Thursday, July 16, 2009
Jungle Blues by C.W. Stoneking
It took me about 6 months to finally locate a source in the U.S. who was selling Aussie bluesman C.W. Stoneking’s 2nd CD, Jungle Blues, on King Hokum Records.
In fact, the first time I tried to contact the musician in Australia I was told he only released his albums on vinyl because of his disdain for the digital medium. That statement should give you an idea of what to expect from this concept album that chronicles the performer’s mythical boat trip that starts with him getting dragged to Africa by 4 scientists who admired his tales of old-time blues and working as a root doctor’s assistant in New Orleans. His character gets shipwrecked, washes up on the shores of the Dark Continent, defeats a talking lion who tries to eat him, and returns with a CD full of wondrous stories and songs.
Musically, there’s yodeling, carnival barking, a Moroccan influenced lullaby, tango, a jail house blues lament, a crying baby, sousaphones, electric banjo, washboard, violas and violins in addition to the traditional brass, drum and acoustic guitar. Additionally, C.W. Stoneking himself sounds like he’s trying to sing without losing any of his chaw.
The end result is a brilliant CD that produces the amazing I Heard the Marching of the Drums that Sharon Davis choreographed here…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR1jvBPtEWQ . Housebound Blues is another new favorite in my DJ tool bag.
Also check out C.W.’s CD King Hokum to hear the bawdy “You Took My Thing and Put It In Your Place” I played @ Emerald City Blues. It’s a shame about that poor ant eater. Additionally, his original song Don't Go Dancin' Down the Darktown Strutter's Ball is a nice contrast to the song you'd be expecting.