Beaverteeth


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1972-75)

- David Adkins -- vocals, lead guitar, keyboards

- John Rainey Adkins (RIP 1988) -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Jimmy Dean -- vocals, bass

- Charlie Silva (RIP) -- vocals, drums, percussion

 

  line up 2 (1975-76)

- David Adkins -- vocals, lead guitar, keyboards

- John Rainey Adkins (RIP 1988) -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Jimmy Dean -- vocals, bass

NEW - Larry Hunter -- drums, percussion, vocals (replaced 

  Charlie Silva)

NEW - Rodney Justo -- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

 

  line up 3 (1976-78)

- David Adkins -- vocals, lead guitar, keyboards

- John Rainey Adkins (RIP 1988) -- vocals, rhythm guitar

NEW - Jeff Cheshire (RIP 2012) -- vocals, bass (replaced 

  Jimmy Dean)

- Larry Hunter -- drums, percussion, vocals (replaced 

  Charlie Silva)

- Rodney Justo -- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

 

  supporting musicians: (1977)

- Jay Scott -- horns

- Laura Scott -- horns

 

  line up 4 (1978)

- David Adkins -- vocals, lead guitar

- John Rainey Adkins (RIP 1988) -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Jeff Cheshire (RIP 2012) -- vocals, bass 

- Larry Hunter -- drums, percussion, vocals 

- Rodney Justo -- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

NEW - Mike Turner -- vocals, keyboards

 

 

 

Atlanta Rhythm Section (Rodney Justo)

- The Candymen (Rodney Justo)

- Noah's Ark (Rodney Justo)

- Rodney & The Mystics

- The Webs 

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Beaverteeth

Company: RCA Victor

Catalog: APL1-2076
Year:
 1977

Country/State: Dothan, Alabama

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 1965

Price: $9.00

 

Ah, Rodney Justo ...  one of my favorite vocalists.   Nah, he's never achieved the national recognition he deserves, but that shouldn't cast any doubts on the man's talents.

 

Unless you're now in your 70s, or you're a hardcore music fan, it's doubtful you've ever heard of The Candymen.  Shame, since they were a truly talented mid-'60s band, that actually came close to national success.  Anyhow, Justo was the band's lead singer. Justo was also the original lead singer for The Atlanta Rhythm Section.   He handled vocals on the band's first studio album, splitting with the group prior to the release of 1972's "Back Up Against the Wall."   If you believe the stories, Justo was unhappy with the band's lack of commercial success and their management teams decision to have the band record music for a cartoon program.

 

Freed from ARS, in 1972 Justo headed to New York where he was hired as B.J. Thomas' band leader.  

 

During the same timeframe brothers David and John Rainey Adkins had formed the band Beaverteeth along with bassist Jimmy Dean and singer/drummer Charlie Silva.  Beaverteeth were playing clubs throughout the Florida panhandle and Southern Alabama when, needing a touring band for Thomas, Justo recruited them for the job.  They stayed with Thomas for the next three years, splitting up when Thomas hired a new management team.  Beaverteeth then headed back to their native Dothan, Alabama.  Original singer/drummer Silva was subsequently diagnosed with cancer and replaced by Larry Hunter and Justo on vocals.  The following year bassist Dean left the band, replaced by Jeff Cheshire.  

 

Signed by RCA Victor, the band made their recording debut with 1977's "Beaverteeth".  Self-produced, the album offered up an odd mixture of conventional southern rock, pop moves, and an occasional nod to more contemporary musical influences (synthesizers and dance rhythms).   As you might guess, it wasn't the greatest mix you've ever heard.  That was unfortunate since with four of the five members contributing to the writing chores, these guys were quite talented.  Justo remained a first-rate singer, capable of handling everything from '20s-styled ballads ('Where No Man's Been Before') to hardcore Southern rockers ('Dixie Fried').  Exemplified by tunes like 'Sacred Harmony' and 'I'm calling' he remained one of the best Southern rock balladeers. Elsewhere, collectively the band were quite strong; probably as capable as The Atlanta Rhythm Section.   From my perspective, their big creative mistake was trying to showcase their sheer versatility.   At times it almost felt like you were listening to a wedding band promotion tape, with the group trying to prove they could handle virtually any genre that the audience might request.  Their cover of Carl Perkins 'Dixie Fried' was a killer Southern rock tune. 'You Wanna Go To Heaven (But You Don't Wanna Die)' was a nice horn-propelled slice of funk.  'Hope' was tasty Mike Nesmith-influenced country-rock.   In contrast, 'The World's Really Flat' sounded like a good Badfinger tune.  They really could handle it all, but you were ultimately left to wonder who these guys really were.  

 

"Beaverteeth" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I'm Calling   (Randall Bramblett) - 5:13

One of two Randall Bramblett covers, 'I'm Calling' was a pretty  mid-'70s styled ballad with a killer Jay Scott sax solo.   While the opening ballad may not have been anything to drop dead over, it was nice to hear Rodney Justo's instantly recognizable voice.   The chorus was also pretty good.  RCA tapped the track as a single:

- 1977's 'I'm Calling' b/w 'I'm Calling' (RCA Victor catalog number PB 10933)   rating: *** stars

2.) Just Another Local Band   (Rodney Justo - John Rainey Adkins - David Adkins - Jeff Cheshire) - 3:47

If you liked ARS's brand of southern rock, then the mid-tempo, autobiographic rocker 'Just Another Local Band' was apt to strike a chord with you.  It certainly sounded like something off one of the early ARS albums.    rating: *** stars

3.) You Wanna Go To Heaven (But You Don't Wanna Die)  (Rodney Justo - John Rainey Adkins - David Adkins - Jeff Cheshire) - 4:27

The band takes a stab at getting funky and the results are ...  well, not half bad.   Nice display of their execllent group harmonies.   rating: *** stars

4.) Where No Man's Been Before  (Rodney Justo - John Rainey Adkins - David Adkins - Jeff Cheshire) - 1:53

Not sure what they were trying to prove with this '20s styled tune that was too cute for their own good, though I have to admit I liked the jazzy guitar moves.  rating: ** stars

5.) Dixie Fried   (Carl Perkins) - 3:31

Complete with a snippet of the tune 'Dixie', their hard rockin' cover of Carl Perkins' 'Dixie Fried' was easily the best thing on side one.  With a very ARS-feel, you could only wish they'd done more stuff in this vein.   rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Sing for You
  (Rodney Justo - John Rainey Adkins - David Adkins) - 5:10

With an odd English-flavor, including a wicked nod to psych era Beatles, 'Sing for You' was another autobiographical number, reflecting Justo's long simmering frustrations with the business.  You can even hear him reference the reasons he left ARS.   The song was also tapped as a single:

- 1977's 'Sing for You' (long version) b/w 'Sing for You' (short version) (RCA Victor catalog number PB 10986)  rating: **** stars
2.) Sacred Harmony
   (Randall Bramblett) - 3:58

As good as Justo was when he toughened up his voice ('Dixie Fried'), he had a voice that was near perfect for heartbreak ballads.   Their cover of Randall Bramblett's 'Sacred Harmony' served as a good framework to showcase that special voice.   rating: **** stars
3.) Hope
    (John Rainey Adkins - Buddie Buie) - 2:37

Maybe just me, but 'Hope' showcased the band's pop sensibilities - easy to imagine a grown-up version of The Candymen.  The song's actually always reminded me of something Mike Nesmith might have penned for the late-inning Monkees.   Beautiful tune that I would have tapped as a single.   rating: **** stars
4.) The World's Really Flat  (Sandy Linzer - Ralph Kotkow) - 3:10

Geez, after all these years this one still sounds like a strong Badfinger tune to me.   As a big Badfinger fan, that's a good thing.   There are even handclaps !!!   rating: **** stars
5.) Where Does Love Go (When It Goes Away)
  (Rodney Justo - John Rainey Adkins - David Adkins) - 3:09  

Sappy ballad that was an unfortunate way to end the album.

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Dam It

Company: RCA Victor

Catalog: AFL 1-2574
Year:
 1978

Country/State: Dothan, Alabama

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: promo stamp on back cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2189

Price: $15.00

 

Recorded at the Doraville, Georgia's Studio One (home of the Atlanta Rhythm Section), 1978's "Dam It" wasn't a major musical departure from the debut album.   That meant if you liked the first album's pseudo-ARS styled rock moves you were going to enjoy this one as well.  If anything, on tunes like 'Mystic Notions and Magic Potions', the title track, and '' the resemblance to ARS was uncanny.  True Justo had been the initial ARS singer, but the comparison went far beyond that.   Bassist Jeff Cheshire seemed to take his inspiration from the late Paul Goodard, while lead guitarist David Adkins' economical leads sounded like ARS guitarist J.R. Cobb.  Sure, the album wasn't a carbon copy of the debut.  With the addition of keyboardist/singer Mike Turner, exemplified by songs like 'Rock and Roll Southern Man' (Turner handling lead vocals) and '', this time out the sound had a slightly more rock oriented sound.

 

A solid, largely enjoyable album that probably deserved as much success as ARS releases. Probably would not have hurt them to have show a little originality and have selected a better album cover.   In retrospect I guess there was only so much room for this genre of Southern rock which probably helps explain why the album went nowhere and Beaverteeth subsequently called it quits.

 

left to right: 

Jeff Cheshire - David Adkins - Rodney Justo - John Rainey Adkins - Larry Hunter - Mike Turner

 

"Dam It" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Mystic Notions and Magic Potions   (Rodney Justo - John Rainey Adkins) - 4:10

I clearly remember hearing this tune and thinking it was an Atlanta Rhythm Section tune.  Everything about this one, including the sound David Adkins got out of his lead guitar, Jeff Cheshire's deep bass, and Rodney Justo's slinky vocals just screamed ARS.   And good ARS at that.  I guess that makes it easy to understand why RCA tapped the song as a promotional single:

- 1978's 'Mystic Notions and Magic Potions' (stereo) b/w ''Mystic Notions and Magic Potions' (stereo) (RCA Victor catalog number JH-11167)

2.) Dam It   (Rodney Justo - John Rainey Adkins - David Adkins) - 3:24

ARS-styled pop though hearing Just try to sound threatening via the title was almost funny.   The song would have sounded more threatening if it had been entitled "excuse me".   Shame it faded out just as it was getting some momentum.   rating: *** stars

3.) See the Monkey   (Rodney Justo - David Adkins - John Rainey Adkins - Mike Turner) - 3:01

'See the Monkey' found the band introducing a Latin flavor to the mix.  In spite of the jaunty melody and sweet harmonies, I think the lyric was intended as a subtle (maybe not that subtle) anti-drug commentary.  Good for them.    rating; **** stars

4.) Make the Midnight Special   (Rodney Justo - John Rainey Adkins) - 3:27

The album's first mistake, 'Make the Midnight Special' was a bland and forgettable ballad smothered in unnecessary strings.   rating: ** stars

5.) Rock and Roll Southern Man   (Rodney Justo - John Rainey Adkins - Mike Turner) - 

Featuring keyboardist Turner on lead vocals, 'Rock and Roll Southern Man' was one of those tunes that grew on you over time.  Lyrically it was pretty pedestrian (tough life as a rocker) and the melody sounded like it had been pieced together from about a dozen other tunes.  All that aside, the performance was enthusiastic with a nice mid-song instrumental segment, and the chorus was a keeper.   rating: *** stars

 

(side 2)

1.) Stop that River in Your Eyes   (Rodney Justo - David Adkins - John Rainey Adkins) - 4:56

Yech !!   Faceless adult contemporary pop that sounded like a song which would have slotted on a Pablo Cruise collection.   Courtesy of Jay Scott there was even an extended sax solo.    rating: ** stars

2.) Stealin' Feelin'   (Rodney Justo - David Adkins - John Rainey Adkins - Mike Turner) - 3:27

Gospel-tinged rocker that could have slotted on a Wet Willie album.   David Adkins turned in some of his prettiest work on this one.   rating: *** stars

3.) Everybody Got It On the Inside   (Randall Bramblett) - 3:14

The lone non-original, Randall Bramblett's 'Everybody Got It On the Outside' sounded like a mash-up between Dr. John and ARS.   That was meant as a compliment.   rating: **** stars

4.) Mourning In Dixie   (Rodney Justo - David Adkins - Mike Turner) - 2:42

More echoes of ARS ...  smooth adult contemporary ballad with the same feel and instrumentation of a good ARS tune.  rating; *** stars

5.) Down In the Mine   (Rodney Justo -  John Rainey Adkins) - 3:21

Another tune that would have disappointed a traditional Southern rock fan since it's pseudo-jazzy melody and structure sounded more like an early ARS tune than something out of the Lynyrd Skynyrd catalog.   I have to admit to really liking the song's slinky feel and David Adkins' lead guitar solos were killer.   rating: **** stars

 

Beaverteeth is one of those bands with a high mortality rate.

 

Only 47, rhythm guitarist John Rainey Adkins died in 1988.

Bassist Jeff Cheshire died in 2012.

Original drummer Charlie Silva died of cancer.

 

 

 

 

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