Here’s a clip of Akron Ohio’s Chrissie Hynde, along with drummer Martin Chambers and a new line up of the Pretenders with their most recent cut “Boots of Chinese Plastic” as taken from this year’s Break Up the Concrete.
It’s clear that Hynde is drawing from a deep well here, the same one possibly that Bob Dylan has been drawing from lately, given this song’s quick-fire lyrical bursts and it’s hyper-rockabilly flavour. The song title is a variant on Dylan’s early track “Boots of Spanish Leather”. Yet, Hynde is clearly conscious of the comparison with this song; it’s a parody, albeit an affectionate one. And with a band of younger players behind her, there is something of the original fire on this track that graced the Pretenders’ celebrated first album made with guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon.
For many years, Chrissie Hynde was an American ex-pat, making her living in London first as a journalist for the NME, and later of course in forming this band at the end of the 1970s. More recently, she returned to her native Akron. And so returns to roots here are on several levels.
Because the stripped down country-inflected rockabilly she employs here is decidedly American, not a million miles away from what Ryan Adams and Jeff Tweedy have done in terms of feel. And this, and for many other reasons, seems to make for something of a return to form too, and a long wait since 2002’s Loose Screw.
Welcome home, Chrissie!
For more music from the newest album Break Up the Concrete, check out the Pretenders MySpace Page.