Burning Frets – The Rhythm, The Blues, The Hot Guitar
Koko Mojo Records
28 songs time-70:18
Another in a series from Koko Mojo Records. This one features mostly obscure guitar based artists. It’s mainly a whole lot of fun. Anything from blues, rockabilly to cheesy rock and roll. Some of the stuff here brings to mind the fake movie bands in teenage beach “B” movies. Like when there’s a hokey band with a name like Stinger & The Mosquitos. Corny rock, but way cool and fun. Beats me where Koko Mojo finds this stuff, but it’s well worth a listen. Takes one back to when rock music was just fun without a message or virtuoso instrumentation. Dig in guys and gals.
“Want To Jump With You Baby” by Clifford King is only rhythmic guitar over a primitive rhythm section. The raggedy blues vocal mostly consists of variations on “jump, jump, jump”. Opposed to other collections in the series that feature only African-American artists, you get some white boy’s music like the rockabilly vulgarity of Boliver Shagnasty’s “Tapping That Thing”. A fun slice of mindless rockabilly. You just gotta love that name. “Farm Dell Rock” is a snappy rock instrumental by Bo Toliver & His Timers. Happy R&B with nifty guitars and horns.
T. Valentine’s “Teen Age Jump”, you tell me. Poor enunciation over rockabilly guitar. I can pick out maybe every fourth word, but a fun rocker. The old chestnut “Crawdad Hole” is given a good rockabilly guitar workout by Chuck Harrod & The Anteaters. Heck if you can’t write your own song take an old one and put your own lyrics to it like Gabriel And His Band Of Angels did with Fats Domino’s “I’m Ready”. They turned it into “I’m Gabriel”.
John Fred & The Playboys of the radio pop hit “Judy In Disguise” fame turn in a “white bread” version of John Lee Hooker’s “Boogie Children” that isn’t half bad. “I Can’t Be Satisfied” finds TV Slim’s bluesy voice along with blues-meets-rockabilly guitar. It’s definitely a keeper. The Raymarks instrumental “Back Fire” is an explosion of energetic guitars, sax and cheesy organ with wacky yelling from the guys. You gotta love this stuff. Blue Charlie talks his way through “I’m Going To Kill That Hen”. To use a cliché, you can’t make this stuff up. Some really nice blues guitar.
Jackie Brensten, the singer of Ike Turner’s “Rocket 88”, the song purported to be the first rock and roll song does another Ike Turner penned song “Trouble Up The Road”. It isn’t a guitar song per se, but it’s a good’un. Googie Rene serves up a hipster instrumental in “Side-Track”, complete with groovy sax, piano and rockin’ guitar. The singer of The Sharps uses a voice that is very similar to Clarence “Frogman” Henry’s on The Coasters sounding “Have Love Will Travel”. Curious why this song never saw the light of day. Really catchy ditty.
Odd that Lazy Lester’s “I Hear You Knockin'” made this collection. It’s basically a harmonica song and should of been on the harmonica collection. Oh well, a fine song none the less. The Valiants “Walkin’ Girl” has The Coasters vibe as well. An early track by Guitar Shorty makes an appearance. “Ways Of A Man” is a swinging R&B romp with very good guitar playing. As far as I can tell this is Leo Price the guitarist from New Orleans. He offers up “Quick Draw”, a typical R&B instrumental burner with a great guitar tone.
John Lee Hooker’s “Dimples” is covered by The Fabulous Silver Tones in a delightfully spritely version. Really fine guitar playing highlights the R&B instrumental of “Say When” by Pee Wee & His All Stars from the fifties. Alton Joseph & The Jokers’ “Where’s The Place” features a talking cool cat narrative over driving boogie woogie piano. “Let’s Party” by Jesse Allen is a jumping R&B romp with a wailing sax. McKinley Mitchell borrows an intro from John Lee Hooker. He changes it from Henry’s Swing Club to Jimmy’s Swing Club on his R&B fueled “Rock Everybody Rock”. Fine guitar playing on this one.
There are many hidden gems here if you enjoy jumping rhythm & blues, swing, rockabilly or blues. Whole bunches of fun are in store for you in this one. It’s the musical equivalent of a rare archeological discovery. Tons of cool cat moments here!