Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Junior Wells - Shake It Baby!/(I Got A) Stomach Ache

A couple of weeks ago, Brian wrote up a Junior Wells record. Being a fan of Wells myself, I thought that I'd yak a bit about a personal favorite. As Brian mentioned in his review, there doesn't seem to be a good Junior Wells online discography. The best I can tell, Wells recorded for Vanguard between his stints with Bright Star and Blue Rock, making today's selection approximately a 1967 release.

"Shake It Baby!" is a funky, up-tempo, blues based dance tune. Wells starts off with a "hey!", a "lookin' good" and a few other formalities before getting to the meat of the matter,

"Shake it baby, shake it baby
Shake it baby, I'll buy you a diamond ring
If you don't shake it baby, ain't gonna buy you a doggone thing"

"Shake it baby, I'll buy you a beautiful dress
Shake it baby, I'll buy you a beautiful dress
If you don't shake it now baby, you ain't gonna have no happiness"

Sounds like he lays it right on the line. He continues, during the refrain,

"And when I walk, you walk
And when I talk, you talk
And when I sleep, you sleep
And when I eat, you eat
And when I fight, you fight
Come on, come on, come on, come on"

It's do as I say AND as I do! Junior delivers his lines over punchy drumming and an incredibly funky guitar, probably played by Buddy Guy, who co-wrote both sides of this record with Wells.

Over on the other side, "(I Got A) Stomach Ache" begins with sparse instrumental accompaniment and Wells singing "Ooch, ouch, ooch ouch, I got a stomach ache". This side is more of a groove, with Junior continuing on to sing about a woman who looks good no matter what she's doing. And that guitar is back, this time earning a break of its own. It's a good number but no match for the flipside.

The record itself is fairly sought after. I've seen a copy or two go for over $100 on eBay. I don't remember what I paid for mine but it wasn't anywhere close to that range. I guess that I got lucky.

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