One Track Mind: Ted Nugent [featuring Sammy Hagar], “She’s Gone” from Shut Up and Jam! (2014)

I have to admit to holding my breath a little as I hit play on the first new music from Ted Nugent in quite a few years. Given his outspoken political beliefs these days, I have concerns that this album might be a soapbox-type record. Then, there’s Sammy Hagar in the guest vocal spot — not my favorite singer, to put it mildly.

Surprisingly, though, “She’s Gone” is a nice blast of classic rock ‘n’ roll energy that gives me hope Uncle Nuge might just take the advice his upcoming album title offers — Shut Up & Jam.

The song starts with a little banter between Nuge and Hagar before it cranks up into a blues rocker with that classic Ted Nugent rattle and clank to it. After a verse, Uncle Nuge unleashes a full frontal guitar assault that sounds like the work from some of his classic material, as Hagar continues to ad lib over it.

The song, overall, has the feel of a really good Derek St. Holmes-Nugent song. The Motor City Madman and the Red Rocker seem to have some nice chemistry on the track, which amounts to an excuse to allow Ted to shred. But I’m not complaining about that.

“She’s Gone” sounds more like Nugent’s classic records from the 1970s than anything he’s done in quite some time. It’s a down-and-dirty, blues and soul-infused piece of rock ‘n’ roll that I really didn’t see coming until it ran me over. Here’s hoping the rest of the record is as good.

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips is a veteran entertainment writer with a love of hard rock and heavy metal. He has written music reviews, columns and feature stories for several newspapers, Web sites and a national wire service, while running a stand-alone site called Hall of the Mountain King in various places and incarnations since 1997. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.