Ted Nugent, The Motor City Madman, returns with another clinic on how to shred blues guitar. While a lot of people in today’s sensitive world are turned off by The Nuge’s political viewpoints, nobody can say the man doesn’t know how to play guitar. His latest album Detroit Muscle is full of dexterous blues leads. Sure the riffs are there, Nugent knows how to write a rhythm, but what really stands out on this album are the leads.
In addition to referencing Detroit Rock City in the title, which is a heavy ode to Detroit, Michigan, legendary home of rock ‘n’ roll, where Ted Nugent came from (he lives near me in the Temple, Texas area), Nugent makes his patriotic viewpoints well known.
Some lyrics refer to his love of nature and hunting like “Alaska.” The title track is the perfect ode to Detroit Rock City, a very influential center of rock ‘n’ roll (he mentions MC5) and Detroit’s auto industry. While some of his lyrics are ’80s clichés, and of course he has songs about nature (“Alaska,” “American Campfire”), he does make some good points about the freedom we are allowed in this country, and the extremes patriots like himself will go through to defend that freedom. Here, he echoes Texas’ famous call to arms, “Come and Take It.” For conservatives who like rock ‘n’ roll and Michigan rock n rollers, Detroit Muscle will be a musical highlight of the year.
While Detroit Music is not exactly the second coming of “Cat Scratch Fever,” it has its moments. Nugent sticks to his roots, but a lot of the album is very modern and heavy, almost like listening to Black Label Society. The Nuge still has it, even if he is a crusty, cantankerous (ranch-stocking hunter!) old man!
(released April 29, 2021 on Pavement Entertainment)