Wilder and Field formed The Beatnecks in 1985 after a move to Nashville and counted themselves among the first wave of roots rocking Alt.Country bumpkins, swinging and sweating their way to a rabidly loyal fan base (and an odd rumor that they were the same person, but that’s a story for another time). Wilder’s 1986 solo debut, It Came from Nashville, found its inspiration in British and American Rock, Honky Tonk Country, West Coast Surf Pop and raging hillbillly Blues, a hybrid that the self-proclaimed “Last of the Full Grown Men” dubbed Swampadelic.
Wilder’s sense of humor is on full display on all of his albums, from Doo Dad to Acres of Suede to his frenetic live album, Born to Be Wilder, and a sense of accomplishment is all over his résumé, which includes a string of indie films, countless cameos on other people’s albums, commercial voiceovers and a nearly five-year gig as one of the country’s first satellite DJs on XM Radio.
Over the course of a quarter century and nine excellent albums — including last year’s More Like Me, his first album of new material in four years — Wilder makes music designed to jump start your Country core while radiating down to your dancing feet with a quick stop for a couple of drinks down at Ass Shake Manor.
Nashville’s blow-dried Pop cowboys might make more rodeo dough, but nobody has (or gives out) more fun. You can tell that by his credo: “Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need ’em.”
Webb Wilder plays The Southgate House Friday. Go here to buy tickets.