Music

ALBUM REVIEW | ROCK/R&B

Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, ‘Dig Thy Savage Soul’

Leave it to Barrence Whitfield and the Savages to write a garage-rock shout-along anthem about classical pianist, composer, character actor, and talk show wit Oscar Levant, the title subject of the third track from this 12-song outing by the reunited stalwarts of Boston’s ’80s club scene. In their second outing after a 25-year absence, the band continues to offer a punked up reimagination of R&B and Eddie Cochrane-like roadhouse rock, fueled by dirty guitars, honking sax, occasional greasy B-3 organ, Whitfield’s stentorian R&B shouts and growls, and offbeat subject matter. Most of these latter-day nuggets are written by longtime Savage guitarist Peter Greenberg with collaborators, but there are well-chosen covers like late bluesman Frankie Lee Sims’s “Hey Little Girl” and R&B songwriter Lee Moses’ “I’m Sad About It.” This isn’t complicated, just tasty, and performed with wit and expertise. (Out Tuesday)

Jon Garelick


ESSENTIAL “Oscar Levant”

Barrence Whitfield and the Savages play a CD release show at the Middle East Downstairs Sept. 7.

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