Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Watermelon Slim & The Workers - Bull Goose Rooster

Stonking Beauty

At times stonking, at others quite beautiful. At the former end, penultimate track Foreign Policy Blues is a stomper, with great slide and thumping drums/bass. This is followed by closing track Words Are Coming To An End which is a gentle acoustic number. Pretty enough, but for ‘beautiful’ I am thinking of the a cappella songs like Hall Johnson’s gospel gem Take My Mother Home, given such an emotive rendition here, and Stan Roger’s Northwest Passage where the gravel and gravitas in Bill Homan’s verbal lilt gives this folk tale such a sense of history, though it is relatively contemporary having been released originally in 1981.

The album opens with harmonica on fire in Tomorrow Night, followed by Slim’s slide on Bull Goose Rooster and the vocal reminding of Beefheart, then it’s a wonderful piano blues Over The Horizon and the Slim/Homan vocal more in Wait’s late-nite barroom mode, and then fourth is a gutsy version of Woody Guthrie’s Vigilante Man, more cool slide on offer. Homan harmonica returns wonderfully on a chugging James Moore I’m A King Bee version as track six. I could go through each and every excellent number, but I’m going to stop now and just listen, it’s that much fun.

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