Thursday, January 05, 2006
Neck Bones and Hot Sauce
Stuck in the doldrums of winter? Already missing the sounds and smells of summer? Then head on over to your local Bar-B-Q joint. It's cold outside, but it's warm and flavorful inside.
I'm addicted to those odd little compilation cd's and box sets you find in used and independent-type record stores. Put out by semi well-known (Rhino, Ace, and Crypt, to name a few) and obscure (nonexistent?) labels, they feature titles like "Ham Hocks and Cornbread", "Rock the Joint", "Truck Driver's Boogie", and "Jook Block Busters". The sound quality is often poor, the tracks are underproduced, one-offs, or first takes of songs made famous elsewhere or in glossier versions, and most of the artists exist outside the set only on the most obsessive of collectors' hifi's. Not every track is a winner by any stretch of the imagination. There's a reason some music remains unknown. But usually these collections are filled with rough gems and peeks into the origins of rock, blues, r&b, country, you name it. Regional hits, coulda-beens, hasbeens, never-beens. I like shit like that.
One of my favorite recent finds (and cheap!) is the album "I Love Bar-B-Q" . 16 rollicking soul, doo wop, garage, funk and blues tunes all about, you guessed it, barbecuin'. It'll tickle your ribs (sorry). It appears to be out of print, but was released on Rhino, so it shouldn't be too hard to find (and no, I'm not taking money from them to push their records this week). We like albums that play well at parties, and this'un's a perfect platter for the weekend. Here's two finger lickers for your listening pleasure. The first tune, by Wendy Rene, has moved itself way up on the Mountain's list of favorite songs, all hand-clappin' rhythm and shimmy shake backyard, neighborhood soul.
Wendy Rene: Bar-B-Q (mp3)
King Cole's Swingsters: Riffin' at the Bar-B-Q (mp3)
Check out your local, independent record store for the latest and oldest in slow-cookin' goodness.