Magazine article Guitar Player

The Afghan Whigs Take Memphis

Magazine article Guitar Player

The Afghan Whigs Take Memphis

Article excerpt

Sometimes the best way to get ahead is to turn back. That's what Cincinnati rockers the Afghan Whigs found when they moseyed over to Memphis to record their major-label debut within the soul-drenched walls of Ardent Studios. On Gentlemen [Elektra], the Whigs prove they can still kick up the caterwaul that made them contenders on the Sub Pop label, but the riffs and wails are now soaked in molasses and moonshine. "The city's heyday has come and gone," says Greg Dulli, the band's vocalist/rhythm guitarist, chief songwriter, and producer, "but there's still this unescapable spirituality and Southern feel."

Dulli, guitarist Rick McCollum, bassist John Curley, and drummer Steve Earle avoided slick recording technology. "We stayed away from anything post-'80," Dulli explains. "We used old mikes, old tube gear, recorded analog, and didn't brush our teeth." But Gentlemen is no Stax homage. The songs have a comfortable, old-time vibe, but Dulli's happy production mess is entirely fresh. …

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