Monday, August 10, 2009

just something that he done

The Maddox Brothers and Rose - America's Most Colorful Hillbilly Band Vol. 1 (listen) If you are the kind of person that wants anything whatsoever from hillbilly music, this disc will give you all of it: cornball sideman antics, charming country twang, musicianship as tight as electric fence wire, and if learned folks at the Experience Music Project are to be believed, the first notes of rockabilly and, hence, rock 'n' roll were slapped out of Fred Maddox's upright bass. From The Blue Moon Boys By Ken Burke & Dan Griffin:
The group blended feisty barn-dance country with elements of small combo boogie-woogie and western swing. In the process, they may have invented the rockabilly genre. "Maybe we did," chuckles Don Maddox, the lone surviving original band member. "But back then we didn't call it rockabilly music. We were just straight hillbilly, but we did all kinds of songs and Fred did that rockabilly bass. It wasn't called rockabilly bass at the time. It was just something that he done." Today Fred Maddox's bass is displayed at the Experience Music Project museum in Seattle. Says Kitty [Maddox, Fred's widow], "They wanted his bass because they believe he might have hit the first note of rock 'n' roll on it."

"Philadelphia Lawyer" is not exactly proto-rock 'n'roll, but is just a great song on both concept and execution.

For an example of hillbilly shtick at its most heartwarming, listen for when Rose gets legitimately tickled by her bandmates' commentary about halfway through.

Red And Frank Wakefield - The Kitchen Tapes
(listen) If you are struggling to find a reason for saving Grateful Dead associate Dave "Dawg" Grishman from the cleansing fire, I nominate this record released on his Acoustic Disc label. Recorded in their kitchen amongst the sound of pots and pans this album is unadorned backwoods bliss.

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