Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Wednesday Is Blues Day?!?
Hop Wilson - My Woman Has a Black Cat Bone
First it's gospel on Monday, and now it's blues on Wednesday. Has your ever-lovin' Stepfather of Soul gone crazy? No, I just plays 'em as I feel 'em, and today some lap steel blues is just what the doctor ordered.
Harding "Hop" Wilson's blues sides of the late '50s and early '60s were distinguished by their unique guitar solos, which were the result of Wilson's playing a table steel guitar rather than a regular axe. That instrument gave his solos a wild, watery sound that stood out from that of his peers, even those who played with a slide. Hop was based in Houston, and his dislike of touring caused Wilson's fame to be limited mostly to his home city, where he worked until his death in 1975. Wilson's recordings were similarly limited, as the full extent of Wilson's recorded output were some sides for Goldband made in 1957 and some others for Trey and Ivory from 1960 and 1961, all of which have been comped on CDs such as Ace's Steel Guitar Flash! and Bullseye Blues's Houston Ghetto Blues, from which today's selection comes. "My Woman Has a Black Cat Bone" was one of Wilson's signature tunes, and Wilson lays down the shuffler with dry vocals that are punctuated by his unique guitar sound. Although Wilson's national fame was virtually non-existent, his influence in Houston is reflected by the fact that Texas bluesmen Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland and Robert Cray recorded "Black Cat Bone" for their Showdown! album, taking a moment to honor Wilson in the song's spoken intro.