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Thursday, June 02, 2005

This is one of my sweeter LP scores...Howlin' Wolf's first LP from 1958 "Moanin' in the Moonlight" Chess LP 1434.. I saw this was pretty banged up but for 50 cents decided what the heck... well, it plays just fine with surface noise here or there but with the blues being banged up seems to detract a lot less than say with jazz.. in fact its almost the way it should sound!.. in any case this record has really turned me on to the blues again...

this is a hard to come by record and a foundational piece for any decent music collection... 12 early Howlin Wolf classics originally out in the 1950s on 78rpm discs are compiled here for the first time on an LP... every song is a classic of sorts....."smokestack lightnin" was described by the doors ray manzarek as: "this is voodoo. this is africa brought to the new world. this is the music of 10,000 years. feel it!".indeed!....while wolf himself described the origins of the song as "we used to sit out in the country and see the trains go by, watch the sparks come out of the smokestack. that was smokestack lightning."

since purchasing this record i've been listening to it pretty much nonstop..its very strong stuff..there's a lot of power or PO-WAH in it...howlin wolf's vocals are just the real rough and tough unvarnished truth... the sound of some point way back when i had bought a 3 cd box set of howlin wolf's chess stuff and barely listened to it demonstrating once again that sometimes you're ready for the music and sometimes you ain't.... my first exposure to the wolf was probably through one of his followers, lucinda williams, who covered "i asked for water (she gave me gasoline", found on this lp, on her eponymous 1987 lucinda concerts sometimes the PA system cranks out wolf before she goes on stage...the "moanin' in the moonlight" album also includes one of the scariest vocal performances i have yet to hear on "evil".. and "how many more years" which to me sounds a lot like zep's "how many more times" but the word on the street is its wolf's "no place to go", also on this LP, that is the source for "how many more times" with the bass line copped from the animals cover of "smokestack lightnin"... you follow that?... anyways search this one out or do yourself a favor and just get the Chess Box..

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