He's back, and for some reason I get the impression that you wouldn't be surprised one bit. After all, this is thee same Greg Prevost who thrilled you with Distorted Levels, the Chesterfield Kings and maybe a few other outfits that didn't manage to make their way to my ears just yet, and if you think he's gonna scrambootch from the music biz and shuffle off to Florida well then you got another think comin'!
Kinda like early-seventies Stones in part---y'know, the stuff that Jagger and co. were doin' when they were doin' that down 'n durty I wanna be black sorta groove. Read Lester Bangs' article in the last issue of HYPE if you wanna know more 'bout it. It also has two downright Arthur Lee and Love covers (one of 'em actually a re-cover via Buffy St. Whatzernames' "Codine") which gives this an added "cool" late-sixties West Coast vibe and I ain't talkin' the grooves the ROLLING STONE was putting forth either! Over half of this contains Prevost originals, and the whole feeling kinda reminds me of what I think those snooty rock critics thought they were hearing back when Neil Young and the rest of those Laurel Canyon obsessives were getting boffo writeups in a whole load of hippie rags that really haven't held up over these years, ifyaknowaddamean...
Pretty hotcha stuff and a whole lot more varied'n this review might indicate. Let's just say that with this album and his previous solo excursion Prevost has done just about everything that was "supposed" to have been done via the whitey reconstruction of hard-edge postwar blues (w/o coming off looking like a doof) that only a few from the Numbers Band to a few choice outfits have succeeded with. And from the looks of it he did it all sans the usual tough guy pose leather jacket stubble trappings that seemed to come with the territory and I'm talkin' for YEARS!
UGLY THINGS Winter 2016/17-DOUG SHEPPARD-
And speaking of Stones worship, Greg Prevost revels in it on his second solo outing, Universal Vagrant. But it’s a good thing, as the material recalls the Stones at their most bluesy with its solid mix of covers like “Mean Red Spider” and a bold stab at the once-ubiquitous-now-forgotten “Codine,” plus likeminded originals in “Gin-Soaked Time-Warp” and the cold spoonful of grief that is “Evil On My Mind.” This is not garage by any stretch, but if you dug the Chesterfield Kings before their slicker latter-day releases, this should be up your alley. Or even if you just want a good shot of rhythm and blues.
"Universal Vagrant", the new solo album from Greg 'Stackhouse' Prevost, evokes the purest essence of rock'n'roll from the same cover, but its content is absolutely the height and even beyond. Rock'n'roll in its conception primary bottle blues, gospel terminally -atenció to "Lord Shine a Light on Me" and his constant nods to Joe Cocker - and huge Stones songs with that accent trademark. Ideal to accompany or entertain endless nights of good hangovers.
Marco Sestito, '20 Minuti', Switzerland
"IT'S ABSOLUTELY MY 2016 FAVOURITE ALBUM!!!"
With his second solo album, Universal Vagrant, Greg Prevost continues to leave his past in the dust with another set of barn burning rockers. If his old band, the Chesterfield Kings, had one flaw, it was that, at times, they seemed too fixated on being tied to the past. While Universal Vagrant is obviously rooted in vintage sounds and styles, drawing upon blues, folk and gritty rock and roll, it never feels forced or overly studied, but rather, a natural assimilation of influences.
On his debut, Mississippi Murderer, Prevost took raw blues and Stones swagger to come up with a brew of Yardbirds meets New York Dolls for a triumphant batch of tunes. On the new album he continues that path, while refusing to settle into one absolute style with other influences such as folk, psych and even gospel finding their way into the songs.
ROCHESTER CITY NEWSPAPER-November 23, 2016
-Frank De Blase-
If you take into consideration the raw trajectory set forth by his first solo record, "Mississippi Murderer," then Greg "Stackhouse" Prevost's new record, "Universal Vagrant," sounds more like his third rather than his second. The precision is more direct on this album, but it ain't overly slick and doesn't forgo Prevost's trademark Ubangi abandon. This is still a blues-based outing.
"Universal Vagrant" is, first of all, a guitar record where he keeps it dirty, sa-loppy, and sa-leazy. The majority of the tunes are penned by Prevost and the ghosts that haunt his palette. The covers that he includes — Howlin' Wolf's "Moanin' the Blues"; Muddy Waters' "Mean Red Spider"; and Buffy Sainte Marie's "Cod'ine" — are referentially relevant and reverent when juxtaposed with Prevost's originals, which bleed The Stones, The Stooges, and The Dolls.
Prevost sounds at home while howling like Lon Chaney Jr. with a voice that is one of the best and most distinct in rock 'n' roll. "Universal Vagrant" is all a bit of a departure from the lo-fi danger found on "Mississippi Murderer." Not better, just different and more put together. The production is aces as well with Alex Patrick twiddling the knobs. It's an all-around fantastic record.
Briân Yøung-A CRASH COURSE FOR THE RAVERS-Radio Show-WMFO Radio -Boston Mass
"For 70’s Stones fans everywhere waiting for the band to come out with another “Exile On Main St.”, you may not need to look further but somewhere else. Ex-Chesterfield Kings frontman Greg “Stackhouse” Prevost’s second solo album is out and he comes closer to sounding like “Exile” with “Universal Vagrant” then the Stones have since the 1970s!"
After extinguishing The Chesterfield Kings, Greg Prevost’s brilliant solo debut ‘Mississippi Murderer’ of 2013 proved that it had the burning fire of the late Johnny Thunders/New York Dolls. On the new album, he takes a further step towards the legacy of Keith Richards in the early 70s, somewhere between ‘Sticky Fingers’ and ‘Exile On Main Street’. As before, Stackhouse is comfortable in this area, which is heard most clearly on the first song “Moanin’ The Blues.” “Gin Soaked Time Warp” and “Shot Of Rock & Roll” water the thirsty throated New York Dolls and are 100 percent dirty rock'n'roll. “Mean Red Spider” is a garage blues explosion, followed by the heavy gospel Muscle Shoals sound of “Lord Shine A Light On Me”. “Codine” and “Signed DC” daju narcotic pathos between which hobo screams like Howlin 'Wolf – “Eeeevil On My Miiindd”, while “Hayseed Riot” could be seamlessly smuggled onto a Stones album. ‘Universal Vagrant’ is an excellent rock & roll album at a time when that sound heard here is almost impossible to find. Although it does not bring anything new or revolutionary, every song is skillfully written and was played with guts and power. After hearing what I consider ‘hit after hit’, I must listen to this album LOUD!
January 5, 2017 - Catalunya, Spain
BLOG TO COMM-CHRIS STIGLIANO-12-18-16
Original material, like the glorious blues stomp of "Moanin' The Blues" and the Stones infused "Gin Soaked Time Warp" sit perfectly alongside revamps of Muddy Waters' "Mean Red Spider" and Buffy Sainte Marie's classic "Codine." The haunting psychedelia soaked blues of "Evil On My Mind" is one of the album's highlights as it launches Greg (along with band members bassist Alex Patrick and drummer Zachary Koch) into terrain once claimed by Alice Cooper in "Black Juju." Another key moment is the gospel tinged "Lord Shine A Light On Me," which delivers in unexpected fashion.
The album manages to cover a lot of ground, while staying fairly close to a home set up by years of Rolling Stones, Yardbirds and New York Dolls worship, and that's a good thing. At the same time, Universal Vagrant never sounds dated or confined by it's influences. It is a contemporary statement of raw rock and roll, and Lord knows we need that now.
Number 1 R&R Radio Show in Spain:
Just to give some context for those who may still perhaps be unfamiliar with this one-of-a-kind artist, Greg Prevost was, as many will recall, the lead vocalist, harmonica blaster, tambourine smasher, mike stand demolisher and all-round chief instigator/spirit who led Rochester, NY, USA’s The Chesterfield Kings; one of most authentic 60s-infatuated garage-punk rock’n’roll combo’s this lonely planet boy has ever happened across.
The ’Kings were in operation from 1976 until the early-mid years of the new millennium. Upon their dissolution Greg soon adopted the “Stackhouse” moniker, started playing a lot more guitar and started work on a dirty ’n savage sounding slide-blues focused project which gave birth to “Mississipi Murderer”, his dangerous, yet cool blues-saturated debut, issued in 2013, also on Spain’s Mean Disposition imprint; and who’ve also got behind this latest gathering of songs. Universal Vagrant is an apt title for such a wild, uninhibited collection, and a title he shares with the Merry Dragons’ ace cut as featured on Vol 5 of the famed “Pebbles” compilation series. Prevost’s second long-play outing allows a wider, perhaps more panoramic view of just where this remarkable artist is at these days. Still overflowing with impassioned vocalising; blues-style diatribes hollered out from the soul yet, here, Prevost, who can really kick it out with some raggedly cool chord chops, and requisite riff-based structure also knocks, or rather bangs and stomps, on the doors of late 60s and early 70s filthy-sounding country R&B whump, yet always delivered with that defiant punk/hobo covenant-style bond which those of us who’ve followed Prevost’s musical trajectory for some time now have come to know and love. There’s much to get excited about here, but instead of an itemised blow by blow account of the proceedings, I thought perhaps pointing out to potential listeners a few of the key tracks (that, in my mind anyway, are absolutely essential items), would give a better flavour of how insanely great this album is.
A prime example is the bounding fervour that’s being whipped up in “Gin-Soaked Time Warp”, a loose, swaggering /staggering, almost ’Dolls-esque type gem that will no doubt leave you desiring to keep hitting the repeat button time and again letting it, ahem, soak right through into your bones ... it’s kinda like the equivalent of an aural time-travel journal for high-spirited amnesiacs on the run from anything and everything. Wait a minute did I just say that! Ha ha! Another crucial, most definite winner and outright clincher here is “Lord Shine A Light On Me”, an utterly astounding piece irrespective of whatever timeframe, or style compartment you wanna choose to make comparisons with; imagine the heart and soul of one of Memphis Minnie, Son House or Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s more joyous telegrams comin’ alive and being reinterpreted through an abundantly soulful, confessional-style vocal and a bubblingly lithe, Stonesy/southern R&B style backing. Adding extra depth and power is the exceptionally gifted, heavenly-sounding female vocal backing. This renders the whole performance solid gold dynamite! They even get in a delightfully cheeky, clever nod to that most famous Ringo / Grease Band staple. That’s not all, as Prevost and pals, again including Zachary Koch on drums and Alex Patrick on bass, assorted guitars, keys... also present us with a cache of personalised renditions of some fave covers, including a brave reading of Muddy Waters’ moody ’n malevolent “Mean Red Spider”, Love’s harrowing junkie paean “Signed D.C.” and Buffy Saint-Marie’s counter-cultural anthem “Codine”.
All in all then I guess you could say, in short summary - and echoing a sentiment by mid-sixties Texas combo the Floyd Dakil Four - woah, stronger than dirt!
SHINDIG! #65-March 2017
NEW MUSIC-Netherlands November 2016:
With the forthcoming Rolling Stones album of blues covers, it seems the Stones have come to a full circle: Where they began by retreading their sources of inspiration, they appear here to finish. But in turn, they were also a source of inspiration for many. One of them was American Greg "Stackhouse 'Prevost born in 1955. It can be read on his website: "I absolutely did not care about the Beatles after seeing the Stones." The first song he learned in 1965 was playing on his guitar "Satisfaction". He played / sang later with the Chesterfield Kings and is now on his second album which was given the title Universal Vagrant. Most of the songs he wrote himself and there are covers of Muddy Waters ( "Mean Red Spider"), Buffy Sainte-Marie ("Codine"), Arthur Lee ( "Signed DC) and an adaptation of Allen Shaw ("Moanin’ "The Blues"). They fit well amongst his own material. The incredible material on this album is saturated with the aforementioned Stones. Prevost’s voice resembles that of Jagger including mannerisms. The guitar work is very much that of Keith Richards. And the songs would fit among the Stones own works. Just listen to "Lord Shine A Light On Me", which, to me in a way resembles "You Can’t Always Get What You Want." Universal Vagrant’s ‘place’ among the Stones’ ‘sound’ may be late sixties, to early 70’s. This I believe will be a successful album. I think Prevost’s new album will be comparable with the Stones new outing. Wondering if their new album will come up to this standard.
RIGHT: Brother Zach Koch during the recording of the UNIVERSAL VAGRANT album at Alex Patrick's 'House Of Rock' studio on the Lake. Alex was trying to get the vibe of what Neil Young did on the HARVEST album-out in the midst of nature, away from the city … just nature and music.
RUTA 66-Spain-December 2016-
#1 Rock n' Roll Magazine in Spain-UNIVERSAL VAGRANT: "Album of the Month"
'UNIVERSAL VAGRANT' REVIEWS
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DEVIL MUSIC.COM-NEW MUSIC MONTHLY-November-December 2016
-Reverend Keith A, Gordon:
Album of the Month: Greg Prevost's Universal Vagrant is the singer, songwriter, and guitarist's second solo album after years of fronting garage-rock legends the Chesterfield Kings. The follow-up to 2013's acclaimed Mississippi Murderer LP, Universal Vagrant is another white-hot slab of ramshackle blues-rock that will rattle the teeth right out of your mouth. Whereas many otherwise earnest blues-rockers depend on covers of the classics with which to frame their fretwork, Prevost penned six of ten songs here, and they're barely distinguishable from his inspired covers of tunes by Muddy Waters, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and others.
Daniel "The Baron" Jacob (Montreal)-November 2016:
"Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master." (Leonardo da Vinci) . Well, forget the Stones and the Dolls, Prevost did much better with this new album. Here is the REAL thing, alive and kicking right in your face! Forty years of passion and knowledge distilled down to 39 minutes of pure gold. We already knew him as a top singer/performer, but with his last waxing, Prevost proudly takes his place among the all-time greats. In this sad year with so many departed heroes, Greg's latest work gives us hope for a rock-solid blues heaven. Roll on brother! 11/10
DANDYSME- Schoolboy Johnny Duhamel
Greg Prevost is beyond the artist concept. He is a black hole of passion and urgency, a man who has been able to freeze the time, able to freeze the childlike wonder in front of the amazement of music. After thirty years of a glorious career, mostly spent with the formidable Chesterfield Kings, he has felt the need to return to their original inspiration realizing a 7 “of acoustic blues and then, encouraged by the positive experience, he decided to dig further to the basics of music. Over there where it all had started. He washed his clothes in the muddy waters of the Mississippi with twelve songs collected on a superb debut, “Mississippi Murderer” in 2012, songs that were scorching blues assaults, guitars with few chords that sometimes meow like harmonics. Songs sung as if he wanted eating the microphone and easily the swamps have dried and the quicksands reclaimed at the passage of that hurricane-like sound.
The wait for this second was huge. Compared to the previous I was expecting more of the Delta blues, fiery and supported by the usual great drum sound, meticulous guitars and microphones positioned in the right places, but the end result is well beyond the expectations. “Moanin ‘The Blues” opens the album with a frenzy of slide guitars, stratified acoustic guitars and harmonic a go-go, the one that makes your lips bleed. It is soon Greg transfigured, becoming one with the music, with that need to throw out all his inspiration in a moment.
“Gin Soaked Time Warp is sinuous and captivating, proceeds sweatshirt and provocative, then accelerate and slow down again. It is a ballad that only the best Rolling Stones could compose. The keyboards, at the end of the song, are delicious. “Signed DC” and “Evil On My Mind” are cosmic blues, gasps of despair that only the Delta masters know how to play.
“Shot of Rock & Roll” is pure feral raw power steeped in blues detection.
The album is filled by the best blues, the blues that springs from the soul and you cannot hold back. The blues declined in its various incarnations, from rock with sharp guitars and fingers that run fast on the handles to the vaguely boogie drifts, to the Detroit sound, to the soul overflows.
Everything is at lofty levels, and it would be absurd to appoint a song rather than another, why should I use a long list of superlatives.
I cannot, however, feel bound to report “Lord Shine A Light On Me”, a blues mutated in gospel that breaks hearts, it is impossible to describe it.
Greg Prevost is an excellent songwriter, has style and class and is one of the best rock’n’roll singer of all time, is unsurpassed on stage and has an ethical and musical integrity than ever waver.
The influences that have been granted during the previous career are gone, because now he is a bluesman that sublimates all his expressive needs in such a great music to make him sit at the table of the great masters.
This album is an explosive beauty, the beauty that existed in the Golden Age of music, when this word had no value today of a thin and empty container, too often pronounced. An album that will last over time.
The King is gone, welcome to the new Emperor of Rochester!
'FAT HIPSTER' SERBIA DECEMBER 2016
And what brings us this new album from this New Yorker? Well you could say that it continues on the Mississippi Murderer line. Sharpened blues, slide guitar riffs, songs that take us back to the Stones of ‘71 and a Prevost that exerts an impossible crossing of Keith Richards and Johnny Thunders. Already from the beginning of the album with ‘Moanin'The Blues’ and ‘Gin-Soaked Time Warp’ it is clear to us that friend Greg is not willing to make concessions or refine his sound facing the gallery. He directs to another of his idols, Muddy Waters in ‘Mean Red Spider ‘and Arthur Lee & Love in ‘Signed DC’ and it comes out in both cases. But there is more, much more. Do you want a Chuck Berry style song? Then open a very cool beer and hit ‘Shot of Rock'n'Roll’ . Enjoy the southern blues gospel with ‘Lord Shine A Light On Me ‘, the vibrant and high-powered ‘Hayseed Riot’ that would sound wonderful live. Or get carried away by that dark ‘Evil on My Mind’ that is heavily inspired by the sound of The Stooges' ‘Funhouse’.
A disc that follows 100% the maximum of It's Only Rock'n'Roll, but I like It. With class, talent and elegance. And that perfectly represents a guide to the tastes and obsessions of the author, an irreverent rocker who lives in his own world in which blues sounds in all bars and in which Jagger and Richards remain white but with the souls of blacks. UNIVERSAL VAGRANT is not going to change the history of modern day music, and in this day and age will not turn Prevost into a star amid the popular modern day ‘echelon of celebrities’. And I doubt that it would appear in lists in many of those corporate-controlled periodicals as "The best of 2016". But it will delight fans and anyone who enjoys raw rock, without sweetening and still be excited with records that, like this one, emanate sincerity and authenticity. Put the vinyl on the plate, drop the needle and, as the back cover reads, PLAY THIS ALBUM LOUD !!!
RADIO 103.1 / FRANCE Patryck
Hey, ex –Chester’ Kings front man singer Greg Prevost, dig his new second album ‘Universal Vagrant’. Ten unbelievable songs. Influences are always Rollin' Stones Blues 6'T's circa & furthermore, obscure 6'T's garage zone. Greg gets the key with "Signed DC" (Love) & "Codine" (Buffy St. Marie) cuts. His version of "Codine" is in the Charlatans’ vein. Mean original songs: " Moanin' the blues " / "Shot of Rock & Roll" / "Hayseed Riot " along with 5 others in a similar mode. This wax has a savoir-faire air with Alex Patrick’s engineering technology. A must for garage fans.
Reasons you should buy the new Greg ‘Stackhouse’ Prevost album Universal Vagrant: He's one of Greatest frontmen ever, he writes what the Stones can't write anymore, and he’s The Keeper of the Flame!
DJ BIGGIE BOUTTE - SWAMP JACUZZI RADIO-NEW ORLEANS
Universal Vagrant, the sophomore release by former Chesterfield King frontman Greg ‘Stackhouse’ Prevost, rides like an LSD and Jack Daniels fueled Rat Rod through the deep south going nowhere fast. This man oozes rock and roll from his pores. Heavy Stones and Dolls influence, but Stackhouse takes the wheel and owns it on this one. Ya better dig or die, creepers. Universal Vagrant has moved in to take your mind and geaux WILD!
CARRY’S NEW UNDERGROUND (Dutch)
"Universal Vagrant” will hit the spot with blues enthusiasts, fans of the Rolling Stones, and fans of Prevost’s former group, the Chesterfield Kings; I can therefore wholeheartedly recommend this album to them. 4/4 Stars
GREG 'STACKHOUSE' PREVOST OFFICIAL SITE
January 2017: UNIVERSAL VAGRANT … one of the best albums of rock and blues that can be found ...
DiabloRock.com-Jaime Taboada-Spain-January 2017
Link to original article:
DIRTY ROCK MAGAZINE-SPAIN-January 23, 2017: 'Best Albums of 2016'
Democrat & Chronicle-Rochester NY-Jeff Spevak-December 11, 2016
Greg Prevost wants authenticity. Former lead singer of The Chesterfield Kings, the feather-haired maraca shaker has just released his second solo album, Universal Vagrant, and he’s now wielding snarling electric guitars and a National Steel to go along with his Jagger sneer vocals. All the signals are here. He means business.
So what is authenticity? Universal Vagrant opens with “Moanin’ the Blues,” which goes back to the obscure ’30s black bluesman Allen Shaw. He follows that up with his own “Gin-Soaked Time Warp,” although Prevost doesn’t drink. A problem? Well, Arthur C. Clark never went to Mars. Democrat and Chronicle police reporters have never murdered anyone, as far as I know. If Prevost, a white guy who lives in a nice neighborhood, wants to play ragged blues-rock under the name Greg “Stackhouse” Prevost, let him have the rope and let’s see if he hangs himself.
On Universal Vagrant, Prevost lives.
Prevost’s imaginative, time-shifting arrangements make good use of Alex Patrick’s Hammond B-3 organ on “Gin-Soaked Time Warp,” as well as Zachary Koch’s drums, Keenan Bartlett’s piano and organ. There’s even a female chorus that includes Mikaela Davis, one of the rising stars of the local scene, lending a gospel air to Prevost’s slurry vocals on “Lord Shine a Light on Me.”
Cynical humor helps. In “Hayseed Riot,” a farmhand pitching hay all day whines, “Gotta hit the city before I go and kill myself.”
In the years leading up to The Kings’ final implosion, when the chemistry was gone, and the garage rockers were more like chemists, they followed their academic brains. There’s some of that here, as well, but dirtier. “Shot of Rock & Roll” is a brief stab at what could be an old David Bowie demo, very early days. Prevost picks up Arthur Lee and the psychedelic rock of Love from its 1966 album of the same name; a dirgy ballad, a suicide note of despair.
And “Mean Red Spider,” the old Muddy Waters song. “If I don’t go crazy, I will surely lose my mind.” Kings archivists know well that an early band of Prevost and Kings co-creator Andy Babiuk was called Mean Red Spiders, if that means anything. Probably a coincidence.
If I were to pick two standout tracks, they’d include “Evil on My Mind.” Seven minutes of tire-fire guitar and wailing harmonica, like if Iggy Pop wrote The Doors’ “The End.” And the album-closing “Codine.” The best song ever written by Buffy Sainte-Marie, an extraordinarily harrowing tale of her addiction to the drug.
Authentic? Critics have whined for years that the Rolling Stones have no right to tread this water either, even as they bought the records. The Stones have successfully pulled it off for years. And that’s where Prevost is coming from as well. There’s a pile of Universal Vagrant at the House of Guitars, and it’ll likely be showing up soon in other local record stores. Buy the vinyl.
TWANGRI-LA-Reviewed by Harry Kaplan-12-8-16
What do you get if you cross The Rolling Stones with The New York Dolls and The Stooges? You get Universal Vagrant by Greg “Stackhouse” Prevost. Yes, you get 1000% attitude and pure pedal to the medal rock and roll. Nothing particularly groundbreaking, but it comes at a time when finding people who play real rock and roll is almost nonexistent. And it sounds great. It is definitely meant to be played loud, really loud. Preferably with some accompaniments, if you know what I mean. Greg Prevost is a 40 year veteran of the music business and a founding member of the Rochester rock band, The Chesterfield Kings. This music isn’t a very far departure from the music of Prevost’s former band. In the immortal words of Bert Lance, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. I agree with those sentiments wholeheartedly. This is just good old fashioned down and dirty rock and roll, no more no less.
Highlights for me are Lord Shine A Light On Me (Track 7), a Prevost original that could have come directly off of Beggar’s Banquet or Exile. He certainly has his Stones’ chops down to a science. It makes for some good listening. Gin-Soaked Time Warp (Track 2) is another great tune that seems to be a mix of New York Dolls and Stones. Just a great song that is easy to listen to and demands being played loud. Hayseed Riot (Track 9) is Dolls all the way. With all the sass and attitude that this song demands. It’s loud and dirty and is the embodiment of rock and roll. All of the songs are great and this album is destined to be a classic. Just aggressive music played loud, the way it ought to be.
MADHOUSE MAGAZINE-Marcelo Sonaglioni December 4, 2016:
“Best two albums of the year, of course...”
MIKE MURRAY-WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN’ RADIO-ROCHESTER NY-NOVEMBER 2016:
An HONEST record. Greg "Stackhouse" Prevost has been commited to honest rock 'n' roll his whole life, and that understanding and expertise shines through brightly on his second solo LP, "Universal Vagrant", on the Mean Disposition label. This merry dragon of a troubador rolls away the Stones with solid backing and a vocal delivery that is straight to the point, no matter what the point is. The soul of this record is what the best rock 'n' roll has always been about: An agressive attitude, with rough edges, sneers, pouts, lamentations, reflections, rave-ups, screams and shouts. Whether it's one of six new originals, or covering Muddy Waters "Mean Red Spider", Love's "Signed D.C.", Buffy Saint-Marie's "Codine" or a great arrangement of Allen Shaw's "Moanin' The Blues, Greg brings it on home.
DIRTY ROCK MAGAZINE-SPAIN-November 23, 2016:
"One of the best records of 2016"
MEAN DISPOSTION RECORDS:
After a career lasting close to four decades, it was only two years ago when Prevost decided to launch his first solo record: the celebrated "Mississippi Murderer”, an album where Delta blues and hi-energy R&R were combined in a masterful mix heavily influenced by the likes of the Stones, the Yardbirds and NY Dolls. This recording has become a cult classic, but the ever adventurous Prevost is now back with a brand new artifact: "Universal Vagrant".
This second album goes one step further than his previous waxing and can be safely described as the best recording in his long and illustrious career. It also confirms what those in the know already knew: the fact that Prevost is a top-notch songwriter, one of the coolest R&R singers ever, and that he has a deep understanding of the roots of his music...be them the original blues greats ("Moanin' The Blues", "Mean Red Spider"); the personal idols inscribed in his DNA, Keith Richards and Johnny Thunders ("Gin Soaked Time Warp", "Shot of Rock and Roll", or the superb, gospel-oriented "Lord Shine a Light on Me"), as well as the dark, dangerous Stooges-infused sounds ("Evil On My Mind" or his killer version of "Codine").
Here you have the results: a perfect production, an explosive sound, a recording cooked with ease and among friends, but with edge, attitude and sheer class. This is a first rate R&R album where all pieces fit neatly. No mean feat.
Marco Sestito, '20 Minuti', Switzerland-Dec. 5, 2016
Dave Swanson -Vive Le Rock Radio - WJCU.org - Cleveland, Ohio-January 2017
Something Else Reviews-Steve Elliott 12-3-16
Greg Prevost is back with the Stones-y Universal Vagrant, the second solo album he’s released since the Chesterfield Kings quietly called it quits back in 2009 – and the first since his 2013 terrific solo debut, Mississippi Murderer.
This time out for the singer, it’s a strong return to the Sticky Fingers / Exile on Main Street-influenced direction which we last heard on such Chesterfield Kings albums as Let’s Go Get Stoned (1994) and The Berlin Wall of Sound (1990). At the same time, Prevost’s Universal Vagrant is similar in approach to his first solo album, in that it’s a stripped-down affair.
Greg handles most of the electric guitars, backed by returning bassist Alex Patrick and drummer Zachary Koch – with occasional guest musicians on piano and backup vocals. On the whole, however, it’s a very full-sounding recording.
“Moanin’ the Blues,” a raucous blues cover, perhaps best exemplifies Greg Prevost’s “Brown Sugar”-esque approach on the new album. A bluesier, heavy-hearted cover electric version of Love’s classic “Signed D.C.” is one of Universal Vagrant’s definite highlights; it’s an inspired gutsy performance. The fab new self-penned song blues-Rocker “Evil On My Mind” is cut from the same cloth as Howlin’ Wolf’s timeless “Spoonful,” in that it creates a sinister, late-night mood – especially with Greg’s driving blues harp and Keenan Bartlett’s Hammond B3 organ, along with Zachary Koch’s rock solid drumming.
Muddy Waters’ obscure “Mean Red Spider” is an unusual, but typically inspired choice. It has more of that Chesterfield Kings garage-rock type sound which we all know and love, even as a blues cover. “Shitkicker Blues” wouldn’t have sounded too out of place on the Chesterfield Kings’ uneven but honest 1990 album Drunk on Muddy Water, a straight blues project, although this new song features more of Greg’s natural, spirited vocals.
The ballad “Lord Shine a Light on Me” has more of a Southern R&B flavor to it than I’ve ever heard Greg Prevost do before. It’s similar to the Muscle Shoals-influenced sound we know from the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers sessions. The obvious, mid-tempo first single “Hayseed Riot” is perhaps the most straight-ahead rocker of the whole bunch, with its tale of a bored country boy headin’ for the city. A strong, passionate cover of the classic Buffy Sainte-Marie tune “Cod’ine” provides a wonderfully muscular closer for Universal Vagrant.
If you miss hearing the Stones’ early-’70s sound, then you’ll definitely enjoy the hard, blues-rock direction Greg Prevost has taken up here.
Lenny Helsing-IT'S PSYCHEDELIC, BABY!-January 28-2017
JEFF JAREMA-‘Here ‘Tis’
A few years back, Chesterfield Kings founder ‘n’ perennial frontman Greg Prevost finally went solo (as Greg ‘Stackhouse’ Prevost; a sort of modern day Johnny Lee Thunders). The event was marked by his best record in decades, ‘Mississippi Murderer’. In November, Prevost is back with a second solo effort, ‘Universal Vagrant’. Does it top ‘Mississippi Murderer’? Tough to say ‘cause they’re both great. But it definitely surpasses the previous record in several departments: Songwriting, guitar playing (savage six-stringery in the tradition of Link Wray, James Gurley, and Glen Buxton), plus overall sound/production (which is authentically c. ’71, as Mr. Stackhouse clearly intended).
Whether it’s Prevost’s original songs or choice covers (latter highlighted by a particularly/brutally memorable “Codine”), the material is as a whole uncompromising. This is nowhere more evident than on a pair of ultra-heavy, Them-worthy R&B wailers (“Evil on My Mind”, “Shitkicker Blues”; the former featuring monolithic bass and a psychedelic final act). “Hayseed Riot” is cut from the same leather as Alice Cooper’s “Caught in a Dream”. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s Glen Buxton on the second guitar break (credits say Alex Patrick, though). On an album crammed with great rockers, “Riot” is one of the best.
In keeping with the early seventies vibe, Stackhouse revives the spirit of Leon and the Shelter People on his entry into the gospel field, “Lord Shine a Light on Me”. Best of all, by far, is “Gin-Soaked Time Warp”; with its crazed time changes, classic Prevost vocal and in case I failed to mention it, total Stones submersion. Actually, I think this is better than ‘Mississippi Murderer’.
THAT DEVIL MUSIC-Reverend Keith A. Gordon-12-11-16
Greg ‘Stackhouse’ Prevost is, perhaps, best-known as the former frontman of garage-rock legends the Chesterfield Kings. Over the course of 30 years and better than a dozen albums, Prevost and his band of merry pranksters forged a reputation with worldwide reach, and new fans continue to discover and embrace the CKs to this day, almost seven years since the band’s demise. Prevost is also well-known as a record collector and respected as an author and music historian; you can find his writing on blues and rock ‘n’ roll in niche music zines like Ugly Things and Shindig!
When the Kings broke up in 2009, Prevost returned to his blues roots, which wasn’t as big a move as many of his peers have made. Prevost has true blues bona fides; he became enamored of the music at age ten after seeing the legendary Son House perform in his hometown of Rochester, New York. Even a casual spin of many of the Chesterfield Kings’ albums reveal the band’s blues underpinnings. So it was no surprise when Prevost tacked ‘Stackhouse’ to his name and released 2013’s excellent, critically-acclaimed Mississippi Murderer album on Mean Disposition Records, an indie label located in Barcelona, Spain. Three years later, Prevost has issued his follow-up for the label, the equally engaging and entertaining Universal Vagrant.
Greg ‘Stackhouse’ Prevost’s Universal Vagrant
Universal Vagrant opens with a raucous take on Allen Shaw’s country-blues classic “Moanin’ The Blues” (not to be confused with the Hank Williams song of the same name). Whereas Shaw’s original is a morose, acoustic, meek blues dirge, Prevost amps up both the wattage and the attitude, his Jagger-styled vocal drawl accompanied by reckless Keith Richards-inspired rattletrap guitar. In the background, a lonely harmonica groans, but it’s the rhythm section’s fluid, roots ‘n’ blues groove (courtesy of bassist Alex Patrick and drummer Zachary Koch) that provides the soapbox atop which Prevost’s wailing vocals stand.
Universal Vagrant doesn’t drop the ball after the rowdy opening track, nosirree; Prevost’s original “Gin-Soaked Time Warp” is as equally bodacious as the album-opener, with plenty of slash ‘n’ burn git licks, brain-bashing percussion, a ramshackle musical arrangement, and boozy, bluesy lyrics that sound like they’ve traveled through a time warp themselves from the dawn of the 1970s. Keenan Bartlett’s keyboard flourishes are eerie like a Louisiana swamp at midnight, but it’s Prevost’s clamorous fretwork that drives the song like a runaway freight-train beneath his mesmerizing, red-eyed vocals.
Shot of Rock & Roll
There aren’t a lot of cover songs to be found on Universal Vagrant, but the few you’ll hear are inspired takes on heady, albeit obscure tunes. Prevost had to dig deep into his rock ‘n’ roll songbook for Arthur Lee’s post-Love track “Signed D.C.” while his choice of the great Muddy Waters’ “Mean Red Spider” reaches back to the blues legend’s Mississippi Delta roots. The former takes the underrated Lee’s song into unfamiliar territory, Prevost’s vibrating guitar churn reminiscent of Hilton Valentine’s familiar riff on “House of the Rising Sun,” but Prevost’s stunning harp work and deliberate vocal pattern puts Eric Burdon's efforts to shame with its dour, depressed vibe. The latter performance takes Waters’ raw Delta blues original and substitutes snarling vocals and a wiry recurring riff in delivery of the song’s metaphorical heartbreak lyrics.
Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Codine” is provided a brilliantly tortured revision, a screaming guitar lick punctuating Prevost’s anguished vocals, his reading of the anti-drug ballad closer in spirit to Quicksilver Messenger Service’s blues-rock version than the folkie original (or even Gram Parson’s rootsy version). Prevost’s original songs are every bit as ‘fab’ as his inspired choice in covers, tho’. For instance, the stomping, stammering “Evil On My Mind” lays the smackdown on your candy ass with menacing guitar licks, gritty vocals, explosive drumbeats, and a smothering rhythmic arrangement guaranteed to provide nightmares. The song slithers to conclusion with an intricate, serpentine ‘outro’ that is deceptively beguiling and brilliantly creative.
The throwback vibe of Prevost’s “Shot of Rock & Roll” benefits from a raunchy, Chuck Berry styled flurry of opening notes before settling restlessly (and recklessly) into a rockabilly-tinged groove that has more in common with shitkickers of yore like Hasil Adkins or Charlie Feathers than it does with the homogenized, whitebread artists cranked out by the major labels in the early ‘60s. As the rhythm section choogles along, Prevost spits out his rapidfire vox alongside a torrent of rebellious guitar licks. Likewise, Prevost’s “Shitkicker Blues” is an Exile-era Stones-influenced amalgam of Southern blues, soul, and greasy rock ‘n’ roll with fatback rhythms and searing fretwork that revels in its joyous cacophony.
The Reverend’s Bottom Line
Greg ‘Stackhouse’ Prevost’s Universal Vagrant is a solid sophomore effort and a worthy follow-up to the artist’s acclaimed solo debut. Prevost’s vocals are an inspired mix of Mick Jagger, David Johansen (New York Dolls), and Sky Saxon (The Seeds), but it’s his fretwork that shines the brightest on Universal Vagrant. Underrated as a skilled fret-bender, Prevost’s bluesy guitar playing shimmies and shakes throughout these performances like an elemental force of nature. His songwriting is expressive and imaginative, at once both contemporary and rustic in its traditionalism, and his backing band is aces.
Whereas Mississippi Murderer was informed by its Delta blues obsessions, Universal Vagrant brings Prevost’s Texas blues influences to the forefront. One can easily hear Johnny Winter’s twangy slide-guitar or Lightnin’ Hopkins’ intricate finger-picking in the album’s grooves. An entertaining, imaginative album, the artistic voice of Universal Vagrant is a logical evolution from Prevost’s previous band, and unlike any other blues/blues-rock album you’ll hear this year. Grade: A+