Does anybody remember the Look? Formed during the summer of '77, the Detroit rockers sat on the verge of major success for the better part of 15 years without ever getting the break that they perhaps deserved, touring with and opening for the likes of Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, John Cougar Mellencamp and J. Geils. Nowadays, the original version of the Look sits among such esteemed company as Frijid Pink, Früt of the Loom, the Third Power and the Up in a D-town category marked "not quite."
Dave Edwards was and is the leader of the Look, and the fiercely proud Detroiter is back with a solo record — his third — that's as impassioned and full of fire as it is necessary. If recent releases from Seger, the Stooges and Alice Cooper proved that Detroit's old-schoolers aren't content to simply rest on past glories, Lone Survivor is proof that old warriors like Edwards are not prepared to give up, even after a career riddled with setbacks.
If this album has a weakness, it's that Edwards has chosen to record so many cover versions; there are seven here, along with five originals. Still, those cover songs have been reinterpreted and given Edwards' simple but effective blues-rock stamp (Squeeze's "Tempted" and Leonard Cohen's "Ain't No Cure for Love" seem to work best) — and they sit comfortably alongside his own compositions. The opening "How Long" and "Good Time" are the highlights on a record bursting with quality, which is no surprise when considering the talent that Edwards roped in, including local legend Johnny "Bee" Badanjek (of Detroit Wheels, Alice Cooper and Howling Diablos) and Kid Rock's Twisted Brown Trucker man, Jimmy "Bones" Trombly.
Lone Survivor is the sound of a local veteran musician screaming out loud that he still has something to offer Detroit and the world. And who would deny him that?
Dave Edwards' next local gig is Friday, July 10, at Robusto's, 19271 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods; 313-881-0100.
Brett Callwood writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].