Friday, February 18, 2011

Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers - "Natural Boogie" (Alligator, 1974)

I like to think of Hound Dog Taylor (Theodore Roosevelt Taylor his real name) as the punked up version of Elmore James or John Lee Hooker. I think he equally borrowed things from both. The slide from the first and the economical (at times minimal) boogie of the second. He was unique. Really now, not only in sound. He was six fingered but the extra bone never really utilized for guitar playing. But hey, that's fuckin' cool! He had very difficult child years and the six fingers was an added problem to all the others. And he picked up guitar first time at his twenties. What i go in for Hound Dog is that he had absolutely nothing in terms of musical skills. And that's what i dug always in real rock & roll. Somehow, the best, the rawest and highest in energy levels tracks produced by people who actually didn't know how to really play their instruments. Hound Dog knew this. He knew his advantages were his drawbacks. He used to say "When i die, they'll say i played like shit--but it sure sounded good!". And boy, he sure sounded GOOD!
The House Rockers were the perfect companion. Just another guitar and a drum set. No bass. Pure primitive rawness. Sloppy and drunken, at times in speed an sometimes kinda laid back, were the last of the Mohawks. The last true blues combo. Hound Dog Taylor had virtually nothing before the two CLASSICS he recorded for Alligator (there were more to come after death). A single for Bea & Baby ("Baby is Coming Home" / "Take five"),  another one for Firma ("Christine" / "Alley Music") and a  last for Checker ("Watch Out" / "Down Home" ).  Anyway, for a cool piece on Hound Dog Taylor check Hound's blog
What i have to offer it's his second Long Play, "Natural Boogie". As wild as the first, as primitive as few in the blues' history. I must do a t-shirt with his 6 fingered hand immediately... 
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5 comments:

  1. Thanks , you always offer very cool music!

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  2. Thanks Gyro! You know, i was hearing the other day George Thorogood (i like him, and the fact that purists hate him - makes me like him more). He sure have built his entire career on Hound Dog's sound.

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  3. Mihaleez - I just thanked you on Gyro's blog for turning me on to Hound Dog Taylor. Then I realised I should do it here! I can't get enough of this album - what a shredded sound!

    This is a fantastic collection - I can always trust your judgement. Being English, I appreciate your interest in the 70's pub rock scene.

    Now, on the basis of your comment above, I'm going to check out George Thorogood...

    Keep it up!

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  4. Hey Rockin' Vicar! Thanks a lot for the kind words mate! Thorogood for my money's one of the best rock & rollers out there! Don't care what the blues purists said 'bout him. I may post something in here by him to judge for yourself. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. this is a great choose, fantastic Mihaleez!
    good morning blues, we are all around me...
    grreeaattt!!!
    Reverend Gabz smokes in hell

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