There were some exceptions, of course, as there are now, in an era of shifting cultural norms and the dominance and creative pinnacle of R&B and hip hop. During the ’90s, there were a few notable bands that doubled down on their own rock ’n’ roll hootchie coo, and Tucson’s Asian Fred is today’s equivalent. Reaching far back into history’s stylebook and sounding like The Band or George Harrison in the immediate aftermath of The Beatles, Asian Fred–somewhat defiantly–relies on the twin pillars of impeccable craftsmanship and studious inspiration to carry on a tradition while contributing to its canon.
With a dream of a rhythm section–nodding to Stax and even disco–Asian Fred has a deliberate, considered, monolithic style that encompasses the perfectionist technique of, say, Steely Dan, along with the eazy riding of a hundred forgotten ’70s FM heroes. And that leaves Asian Fred as one of today’s most exciting and accomplished straight rock ’n’ roll bands, and one that would stand tall in any era.