Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cover Song Cage Match #2

OK Turkeynecks, gather ‘round, ‘coz it’s time for another Cover Song Cage Match. The Hillybilly Jim collector card above ought to give some idea of #2’s general theme⎯Except for the almighty Mud, we got a regular hillbilly Rumble Match. Just who gets on the wrong end of the elbow drop⎯the original, or the copier? You be the judge. Feel free to cast your vote using the Comments tool.

First up is Jody Reynolds’ “Tight Capris,” the great flipside to “Endless Sleep,” on the Demon label (offering the “Highest in Fi”), from 1958. That's the great Al Casey, of "Surfin' Hootenanny" fame, playing guitar there. The Challenger: the Gibson Brothers’ version, attempted thirty years later, from their Homestead LP Dedicated Fool. One thing I loved about those Gibson Bros records: they made me feel like even I could play guitar with them! Now that’s punk!

Up next is Johnny Horton’s “I’m Coming Home,” A-side to the more famous flip “I Got a Hole in My Pirogue,” from ’57 on Columbia, vs. Dexter Romweber, going solo, post-Flat Duo Jets, with his version “Comin’ Home” from his Folk Songs CD, from 1996.

And finally, probably the closest contest on this evening's card, Muddy Waters performing “I Got My Mojo Working” at the 1960 Newport Jazz Fest, vs. Roy Head & the Traits’ pretty ace version, from the same year, for Renner Records. Hard to step to the Mud in his prime, with that band that included Otis Spann, James Cotton, & Pat “I’m Gonna Murder My Baby” Hare, but the Traits give it a few chops to the obliques.

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