Wilko Johnson/Roger Daltrey: Going Back Home
The teaming of the Who’s Roger Daltrey with Wilko Johnson, guitarist of the U.K. pub-rock band Dr. Feelgood, may be a headscratcher on paper, but it works like a charm. The genesis of the project came about when Johnson, who has terminal cancer, received an invite from Daltrey to cut a record together. Dr. Feelgood, formed in 1971, was steeped in the same gritty “Maximum R&B” as the Who, and Going Back Home is, as its title implies, a chance for both to revisit those roots. Johnson’s guitar playing isn’t quite as combustible as during the Feelgoods’ peak, but he hasn’t softened either; within his licks here there’s a sense of many miles traveled and a life well lived. Daltrey though, is the real revelation. His singing—tougher, rougher and residing in a lower register these days—is well-suited for these primal, bluesy, ‘65-esque Johnson-penned workouts (and a killer, pop take on Dylan’s “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window”). Who needs Pete, anyway?