TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics in the April 2021 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Wreckless Abandon is the debut album from The Dirty Knobs, a new project from Mike Campbell, lead guitarist/co-writer of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and a recent member of Fleetwood Mac.
They came together nearly 12 years ago, after Mike Campbell met guitarist Jason Sinay (Neil Diamond, Ivan Neville) at a session and liked the way their guitars sounded together. Begun as a less structured project for Campbell to do between Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers tours, it became something else altogether when they added bass master Lance Morrison (Don Henley) and the stuttering monster drumming of Matt Laug (Slash, Alanis Morissette).
"Over the years, The Knobs became an outlet for me to play some of the other songs I was writing and to keep the creative juices flowing in between working on albums and tours with Tom and The Heartbreakers," explained Campbell. "Losing Tom was earth-shattering for me. It was a total shock. It had felt like we would be playing together forever. For a while it was hard to imagine playing in my own band again, let alone one where I'm the frontman. Tom was always my beacon. But everything I've been doing since Tom passed, including this album with The Dirty Knobs, is in the spirit of honoring what we did together."
Wreckless Abandon was produced by Campbell and George Drakoulias, known for his work with The Black Crowes and The Jayhawks, with a cover created by Plastic Ono Band bassist and The Beatles' Revolver artist Klaus Voorman. All songs on the album were written by Campbell, and it features special appearances by Grammy-winner Chris Stapleton as well as fellow Heartbreaker, keyboardist Benmont Tench.
Very few rock bands have the power to reach into your soul and give it a good shake, but the Dirty Knobs are one of those rare outfits. With the first guitar slash, the Knobs remind you that there was a time when feeling alienated was venerated and nobody ever had to turn the volume down. Listening through it all, you become aware that in every Dirty Knobs song, whether it dwells on willful women, close calls, fractured friendships, heartbreak or irredeemable loss, there is always the promise of redemption and a road out of hell. But more than that, they promise that a song will save your life.
Wreckless Abandon reminds us of the irreplaceable sonic glue that Mike provided in the Heartbreakers, and it portends plenty of damn fine Campbell-jammable tracks to come. It's a Dirty Knob, but somebody's gotta turn it.
- Double LP
- New project from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell
- Special guests Chris Stapleton and Benmont Tench
- Artwork by Klaus Voormann
- Gatefold jacket
- Wreckless Abandon
- Pistol Packin' Mama (feat. Chris Stapleton)
- Southern Boy
- I Still Love You
- Irish Girl
- F**k That Guy
- Don't Knock The Boogie
- Don't Wait
- Anna Lee
- Aw Honey
- Loaded Gun
- Don't Knock The Boogie (Coda)