Archive for the Jerry “Boogie” McCAIN Category

Jerry "Boogie" McCAIN – American Roots Blues 2002

Posted in BLUES, Jerry "Boogie" McCAIN on November 18, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Jerry “Boogie” McCAIN – American Roots Blues 2002


No matter how old he is, or how long of a layoff from music he has blues-harmonica master Jerry McCain always manages to put fresh energy and original songs into his music. This CD collects material from McCain’s tenure with Ichiban which produced four fine albums. McCain rarely does covers, and there is not a single one on this collection. Many of the songs deal with issues typical with blues singer (women, feelin’ bad etc.) but many also deal with subjects not common with blues singers (crack-houses, suing people, being spoiled etc.) which is a pleasant change. McCain’s harmonica playing is showcased on all the tracks as well, especially on the six-and-a-half minute instrumental “Tumblin’ in the Sea”. “Blues Tribute” is a nice tribute to some of McCain’s lost heroes and friends in the blues world.
It’s a shame Jerry McCain isn’t the superstar he should be. His songwriting has always been fantastic and many of his 50’s recordings should’ve been hits, while his harmonica playing ranks with the best in the world. But hey, the music world is an unpredictable and sometimes unfair thing. Hopefully this review may convince a few people to look into this one-of-a-kind blues legend.
By Sam Mosley.
Not only is Alabama-born Jerry McCain a terrific amplified harpist, he’s also one of the funniest songwriters working the genre and has been for more than four decades, as anyone who’s dug his out-of-control 1950s Excello rockers “My Next Door Neighbor” and “Trying to Please” will gladly testify. McCain was born on June 18, 1930, in Gadsden, AL. As a youngster, Little Walter was McCain’s main man on harp, an instrument McCain began playing at age five. Walter passed through Gadsden one fateful night in 1953 with his Aces, offering encouragement and a chance to jam at a local nightspot. That same year, “Boogie” McCain made his vinyl debut for Lillian McMurray’s Trumpet label in Jackson, MS, with “East of the Sun”/”Wine-O-Wine” and his brother, Walter McCain, playing drums on the sides. McCain’s 1954 Trumpet encore, “Stay Out of Automobiles”/”Love to Make Up,” was solid Southern blues, but barely hinted at the galvanic energy of his subsequent output.Jerry McCain signed with Ernie Young’s Nashville-based Excello logo in 1955, cutting “That’s What They Want” with his usual sidekick Christopher Collins on guitar. “Run, Uncle John! Run,””Trying to Please,” the torrid “My Next Door Neighbor” (a prior homemade demo version of the track that surfaced much later was even crazier), and “The Jig’s Up” ranked with McCain’s best 1955-1957 Excello efforts.The harpist is probably best-known for his two-sided 1960 gem for Rex Records, “She’s Tough”/”Steady.” The Fabulous Thunderbirds later appropriated the insinuating mid-tempo A-side, while McCain’s harp chops were strikingly showcased on the flip. McCain waxed three 45s for OKeh in Nashville in 1962, utilizing Music Row mainstays Floyd Cramer, Grady Martin, and Boots Randolph as his backup for “Red Top” and “Jet Stream.” A series of 1965-1968 sides for Stan Lewis’ Shreveport-based Jewel Records included a tailor-made tribute to the company, “728 Texas (Where the Action Is)” (Jewel’s address).After too many years spent in relative obscurity, McCain rejuvenated his fortunes in 1989 by signing with Ichiban Records and releasing Blues ‘n’ Stuff, followed three years later by Struttin’ My Stuff and Love Desperado. In 2000, McCain released an all-star album This Stuff Just Kills Me for the Jericho label featuring Johnnie Johnson, John Primer, Anson Funderburgh, Jimmie Vaughan, along with the Double Trouble rhythm section of Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton. McCain resurfaced on Ichiban in 2002 with the release of American Roots: Blues.
By Bill Dahl and Al Campbell, All Music Guide.
Steve McRay Piano- Keyboards, Organ (Hammond)
Jimmy O’Neill- Guitar,
Lebron Scott- Bass
Willie Alvarez- Guitar
Buzz Amato- Piano, Keyboards
Ernie Baker- Trumpet, Arranger
Bryan Cole- Arranger, Producer, Drums
Ted Dortch- Saxophone
Wayne Goins- Guitar, Guitar (Rhythm), Arranger
Matt Greeley- Percussion
Jerry “Boogie” McCain- Harmonica, Arranger, Vocals, Harp, Main Performer
01. Blues Tribute 4:44
02. Messin’ With Me Baby 4:28
03. Sue Somebody 5:44
04. Burn the Crackhouse Down 4:48
05. I’ve Got the Blues All Over Me 5:29
06. Brand New Mojo 5:00
07. Tumblin’ in the Sea 6:38
08. Spoiled Rotten to the Bone 5:07
09. Strut Your Stuff 4:39
10. Lucy Pearl 3:48
11. Love Makin’ Showdown 4:41
12. The World’s on Fire 4:12

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