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Rhythm & Views

Andre Williams and the New Orleans Hellhounds

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Aging R&B bad boy Andre Williams has enjoyed a remarkable late-career renaissance in the last dozen years, releasing a string of stellar records and getting backed up by the likes of the Sadies, the Blues Explosion, the Dirtbombs and other heavy hitters. Having settled comfortably into his status as the dirty old man (well, not as dirty as Blowfly) of modern garage funk, one might expect Williams to lay back a bit--but only if you don't know Williams.

Can You Deal With It? finds Williams as ornery and libidinous as ever. Backed up by the funky, fuzzed out garage rock of the New Orleans Hellhounds, with additional help from New Orleans icon Quintron on organ, Williams has twice the swagger and three times the guts of almost anyone a third of his age. The opening, title track is a statement of purpose: Over a madly buzzing guitar and Quintron's organ, he throws down a challenge to a prospective lover that sounds like a challenge to us as well: Can we deal with it?

"Pray for Your Daughter" and "If You Leave Me" are as un-PC as they come, the first a rundown of the shenanigans of some poor acquaintance's daughter, and the second full of blustery threats. Thankfully, Williams does this all with at least a hint of a nod and a wink. Elsewhere, Andre and the boys drag through the sexy slow burn of "Hear Ya Dance" and the trashy closer, "Can't Take 'Em Off."

Yes, Andre--we can deal with it.

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