East St. Louis blues boss Boo Boo Davis continues to spend his quarantine time building a new album with Netherlands-based ElectroBluesSociety (Jan Mittendorp + Jasper Mortier) one track at time. Just the other day, the potent transatlantic collaborators dropped their fourth such Covid track. (We discussed some of the prior singles here and here).
“It’s A Sad Thing” starts with a crunchy-as-fried-chicken guitar riff, and Davis’ swaggering howlin’ and blues harp wailing does the rest. As the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion did with RL Burnside, Boo Boo and the ElectroBluesSociety makes obvious the strong relation between the blues and rawer forms of rock, making the two forms of music sound as one.
As usual, Black and Tan Records is distributing ElectroBluesSociety this hot new track from Boo Boo Davis and the ElectroBluesSociety.
Just yesterday KuvVer Records dropped a nifty little EP on us, one with the living blues icon Boo Davis performing some trusty blues covers. Chicago Blues Covers puts in a single release a collection of tunes all recorded one afternoon in 2018, and released as singles over the next year. This plainly titled EP delivers songs that in most bluesman’s hands might be a little tired and pedestrian, but this is Boo Boo Davis we’re talking about here, a character as colorful as Howlin’ Wolf which all comes out in his authentic delivery. Hell, almost as if to underscore his kinship with that original blues giant, most of these seven songs like “Little Red Rooster” were made famous by the former Chester Arthur Burnett. Davis is backed by the ElectroBluesSociety (or should I say, the ElectroBluesSociety is backed by Davis?), a tidy little unit made up of Jan Mittendorp on guitar and Jasper Mortier and drums and bass. With Boo Boo handling the singing and the blues harp, this music needs nothing else. You can hear Davis’ echoed and looped in the background but otherwise, this is pretty much like it would be heard in a nightclub. And maybe you heard these songs many times before, but not in the way Davis & Company plays/slays ‘em. “Evil” is set apart by stomp on the two and four and Davis’ singing the song like a man possessed. On “Smokestack Lightnin’,” Boo Boo howls and moans with the fervor of a man fifty years younger. Davis takes his time getting started on “Back Door Man” to allow Mittendorp to noodle around with some biting lines, as the track is drenched in electronically-induced some psychedelic haze. “How Many More Years” sounds deadlier with Davis’ harmonica altered to resemble an organ, and Mittendorp’s slide sets the vintage feeling for Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom.” The band shuffles through “Tell Me” as Davis squeals on that harmonica with mid-century authenticity. Then again, everything Boo Boo Davis plays is authentic. And with the sympathetic backing of ElectroBluesSociety, Chicago Blues Covers is faithful in fanning the blues flame in the way that only Davis can do it.