Grady Y.U. So Shady?

Been wondering what Gordie Johnson has been up to since dissolving Big Sugar a few years ago? Well, aside from helping the Trews turn into radio stars (lord help us), it seems the one-time Armani spokes model isn’t quite ready to bury his old band just yet. Grady finds Johnson teaming up with Stevie Ray Vaughan’s drummer Chris Layton, and former Phantoms bassist Big Ben Richardson; but the incredible thing about Y.U. So Shady? is that almost every track is an old Big Sugar song, albeit crunched down to near stoner-rock levels. While it’s obvious that Johnson feels he’s been screwed by the Black Keys, White Stripes, et al, for Big Sugar fans, it will be hard to erase an omnipresent "huh?” when listening to these new versions of old concert staples like "Ride Like Hell” and "Joe Louis.” Even still, Johnson’s over-the-top guitar playing makes it hard to sit through to the end. What made Big Sugar interesting was the versatility they displayed in mixing rock, blues, reggae, jazz and country. Grady is like a race horse with blinders; fine if you want to listen to an hour of obnoxiously recycled blues riffs, but not much else to speak of musically. (Warner)