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Ted Nugent returns with "Ultralive Ballisticrock"

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Ted Nugent-Ultralive Ballisticrock

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"I'm gonna play the number one guitar lick in the world right now!"

It's difficult to argue with Ted Nugent as the classic rock guitar god rips into his trademarked opening to "Stranglehold," a riff which is so slinky and sleazy, it practically drips with sexed-up 1970s sin.

That's because Mr. Ted Nugent can write the HELL out of some riffs, putting it all out there once again on what seems like the man's umpteenth live release, the subtly titled Ultralive Ballisticrock. These days, the Ted Nugent Band is anchored by bassist Greg Smith, former Dokken drummer "Wild" Mick Brown and The Nuge's longtime co-guitarist and vocalist, Derek St. Holmes, yet Ultralive Ballilsticrock bristles with the sort of electric intensity Ted's fans have come to expect time and time again, without exception.

The man himself does his best to please those fans here on an extravagant double CD and DVD package, playing to a packed house of longtime fans, families and youngsters who are obviously seeing their Uncle Ted for the first time...and loving every second. Granted, the days of playing wide, open air mega-concerts and expansive world tours maybe be a memory of the 70s for Ted Nugent and Co., but one could certainly feel the joy and passion in every note Ted plays here on Ultralive, for it's clear that he knows exactly who he's playing for and why they've stuck around all these years.

That reason, of course, is The Songs, and Nugent lets it rip raw 'n loose here on Ultralive Ballisticrock, kicking out such vintage Ted jams as "Free For All, "Stormtroopin', and, of course, "Cat Scratch Fever," while Holmes and Smith take over vocal duties for some lesser known jams "Need You Bad" and "Hey Baby." The set list here generally stays within the hard 'n heavy variety, meaning not much is included from Nugent's hairy 80s days albums like Little Miss Dangerous or Penetrator, yet this lack of stylistic variety can forgiven in favor of Ultralive's relentless aggression and non-stop attitude.

This attitude is naturally displayed in spades in Ted's boisterous, untamed stage banter, which has lost little to none of its ferocity or energy over the years, if anything serving up MORE politically incorrect commentary and combative bravado to make up for the ratio of grey in Uncle Ted's mane. Nugent walks the proverbial walk in the musical department, however, nailing each riff to the wall as if his life depended on it, while Mick Brown's muscular drumming propels each classic track right to the edge of the hard rock/heavy metal cliff.

Ultralive Ballisticrock is a no brainer for dyed in the wool Ted Nugent fans: it's a well conceived audio/visual package which also serves as a great entry level "best of" for those looking to explore the rock god's back catalog of classics. So yeah, Ted...go on and play "the number one guitar lick in the world," because we're still listening.

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