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Monday, February 15, 2010

Arthur Crudup: Look On Yonder's Wall


1) Look On Yonder's Wall; 2) Questionnaire Blues; 3) Keep Your Hands Off That Woman; 4) That's All Right; 5) Rock Me Mama; 6) Katie Mae; 7) Dust My Broom; 8) Landlord Blues; 9) Coal Black Mare; 10) Life Is Just A Gamble; 11) Walk Out On My Road; 12) I'm All Alone; 13) You'll Be Old Before Your Time; 14) Ramblin' Blues; 15) When I Lost My Baby.

Finally, for those who would want to check out the utterly modernized, up-to-date Big Boy, there is this disc, assembled from Arthur's late Sixties — I'm guessing around 1967-69 — sessions for Del­mark Records. Willie Dixon, who did accompany Arthur on at least some of his late Sixties sessions, is apparently not present — two different bass players, one of which I do not know, and the other one of which is Ransom Knowling, Arthur's original bass player for 'That's All Right', are listed among the credits — and there is also regularly a second guitarist, assuming all the «melodic» duties as Big Boy simply slices up the growling rhythm chords. This is a nice change, but the se­cond guitarist is no Elmore James or Albert King, so it does not affect the situation much.

The only bit of variety is that some of the songs are accompanied by a little studio banter, letting you know that Big Boy's singing style did not vary all that much from his talking one. Otherwise, it just makes up for the finest sounding, but least intriguing version of the Crudup Groove for those who do not like the vibe of the late 1940s hollow-body electric (or, more properly, «electri­fied») guitar. Nothing else. Soon afterwards, he would once again stop recording, and soon after that, he would die, as that was pretty much the last productive option to choose. But he lived a good life, and left behind two good records — The Slow One and The Fast One. That is, after all, two good records more than most artists in this world have ever produced.

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