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Hump Day! Risque Tunes For Your Midweek Blues 2/18/15

Ah, Hump Day. Hump Day this week falls on Ash Wednesday, the official beginning of Lent for Christians. Of course, that means giving up something near and dear to your heart for 40 days or so. Some things are easier to give up than others. Usually on Hump Day we focus on the sexual nature of the blues but other vices have played a large role in the Blues as well. So this week we are expanding our illicit horizons to a few things you might not want to give up until Good Friday.

Since Fat Tuesday was yesterday and we’re celebrating excess this Ash Wednesday Hump Day, we have six tunes for your enjoyment. Billy Boy Arnold will start us off with a song about a woman hopelessly in love with “Whiskey, Beer And Reefer.” She was probably a fun girl for a while. It sounds like he’s not ready to give her up yet. We know Otis Rush isn’t ready to give up his woman yet. Otis is hooked! He works through his struggle with “I Can’t Quit You, Baby.” Jimmy Rogers has a liquid solution for the broken heart; any heart, really. He’d rather be “Sloppy Drunk” and I don’t see him giving it up for forty minutes let a lone forty days. 

George Thorogood relates a tale of woe regarding his woman and a bit of cocaine. If only he’d fasted on the cocaine and stuck to bourbon, scotch, and beer he would have avoided prison and his lady friend might still be alive – especially if she gave up nagging for Lent. Sometimes you just have to step away from the situation and get tall. Moreland & Arbuckle are getting taller by the hour. Cruisin’ the back roads and getting high have a history as old as the automobile itself. Drive carefully boys and girls, Moreland & Arbuckle could be out there driving Tall just when you least expect it.

Last but definitely not least, we have Albert Collins and his crowd pleasing exercise in denial “I Ain’t Drunk.” Since we’re celebrating sins of all kinds this week, I feel I should mention the sin committed in this video: excessive synthesizer. I’m pretty sure I see the keyboard player stroking the wheel (that sounds dirty) to bend the keyboard notes. He’s one drink away from whipping out the keytar and there would be no forgiveness, from God or anyone else, for that indiscretion! And shame on Debbie Davies who appears to be enjoying this extravagant synth shower of notes. I blame the 80’s and the drinkin’.

Alright, Biscuiteers, enjoy Hump Day and leave that cocaine be.

 

SPECIAL NOTE: If you enjoy Moreland & Arbuckle, please consider supporting their Kickstarter campaign. The band has produced a brand new record and are looking for supporters to help them get it distributed. Please click HERE to support the band.

 

Billy Boy Arnold Whiskey, Beer And Reefer

Otis Rush I Can’t Quit You Baby

Jimmy Rogers Sloppy Drunk

George Thorogood & The Destroyers Cocaine Blues

Moreland & Arbuckle Tall Boogie

Albert Collins I Ain’t Drunk

 

Hump Day! Risque Tunes For Your Midweek Blues 1/28/15

BluesBiscuitsHumpdayI looked at my watch and it was quarter past two, time for a little hump day fun with you and we’ll reel… Reelin’ and Rockin’ with Chuck Berry. Was Chuck a blues man? His path to fame followed in the footsteps of the great blues men. He came from a southern city, moved north, made his name playing electric guitar and singing energized versions of down home songs, and wound up at the home of Chicago Blues – Chess Records. Modern blues players certainly recognize Chuck’s Blues. Sure his blues was faster and had an undeniable swing but it was blues nonetheless. The father of Rock & Roll was a Blues man. Hey, if Willie Dixon played on your records, you’re a blues man.

ChuckBerryLondonSessionsI’ve been digging some Chuck Berry grooves lately and I’ve been particularly smitten with an album called The London Chuck Berry Sessions. Chess had several of its big acts record with some of their British fans who just happened to be some of the most popular musicians in the world in the late 60s and early 70s. Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Rory Gallagher, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Mitch Mitchell and several others from the British music scene sat in to record with their heroes like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Chuck Berry. The live half of The London Chuck Berry Sessions is my favorite however.

The recording captures Chuck in a playful mood as he rips through “Johnny B. Goode,” guides the audience through the ins and outs of “My-Ding-A-Ling,” and best of all, he offers a down and dirty version of “Reelin’ And Rockin’.” You may recall that Rock & Roll was a southern term used by the blacks to refer to sexual intercourse. Naturally Chuck ran with that euphemism and created a one-eyed monster all his own. In the lyrics of “Reelin’ And Rockin'” he definitely blurred the lines between sock-hop dance moves and the backseat after-party. The original lyrics were innocent enough to get radio play in the ultra-conservative 1950s, but were filled with double-entendres for those in the know. Chuck was the master of the double-entendre. Sometimes it seems like all the double-entendres currently in use are on loan from the collection of Charles Edward Anderson Berry.

So, for Hump Day this week I’m dedicating this feature to “Reelin’ And Rockin'” and it’s many variations. First is the version from The London Chuck Berry Sessions, then there’s a live appearance, also in London recorded around the same time. you’ll notice some of Chuck’s schtick is the same but his facial expressions are priceless. Next up we have a powerful houserockin’ version from one of Chuck’s biggest followers, George Thorogood. George and the band leave the Hampton crowd exhausted. After that we have a slightly laid back version courtesy of the Sam Lay Band. From there we head to the outer perimeter of the Blues World to one of my favorite roots rock bands – Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers. In the synth pop 80’s, Tommy and the band had the audacity to sneak blues tinged tunes like “I’m Not your Man” and “Love’s On Fire” into the top 40. Deeper album cuts like “Workout” and concert staples like Freddie King’s “Hideaway” gave away Tommy’s love of blues. Unfortunately they are a largely over-looked band and we’ll give them a glance right here and now. Also from the Rock and Rockabilly portion of our Venn Diagram of Blues comes a band called The Head Cat. The Head Cat features Slim Jim Phanton from the Stray Cats, Danny B. Harvey from Lonesome Spurs, and Lemmy from Motorhead. Yes, that Lemmy. Seriously, how many Lemmys do you think there are? Give it chance. Maybe you’ll hate it, er, like it. Yeah, maybe you’ll like it. I love it.

If you stick with us, Reelin’ and Rockin’ your way from Chuck Berry to Lemmy, you get a special Hump Day treat at the end. No, not that kind of treat! Play with your own Ding-A-Ling!

Chuck Berry Reelin’ And Rockin’

Chuck Berry Reelin’ And Rockin’ – BBC Theatre, London 1972

George Thorogood Reelin’ And Rockin’

The Sam Lay Blues Band Reelin’ And Rockin’

Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers Reelin’ And Rockin’

The Head Cat Reelin’ And Rockin’

Chuck Berry My Ding-A-Ling

Hump Day! Risque Tunes For Your Midweek Blues 11/12/14

BluesBiscuitsHumpdayHave you got the Hump Day blues? Feeling down? Feeling low? A little sluggish? Need to put a little spring in your step? Forget the Snake Oil salesmen. It’s time to call on your doctor – your special doctor who loves to make house calls and give you a thorough exam. He’s got the cure for all your ills and guarantees to make you feel good. Real good.

That’s right. Even in Blues playing doctor is a popular game. Today we have Muddy Waters with “I’m Your Doctor.” The tune is the B-side of Muddy’s 1960 Chess single “Read Way Back.” Muddy has his mojo working overtime on this one and Little Walter is writing harmonica euphoria prescriptions. Muddy knows he can cure your headache with a double dose of love so please strip down and get ready to be probed. Who’s ready for the rectal exam?

Next we have George Thorogood & The Destroyers performing “Love Doctor” from their album The Hard Stuff (that sounds dirty). He proudly declares “the doctor is IN!” after offering to operate on you and kiss it where it hurts. Now that’s bedside manner!

Finally we have Johnny Winter and “Medicine Man” from his album Let Me In (that also sounds dirty). This is low down and grooving with guitar licks to soothe your aches and pains but this medicine man has other ideas about how to maintain your happiness and well-being. He’d also like to remind you that “your g.p.’s got cold hands” and “Dr. Quincy’s much too old” just in case you were thinking maybe Quincy was available for the evening’s examinations. Don’t suffer alone, let Johnny Winter in – he’s the warm-handed medicine man.

Happy Hump Day friends. Go forth and operate…

 

Muddy Waters I’m Your Doctor

George Thorogood & The Destroyers Love Doctor

Johnny Winter Medicine Man