Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Blues Came Down From Nutley N.J.: The Next Generation

[I first posted this in 2010; I'm re-upping it now because a) the original DivShare links have gone bye-bye and b) because it's going to piss the living shit out of one of the most annoying ignoramus philistine snob assholes I ever encountered. Enjoy! -- S.S.]

Now it can be told: We -- by which I mean my old pal from my college rock band Tony Forte and moi -- taught legendary bluesman Slim Harpo ("Scratch My Back," "Hip Shake," "I'm a King Bee," etc) everything he knew.

From late 1968, here's our unplugged publishing demo version of Tony's "Big Black Car." I'm on bass; Tony's on everything else.

And from sometime in early 1969, here's the aforementioned legendary bluesman with the version he glommed from ours. This is from a recently transferred acetate (the only known surviving copy); please pardon the scratches and other anomalies but (incredibly enough) this is a genuine piece of history which has never been heard before, even by hardcore blues collectors. Slim's on vocals and harp (obviously); the backup guys are the then pit band for the Broadway production of Hair.

And finally, from 1974, here's "Big Black Car" again in the version The Hounds, my aforementioned college rock band, used to open our sets with for years. For those keeping score, I'm the electric guitar on the left channel; Tony's on the right.

The folk process at work, ladies and gentleman.


Ken J Xenozar said...

Nice groove. A little over-enunciated on the vocal, IMHO, on that last version. But it rocks.

steve simels said...

I agree on the vocal, BTW, but still -- thanks.

Of course, we were white people -- what else did you expect?

pete said...

I'm not worthy.

FD13NYC said...

Love the lineage, good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Who's playing bass on the Hounds cut?

steve simels said...

A great guy named John Faison. I can't tell you how much I've stolen from him over the years.

I'm gonna post a live video of us at Max's Kansas City shortly where you can see what a genius he is....