Davis: Feel Like Doin Somebody Wrong (Fat Possum/Epitaph
Those of us whove - genuinely - investigated the
stranger byways of the recorded musics of the 20s - and
of the late 40s-early 50s (not to mention the field recordings
gathered by generations of dedicated scholars) - all-too-justifiably
bemoan the paucity of bizarre one-offs turned-up by blues
labels in more recent times. Since, far too often, theyve
plumped for basically-generic crowd-pleasers...and ignored
more seriously individualistic talents as a consequence.
Because...to some of us, figures like King Solomon Hill,
Lane Hardin, Wright Holmes or Robert Pete Williams are
kings - whilst their more accessible peers
are mere easy listening. But, in this company, Cedell
Davis can stand tall (polio notwithstanding) - and for
this, perhaps, in particular, Fat Possum is to be praised,
far above all other contemporary blues labels...
Cause Cedell is a one-off.
His sour-as-green-persimmon lap slide - played w/a tableknife
- has the kind of willful grace that wider audiences are,
only now, just beginning to grasp. With a band, he can
offer us a nigh-on accessible southern jump
blues...that only betrays its uncanny individualism in
snatches - a grassroots surrealist Pat Hare,
if you will...
But solo...hell, solo, the man almost approximates some
unholy melding of no-wave tonality and delta grunt, that
simultaneously harks back to the rawest of field recordings...as
well as reaching forward to some private take on the microtonal
blues language that almost makes me sick...
Cause - as (the great) Papa Lord God would say - this
is the shit
In this context, his - surprisingly - true
cover of Boogie Chillen No.2 (w/some help
from the great R.L. Burnside) genuinely makes sense, albeit
John Lees tonality was far less individualistic
(but the reverse is clearly true of his rhythmic sense).
Because...to quote Robert Palmers marvelous liner
notes to this, Cedells first ever album, I
am in awe of that mind
And, you will be too... Just try his solo take on the
immortal Green Onions...if you need convincing.
Because Cedells take on blues microtonality is uniquely
original, yet entirely right...once youve
entered his world. And, lest you think Im exaggerating,
Ornette Coleman (no less) is a long-term fan...and has
jammed w/him on numerous occasions (albeit, sadly, w/no
issued recordings to date)...
so...please - just let this twisted gutbucket into your
John Henry Calvinist