POP REVIEW : Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs Go Hog Wild at Music Machine
Those individuals whose mission in life is to seek out the Ultimate Biker Bar Band needn’t have stopped, looked and listened any further than the nearly 90 minutes of bruisin’ blues ‘n’ brews pounded down by local semi-legends Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs at the Music Machine on Thursday night.
Truthfully, it wasn’t much different from any of the shows the band did five . . . seven . . . nine years ago. In fact, all but four of the songs performed Thursday have been staples of the Rhythm Pigs’ repertoire since 1981. (Well, so what? The tunes stretch from Otis Rush’s “Homework” to Merle Haggard’s “Working Man Blues” to Bob Dylan’s “Obviously Five Believers” to the Robins’ “Framed” and--as might be expected after all this time--the band is tighter than a wagonload of winos.)
Despite an endorsement from no less respected a party animal as then-Van Halen member David Lee Roth, who immortalized the septet’s Falstaffian frontman in the ’84 song “Top Jimmy,” the Pigs’ general lack of success in part stems from the group’s failure to get so much as one song on record until late last year, when the “Pigus Drunkus Maximus” opus was issued on the local Down There label. (Well, what do you expect from a band in which three members can be seen simultaneously sucking back longnecks--each blissfully unaware of the others’ actions--during an instrumental passage?)
Dig . The raffish, roguish vocalist still does the best Howlin’ Wolf imitation this side of Captain Beefheart. The band still turns everything into the sonic equivalent of a bar fight. What more do you need to know?