Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup review…March 20, 2013…

ARTHUR “BIG BOY” CRUDUP

SUNNY ROAD

DELMARK RECORDS  DE–827

SUNNY ROAD–PLEASE DON”T LEAVE ME WITH THE BLUES–TRYING TO TAKE ME FOR A RIDE–SHE GIVES ME A THRILL–MISTAKE I MADE IN L.A.–THE ONE THAT I LOVE–I HAVE CALLED UP CHINA–I’M LEAVIN’ TOWN–STUDIO CHATTER WITH BOB KOESTER–ALL I GOT IS GONE

The good folks at Delmark Records have done it again!  This time, it is a long-lost recording of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (pronounced “CRUDE-up”) on vocal and guitar, laid down at Sound Studio in Chicago on November 10, 1969.  Also of note to blues fans is that Crudup is joined on these nine originals by Jimmy Dawkins on three cuts on guitar, and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith on drums throughout.

On this set, Crudup is in fine voice, evoking that power and rich tone that made him a favorite of Elvis Presley as well as one of the founding fathers of rock and roll.  (Note to purists and collectors–on seven cuts, Arthur’s guitar is amped thru the same type Leslie speaker that Buddy Guy used on the “Hoodoo Man” sessions to achieve that “fuzzy” tone.)

 

The recent passing of Arthur’s wife left him in a rather melancholy mood at the time of this recording, and, strangely, his loss seemed to make his blues even more powerful.  He kicks off with a classic “leavin” song, “goin’ down that Sunny Road.”  A different take on love songs is the “Mistake I Made In L.A.,” while “I Have Called Up China” features the understated guitar of Jimmy Dawkins.  There is also an interesting bit of studio banter between Bob Koester and Crudup regarding the choice of songs.  Bob wanted Arthur to do a “swing” or uptempo blues, but, as you can hear in Arthur’s voice, he just wasn’t “feeling it.”  After that, Crudup audibly breaks down, and begins the set-closer, which serves as our favorite, “All I Have Is Gone.”  The loss of his wife overcomes him on this cut, and inspires a deeply-emotional vocal read.

 

It has often been said that the blues depends on the power and scope of the human voice more than any other instrument, and Arthur Crudup certainly possessed one of the riches and purest blues voices ever recorded.  He would record one more album, but it was not released in the USA, so “Sunny Road” becomes the final chapter of this great bluesman’s career.   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: