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Monday, February 8, 2010

Arthur Crudup: Mean Ol' Frisco


1) Mean Ol' Frisco; 2) I'm In The Mood; 3) That's All Right; 4) Standin' At My Window; 5) Angel Child; 6) Katie Mae; 7) Look On Yonder Wall; 8) Dig Myself A Hole; 9) If I Get Lucky; 10) Death Valley Blues; 11) I Love Her Just The Same; 12) Angel Child; 13) Rock Me Mama; 14) Ethel Mae; 15) My Mama Don't Allow Me.

Fire Records was a small independent black-owned label, set up in 1959 with the purpose of hol­ding up black artists — either old, struggling ones, or new, inexperienced ones — against the seas of troubles. Among the old, struggling ones, they happened to pick up Arthur, and Arthur respon­ded to the pickup by faithfully re-recording a bunch of avatars of the Slow One and a bunch of avatars of the Fast One.

The only reason to listen to Mean Ol' Frisco is, for those who really like «Big Boy» for his art rather than historic importance, the fact that he sounds pretty much the same as usual, but the pro­duction values are, naturally, much higher and the cracks and hisses are eliminated, so that one can assess and enjoy his blatantly poor guitar playing with no obstacles in sight. To be fair, it is a little different; in fact, he seems to have picked up a few more chords during the first decade of re­tirement — but certainly not enough to catch up on his superiors, nor even enough to make the Slow One and the Fast One significantly different from what they used to be.

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