A killer tribute.
Keep it Real. Keep it Southern (Most of the time, anyway!)