Friday, October 01, 2004
Photorealistic subway seats by Doug Wada
We stay bringin' that
glisten: Soul Hut 3
Bill Black's Combo - "Tequila"
O Sez: Bill Black's history as a rockabilly bassist (who most famously played for Elvis) is already legendary enough in music circles but he was more commercially successful with his Combo, churning out instrumental albums in the early '60s before passing away from cancer in 1965. This didn't stop the group - Ace Cannon took over Black's position and they kept cutting albums well into the mid-1970s. This album has some impressively funky material, including one cut called "Soul Rockin'" but what I like about their cover of "Tequila" is that it's doubly versatile. It's familiar enough to people who know this mega-hit party song that they can get into but it's different enough to perk your interest in a track most people have heard hundreds of times. Sure, it's still cheesy but it's cheesy with a batucada rhythm slipped in.
J Sez: It takes a lot of work to reclaim this from Pee Wee but this is how you do it. "Tequila" has always been about the build up to the only vocal, the count down to the cry of TEQUILA! With this version, there's that little twist on the sax solo and the wild shakashakashaka beat that drives this up and over the hill and into the promised land. Makes a boy wanna finish the bottle and eat the worm.
But now I wanna keep that badass latin beat going. So let's all get on the A train and head uptown with Joe Bataan!
Joe Bataan - "Subway Joe"
J Sez: Ah, a handclap driven beat! Beyonce and Lil' Kim have found they can run a whole song based on that one cadence; Bataan's happy to hit it and then ramp it up into hardcore joy territory, where bongos and congas and maracas and cowbells live. And those horns!
Lyrically, "Subway Joe" is a romp: woman on the train persuades man to give up his seat under the threat of bodily harm and when he tries to reclaim his perch, the bird "smacks me on my head, kicked me on my knees and said "Mister you're dead if you mess with me!" To anybody who's ever had to stand for an hour in a crowded car while your stomach is a-grumblin' for Chinese food, this'll ring yer bell.
Just a seriously FUN little ditty; admittedly more Summer than early Fall but when you're having this good of a time, you're hanging with a man for all seasons.
There's several options if you'd like to find more tracks like this. You could buy "Big Bad Boogaloo", an amazing compilation of 60's era New York Latin Soul from Amazon; you could buy "Subway Joe/Gypsy Woman", a double album disc reissue of Bataan's work from Amazon or you could buy Bataan's album "Subway Joe" on vinyl, from Vinyl!
Read this bio on Joe.