RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Ted Nugent – ShutUp&Jam!
Frontiers Records

Rating: B+

Ted Nugent is back with a new album…WHAT?  Wait…an album?  Ted Nugent?  Oh yeah…that guy who’s on Fox News all the time and has that Spirit of the Wild hunting show on television and writes for all of those magazines and websites is ALSO a rock and roll guitar player….that’s right.  I almost forgot.

While that stuff is all true, lest we forget we are talking about the six-string guitar soloing Motor City Madman here.  How in the hell can we live in a day and age when the name Ted Nugent does not immediately bring to mind a long-haired, guitar wailing, wang dang sweet poontang loving rock and roll maniac? 

Shit.  I just realized that there are younger folks, as well as those that only listen to country music, that may know Ted best as a political ranting, trapping, fishing and hunting madman. 

Houston…we have a problem. 

For those people, as well as for all of his hardcore fans who miss the pure rock and rolling side of Uncle Ted, Frontiers Records has released the latest in his overpowering cannon of hard rock releases. 

Hell, maybe even Ted knew it was time to let his fingers do the talking as he titled the album, and wrote the tune, “ShutUp&Jam!.”  And indeed he does!   

The title track explodes with a huge guitar wail followed by Uncle Ted’s voice saying how much he still loves cranking it up. 

This album sees a ton of what made Nugent famous in the first place.  He solos and he sings, and he solos, and then he solos some more.  The songs keep getting better…”Fear Itself” rocks and “Everything Matters” is a bluesy romp featuring Derek St. Holmes on vocals.  Next, we hear Ted in conversation with Sammy Hagar.  The Red Rocker tells Ted his girl is walking the streets and then the pair of Rock Gods perform a duet on “She’s Gone.” 

Nugent shows his emotional, deeper side, with the powerful “Never Stop Believing” and then gets silly with “I Love My BBQ.”  “Throttledown” is an instrumental guitar feast that may cause an unexpected increase in the birthrate within fifty miles of this song being blasted out on stage. 

“Do Rags and a .45” is Patriotic Nuge, lyrically, while sounding like 1976 Nuge, musically.  Both “Screaming Eagles” and “Semper Fi” could have been on his Free for All album, in fact, I would love to hear St. Holmes sing “Screaming Eagles” instead of Ted. 

“Trample the Weak Hurdle the Dead” is lyrically a nod to Ted’s political views but musically it too would be very at home on a 1970s Nugent record.  The album ends with a blues version of “Never Stop Believing.” 

The bottom line here is that Ted Nugent, the musician, the guitarist, the rock and roll son of a bitch has returned with his first new studio effort in nearly a decade.  He is true to his musical vision and he’s rocking it loud and proud. 

This is a totally genuine album, in fact, it’s his best studio effort since he released Spirit of the Wild in the 1990s. ShutUp&Jam! is even more of a classic Nugent musical statement than that album was.  Suffice it to say that Nugent hasn’t sounded this ‘Nugent’ since he released State of Shock in the late ‘70s! 

Welcome back Ted.  We missed you.  Indeed we did. Even though you cut your hair…

Fear Itself
Everything Matters
She's Gone
Never Stop Believing
I Still Believe
I Love My Bbq
Do-Rags And A .45
Screaming Eagles
Semper Fi
Trample The Weak Hurdle The Dead
Never Stop Believing (Blues)

By Jeb Wright