Outlaw country stars have always held an attraction for some metal musicians. People have loved the attitude shown by such big names as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and David Allan Coe. Count former Damageplan/Pantera brothers Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell as fans of the latter.
They met him backstage after one of Coe’s shows a few years back and expressed their admiration and also a desire to play together. The result is a project called Rebel Meets Rebel, a country/metal hybrid that has swagger and good times dripping off it. It was actually recorded a few years back, obviously before the untimely death of Dimebag, and just recently put out on Vinnie’s own label.
There are 12 songs here and all of them rock with a freshness that goes with new projects. There are hints of Molly Hatchet here but it’s a bit more country than swamp rock. Former Pantera bassist Rex Brown was brought in on bass and it makes for a really tight framework. Dimebag lays downs some really tasty solos here and it’s really crunchy all throughout this disc. Fans of old school southern stuff like Hatchet and The Outlaws will really get off on this.
The record begins with the crunch of “Nothin’ to Lose” which alternates behind some fast boogie, punctuated by a metal-ish middle part. The title track is a big more country-ish with a fiddle solo before heading into the guitar-driven bridge. “Cowboys Do More Dope” is a humorous piece that pits country against rockers in the home-grown contest.
The instrumental “Panfilo” which blends into the next cut “Heart Worn Highway” is almost worth the price of admission alone. Dime blazes on an acoustic guitar before trading in for the electric on the next cut for a wicked solo. The rest of the songs are all terrific and the production (done by Vinnie, Dime and Sterling Winfield) is spot on. The only downer is hearing what we’re missing with Dime gone.
If you’re even slightly into country, this is a must-have. And if you have never got into it, this is an excellent way to step into the wading pool.
1. Nothin' to Lose
2. Rebel Meets Rebel
3. Cowboys Do More Dope
5. Heart Worn Highway
6. One Nite Stands
7. Arizona Rivers
8. Get Outta My Life
9. Cherokee Cry
11. No Compromise
12. N.Y.C. Streets