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The Turner Diaries

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BluesWax Rating: 6
Reader Rating: 8
Turner, Eddie
The Turner Diaries

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Wind Cries Jimi Beneath His Wings, (07/05/06) Let's face it: There are very few innovators in music today — those who create a sound so novel it breeds a new genre or sub-genre. Some say that Ray Charles' hybridization of Gospel and Rhythm & Blues was the "birth of Soul." Some even consider Prince a genius, when, really, he's just an amalgam of James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, and George Clinton. Of course, one can't criticize an artist for following in the footsteps of another. Eddie Turner is a Jimi Hendrix devotee, pure and simple. As we know, Hendrix is one of the so-called "Rock guitar gods" of the modern era. And as a true disciple, Eddie Turner has followed Jimi's "teachings" on The Turner Diaries like few others have succeeded in doing. I could end the review here with the line, "If you dig Jimi Hendrix, you'll dig ..." But I won't.

The heavy, lumbering axe work begins on "Dangerous," which combines the Blues standard "Rock Me Baby" with "Bold as Love"-era Hendrix. Turner has that disparate vocal phrasing down, too; he weaves back and forth from singing to speaking within a single line. His impenetrable lyrics include lines like, "I can stop the rain with a wave of my hand/You believe that, girl, then you just don't understand/'Cause I'm dangerous as a Coup de Ville." In one chorus, Turner claims that he "ain't no rolling stone," but in the next, he's "dangerous like a rolling stone." Perhaps this paradox makes sense to those who want it to make sense.

"Cost of Freedom" is pure Jimi, too. Some listeners might find this song dreadfully pretentious, but they'd be taking it too seriously. It's entertainment, a certain mood, a certain wavelength, and many listeners will connect with this record. Turner's melodies are often quite accessible; after all, when you listen to Hendrix and strip away the fireworks, you can sing along. "I'm a Man I'm a Man" features a straight Delta Blues riff layered on top of Hip Hop-style percussion reminiscent of R.L. Burnside's comeback recordings for Fat Possum. This album does run out steam midway as instrumentals begin to meander and tacked-on tracks like "I'm Tore Down" (featuring vocals by Anna Givens) appear. Blues purists will call The Turner Diaries Rock, but let's not forget that "the Blues had a baby, and they called it Rock 'n' Roll."

Dylann DeAnna is a contributing editor at BluesWax


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