When deciding to do a cover version of a well-known song there are two paths one can follow; Attempt to reinvent it, or simply play the hell out of it.
Marauder from Mickey Thomas is an example of the later done with gusto. Taking a break from his duties as keeper of the Starship flame, Thomas gathered a group of friends led by guitarist Jeff Tamelier to record sixteen of his favorite classic rock songs as a tribute to his influences, peers and followers which span five decades.
Like many others Thomas sites The Beatles as one of his primary influences and covers five of their songs, which are certainly among the albums’ best. The addition of a full horn section on “Oh Darling,” must be just how Lennon and McCartney envisioned it given the chance. Thomas also gives props to other British icons with soulful renditions of “Gimme Shelter,” from the Stones and “Delta Lady,” from Joe Cocker. The album jumps around with hits from the 80’s to present day sounding a bit like the soundtrack to a Pixar movie, making you wonder if Thomas has seen a few too many kids shows recently.
We could have done without the AC/DC cover, but the rest are delivered with joy and love. After 30 years Thomas may have lost some of the sparkle in his tenor but he has lost none of his passion for great music and great songs.