Chuck E. Weiss returned to the studio with Extremely Cool, his first album since 1981's The Other Side of Town on Select. Extremely Cool made one wish that Weiss hadn't stayed away from the studio for so long, for it's an enjoyable and unpretentious collection of roots music and Americana. A variety of earthy material finds its way to this release, which ranges from the bluesy rock of "Pigmy Fund" and "Devil with Blue Suede Shoes" and the roots-rock of "Jimmy Would" and "It Rains on Me" to the zydeco-influenced "Oh, Marcy" and the jazz-minded "Sonny Could Lick All Them Cats." The thing that ties all of these songs together is Weiss' earthy, down-home nature -- instead of trying to seduce listeners with slickness or technique, Weiss wins you over with his honesty and lack of pretense. This CD employs such noteworthy guests as Tom Waits (one of the executive producers) and guitarist Tony Gilkyson (brother of folk-pop singer Eliza Gilkyson and a former member of Lone Justice and X) -- and it made a person hope that Weiss wouldn't wait another 18 years to record his next album.