By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
Eventually, Wilder and Field moved to Nashville, where Field landed a publishing deal that funded the recording of the 1989 Wilder album Hybrid Vigor. A minor classic, the disc contains rip-snorting, Field-penned sendups like the AC/DC-meets-the-traveling-circus anthem "Human Cannonball," and "Cold Front," a Stonesy Savannah stomp. Followups such as 1991's Doo Dad and 1993's Nashville were just as entertaining, benefiting from the down-home humor, Flannery O'Connor characters and humbucking bliss that exemplifies Field's rich compositions.
"Bobby's a different kind of songwriter," Wilder says. "He's got a lot of fresh subject matter and zinger one-liners, and he's a guy who's really good at writing rock and roll, which is something that a lot of songwriters are not good at. He's an incredibly talented and very interesting fellow who could've made a jillion albums of his own but got caught up in being an in-demand, behind-the-scenes guy." Field's production credits include discs by John Mayall and Sonny Landreth, and he's written hits for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, among others.
As for Wilder, he's appeared as an actor in the Peter Bogdanovich feature A Thing Called Love and a series of Field-produced short films known under the blanket title Corn Flicks. In the latter, which won praise from low-budget movie critic Joe Bob Briggs, Wilder portrays a private eye whom he describes as "Fess Parker on Thorazine." But don't expect him to go Hollywood. He still lives in Nashville, even though he's nobody's idea of a typical Music City resident. "I'm sort of like the token integrity guy here," he notes.
Whether or not this makes Wilder worthy of being memorialized in stone is anyone's guess--but he's hopeful that such a tribute will someday come his way. "I think the states are arguing over it now," he says. "They were hung up on the cost of it or something. It's really just tied up in red tape."
Webb Wilder. 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 17, Bluebird Theater, 3317 East Colfax Avenue, $8, 322-2308 or 830-