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TREAT HER RIGHT (Buy CDs by this artist)
Treat Her Right (Soul Selects) 1986 (RCA) 1988
Tied to the Tracks (RCA) 1989
Pink Cadillac EP (Alpha-Media) 1983

Not quite a blues band, not exactly swamp trash and too stylized for basic rock'n'roll, this Massachusetts quartet (which features David Champagne, formerly of Shane Champagne, a Rumour-like outfit which issued several singles around the turn of the decade, and Pink Cadillac, a sharp rockabilly-cum-rock'n'roll trio) uses guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, ultra-simple drumming and exotic taste in cover versions to come up with a hybrid that bears equally faint similarity to Creedence Clearwater and the Violent Femmes. Before ending with a James Blood Ulmer (!) number, Treat Her Right explores some intriguing terrain of its own, hindered only by lyrics that rely on tough-guy clichés and get a bit dumb in spots.

Produced by Don Gehman, the stylish and self-assured Tied to the Tracks gives Captain Beefheart's "Hit a Man" the Treat Her Right treatment and surrounds it with strong and memorable originals individually written and sung by Champagne ("Picture of the Future") and future Morphine leader Mark Sandman ("Marie," "Junkyard"), all given added juice by Jim Fitting's wailing harp work.

[Ira Robbins]
   See also Morphine