Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Video Killed the Juke Box Star



Phew. Got 'em. The Mountain managed to score Tom Waits tickets. Not so spiffy seats, but considering the horror stories I've read about other folks' debacles with Ticketmonster, I'm all a-quiver just to be getting in the door. 'Course I'll rest easier once the tickets are physically in my hands. You've all just been spared a 3 week period of whining and pleading. Nothing like a little obsession. And Waits fans, well, we're a peculiar and slightly possessive lot.

I would be remiss, before hopping off to our music star today, if I didn't note the passing of the genius, and polarizing, Mickey Spillane. If you like your boiled very hard, Mickey's the man for you. One of my favorite writers.

Weldon "Juke Boy" Bonner is one of them fellers that should have been picked up (posthumously) by Fat Possum, before they went all bland garage and "experimental" rock on us, ahem. A thwackin' thumper of a hollering one man band that would rightly school the current crop of pretenders and achievers in the ways of Jesus, the Devil, and the blessed sacrament of dirt floor jukejoint swiveldance fuck'n'sweat. All electric distortion and wheezing harmonica workout, Electric Mud a thousand times over(and don't think Muddy wasn't listening), Bonner's recorded output sounds like the kind of booze-soaked, smoke-clouded, madman, twisted and raw performance kissed away by the homogenisation (BB Kingization?) of blues into the quaint, cliche-ridden, safe for adult contemporary radio dreck we hum along to while driving the kids to soccer practice in our SUV's.

Umm...Ok.

With his harmonica racked tight up to his mouth, and his geetar amp cranked to 11, Bonner must have been a force to reckon with live. Slightly less psycho than Hasil Adkins (I said slightly) and not quite as breast obsessed as Mr. Robert Log, Bonner's a proper blues man in the vein of a T Model Ford, minus any backing help. Maybe two of his album titles, which I pulled tunes from, sum up what you can expect from Bonner: Ghetto Poet and Life Gave Me a Dirty Deal.

"Sportsman's Luck" goes out to our good friend Mr. Cheney. Yep, liberal bias.

Enjoy. Stomp.

Juke Boy Bonner: Psycho Jump No. 1(mp3)

Juke Boy Bonner: Houston the Action Town (mp3)

Juke Boy Bonner: Sportsman's Luck (mp3)

Juke Boy Bonner: Railroad Tracks (mp3)

Juke Boy Bonner: Tired of Greyhound Blues (mp3)

Support your local, independent juke box manufacturer and dealer.

5 comments:

ang said...

watched Mystery Men the other night, and of course thought of you while enjoying Mr W's moments onscreen.

bigshoulders said...

congrats on getting tickets for Waits! i'm so stoked-- this will be my first time seeing the Man.

cheers!
b.s.

Rock & Roll Doctor said...

Hi
Juke Boy - what a man ! top blues from the big 'T'.
Thanks for the link by the way.

t said...

Oh hell nah, yah can't be takin' shots at BB...hell nah. Love this blog, but if you check out BB's '50s and early '60s work, the man was all ache and yearn, a vibrato that sized up your daughter and plenty sensual 'nuff lyrics. I can understand if you're talkin' 'bout BB perhaps, um, well, post-1970...but to demean via comparison to The Man after his prime-well, that doesn't even seem fair...sorry for the rant, but just had to respond to that.

t said...

Sorry, couldn't remember the name of the album I had that features his work from the '50s, thought it was Blues Masters, but it's Blues Kingpins: B.B. King, released on Virgin, features his work for the Bihari Brothers RPM and Kent labels, from 1950 until 1962. Maybe you won't like it, but for me, as a 31-year old, I saw what a performer BB was back in his heyday. Sorry to hijack your comments space again with this waffling Big Rock, I love the site, thanks for the music you've turned me on to.