Sunday, October 13, 2013


Doing some fix it stuff around the squalor here today, I slapped some music on, as a soundtrack to the bodily injury that normally occurs during these rare fits of productivity. As happens to me, and I'm sure you too, I heard a song that I haven't heard it a while and had forgotten how badass it was. The song was Rosco Gordon's "Booted". It was recorded at Sun Studios in 1952, and then licensed to both Chess and RPM, with both labels releasing it. (The two labels would later negotiate a deal where RPM would get exclusive rights to Gordon's stuff and Chess would get another Sun artist, Howlin' Wolf. Yeah, that worked out nicely for Chess.)

"Booted" stood out today, for several reasons. It's early and raw, two of my favorite flavors. I like Rosco Gordon's music, particularly his stuff recorded at Sun. That would be enough, but on this one, Gordon's normally lazy delivery is abnormally lazy. In parts, he sounds like he's half drunk. On the line, "I'm gonna take out my knife and operate," which is one of the catchiest badass lines ever, he sounds absolutely shitfaced. Just listen to it. Imagine a guy, pissed off because he and his wife have split, as he sucks down a bottle of bravery. Not that the music isn't enough. The bang the shit of them sound of the drums, Gordon's piano style (accents on the off beat), the filthy sax solo; it's all there. 

As you might know, Gordon's style, oft referred to as "Rosco's Rhythm", influenced early bluebeat and ska players. Theo Beckford was one of the earliest, so there's a song by him down there. He's today's bonus shake.

Rosco Gordon - Booted mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu
Rosco Gordon - No More Doggin mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu
Rosco Gordon - Wise To You Baby mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu
Theophilus Beckford - Easy Snappin' (streaming) at YouTube
Rosco Rhythm at Boogie Woogie Flu Great piece, more music.
Rosco Gordon - Excellent bio at The Hound Blog (Note: Song links on the post are dead)

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