It's like, Little Richard pulls up to you on the side of the road in his limousine, rolls down his window, stares you in the eye and he says, "HEY BROTHA WHAT'S YO NAME?!! I'M LITTLE RICHARD!!!"
And you float to the car and you're all,
"I know you're Little Richard, I'm Chad Michael Savage."
And he's all,
"I SAW YOU SITTIN' THERE!!!
I KNOW YOU LIKE ROCK AND ROLL!!!
I KNOW YOU LOVE LITTLE RICHARD!!!
And you try to shake his hand while he slips you a paperback and says,
"Hey brother I was just tryin' to share the love of Jesus Christ with you."
And then you're just not allowed not to play Rock and Roll music anymore...
That's exactly how it went down for Mr. Savage that fateful summer afternoon outside the local watering hole in Portland, OR.
The Savage Family Band, it has been said, is more of a family than a band. Their first outing, and debut self-titled LP, is a masterful array of truly groovy Cosmic American Music with conjures all the folk, country, rock and roll and punk and psychedelia that define the art form.
A loose collective of All-Star Portland music scene veterans led by Mr. Savage, The Savage Family Band is bonded by decades-deep friendships, musical relationships and artistic inclinations intuitively attuned to Chad's lysergic folk punk vision.
"A wonderful sense of community holds us together." says Mr. Savage.
"We take care of each other."
The band's liquid line-up includes Paul Pulvirente (Eyelids/Elliott Smith), Christopher Bernard Cook (1776), Sam Henry (The Wipers/ Napalm Beach), William Morisey Slater (Grails), Lance Dinauer, Colin Jarrell (Long Knife/ The Nice Boys /The Riffs), Collin Hegna (The Brian Jonestown Massacre/ Federale), Paul Dillon (Mercury Rev/ Sparkle Horse), Sarah Jane Dillon (The Out Crowd) and many more. Live, as well as in the studio the band has been, "Anyone and everyone who we trust and who understand this vision. There are already so many people all over the world who are a part of this Family."
The songs from The Savage Family Band's eponymous LP come from that flow of creativity that can only be accessed when you are willing to step away.
"If I ever TRIED to write a song it was terrible." says Savage.
"I think maybe Jesus writes them."
That being said, it seems obvious this eight song collection is well thought through and executed with an aesthetic that is thoroughly cultivated and cohesive. Brimming with darkness, humor and sly record collector allusions, the dark psychedelic folk of "California Sun" (not the jaunty, upbeat 1960's classic) is effortlessly cool with Lou Reed style vocals, wah dripped guitars and a "Be True to Your School" type lyric that reads more like a love letter to their home town of Portland, OR. On "Babylon Song" Savage points political commentary using imagery and lore from Rastafarian culture through references to Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II via seering 60's style garage rock. Perhaps as much a nod to Reagan Youth as an oblique reference to The Replacements, "Johnny Should Die" comes out a mesmerizing and dynamic rocker that evokes The Doors hypnotic motion and classic shambolic yet shamanistic punk with engaging loud and soft dynamics.
The Savage Family Band will be rolling down the west coast with a core line up of devoted musicians this summer. Mr. Savage has another record ready to release and has already begun production on the band's third installment.
In the end it seems Little Richard was right about Mr. Savage. He does like rock and roll, he does know who Little Richard is and now it seems he's hell-bent on spreading the gospel. So when you see them in your town and you wanna know what its about, just get in the van.
The Savage Family Band’s tracks