Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A few quickies

Joey Welz: "Hey Rattlesnake" (Leedle)

Joey Welz is best known for hitting the keys for Bill Haley's Comets, so it's no surprise that there's a lot of rollicking piano in this groover from around 1965 or so. While this isn't too spectacular, it's still a nice little mover and shaker, almost good enough to be a Freddy Cannon record from the same period. (That's who this reminds me of.) Besides, you can't go wrong with lines like these:

"Shake your head,
Shake your thigh,
Shake it baby,
till you think you'll die."

Brilliance? I think so, too. So, hey, rattlesnake, let me see you shake!

Jimmy McCracklin and his Blues Blasters: "Savoy's Jump" (Irma)

A year before "The Walk," McCracklin' cut this crackling (pun not intended) blues jump mover about a place he knows where they play the dirty blues at midnight. There's also a bartender that weighs about 200 pounds, and "if you start some jive/there can be no doubt/that big bartender's gonna throw you out!" Blazing saxes and poundin' piano abound throughout this raver that's been hitting my turntable with regularity these past few weeks.

Chuck Jackson: "Hound Dog" (Wand)

Here's where Elvis gets the soul treatment. Jackson takes a couple of Presley standards (the other being "Love Me Tender") and embellishs them with a deep soul treatment that's tasty on the ears. We're concentrating on his take on "Hound Dog" for this review because it's the side of this 45 that I happen to like better. The all-out raucousness of the Elvis version is not present here. Instead the beat is slowed down to a funky crawl worthy of Stax's Al Jackson, while Chuck's delivery suggests Wilson Pickett at his down and dirtiest. Jackson also cut another worthy soul mover 'n' shaker called "Candy," but he's better known for his ballads, like his biggest hit "Any Day Now." Since it's the movers 'n' shakers we dig the most in these parts, we can say that Chuck could deliver 'em about as stompin' as anyone and here's a little bit of evidence for you.

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