Thursday, December 06, 2007

Funky Down Easy With The Boogie Man!

Jerry McCain - Funky Down Easy

Blues singer/harmonica man Jerry "Boogie" McCain has appeared once before on this blog, and he makes a long-overdue second appearance with today's selection. McCain's very interesting story is covered in this great Blues World profile, and I encourage you take some time to read this lengthy piece, which touches not only on the ups and downs of McCain's career but also stories of several blues-related record companies, from Excello to Ichiban.

I bought a copy of McCain's Royal American 45 "Welfare Cadillac Blues" b/w "Funky Down Easy" at the Atlanta Record Fair a few weeks ago after hearing "Funky Down Easy" on a portable phonograph at the event. As noted in the Blues World article, "Welfare Cadillac Blues" was a swipe at the right-wing country hit "Welfare Cadillac," which had been recently recorded by Guy Drake and then covered by Travis Bell. Considering that the Drake record came out on Royal American also, I suppose that the label owners didn't quite "get" the satire McCain intended, or maybe they didn't care. At any rate, the flip is anything but satire. "Funky Down Easy" borrows Little Walter's "Mellow Down Easy" for its title and chorus but uses its funky soul groove to provide a foundation for McCain to name-check a lot of big names in soul at the time and to just sling some nice "dance record" lyrics. I was planning to save this one for the next edition of the podcast, but this is just too good to sit on for a few weeks.

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