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Record Review - 3 August 08 2001

Do you Yayhoo? Dan Baird certainly does. In the '80s, as the main voice of the Georgia Satellites, Baird defined Yayhoo chic with his gap-tooth grin and good-ol'-boy yelp.

It should come as no surprise that the Yahoos, Baird's new band, sound like the Georgia Satellites. The band's debut CD, Fear Not the Obvious, could very well be a new Satellites album, considering the embarrassing fact that his old band still semi-exists without their lead singer.

A dandy assortment of like-minded Yay-boys back Baird on this project: guitarist Eric Ambel, formerly of the Del-Lords and Joan Jett's Blackhearts; bassist Keith Christopher, a member of the Satellites in the early '80s; and drummer Terry Anderson, who wrote both the Satellites' hit "Battleship Chains" and Baird's solo single, "I Love You, Period."

There's enough shit-kicking anthems here to please any beer-and-bud-buzzed thirtysomething looking for late-'70s-era 96 Rock 'n' roll. In fact, if any of the so-called rock stations in town had the freedom to play a band on an indie label (a pipe dream, I know), they could break this record in a big way. It's much more genuine than any bloated and phony Black Crowes album and better than any Rolling Stones record from the past 20 years.

The opener, "What are we Waiting For," sets the pace of the project. Blasts of winding guitars create enough whoop 'n' holler to carry the band to new heights of Rockpile-style bar-band frenzy. Coming on like a harder-rocking NRBQ, the Yayhoos blend catchy hooks and drunkenly off-key harmonies. Ambel, who produced the album, almost out-Bairds Baird, singing lead on the hilarious throwaway "Money With a Gun." Yet, the biggest surprise of the set is Yayhoos' straight-faced version of ABBA's "Dancing Queen."

If you don't Yayhoo, you should. They'll put a big, dumb grin on your face.

Dan Baird plays a solo acoustic set, opening for Dave Edmunds, Sat., Aug. 11, at the Variety Playhouse.??