THE BEAT DADDYS
HOODOO THAT WE DO
MELROSE HILL RECORDS MHR 001
THESE CHAINS–SORRY–YOU MADE ME CRY–THE MOMENT–PIE OR CAKE–HOODOO WOMAN–D. U. I LOVE–BEEN THINKIN’–LUCK’S GOT TO CHANGE–THE BLUES CAN HEAL YA–I NEED A WOMAN
The Beat Daddys consist of core members Larry Grisham (a relative of Merle Travis) and Tommy Stillwell. As childhood friends, they bonded over their love of music and started this band in 1986. Early on, they recorded under the Malaco/Waldoxy umbrella, but creative differences led to their dissolution, and both parties moved south. Larry Grisham ended up in the Gulf Coast region, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina led to both men reconnecting as a band. Their creative fires spiked, and the result is their latest set, “Hoodoo That We Do.”
The liner notes indicate that this CD was recorded at the Twin Lakes Sound Studios in Owensboro, KY, but, fans, for all intents and purposes, it could’ve easily been done at midnight on the last full moon down at the intersection of Mississippi highways 61 and 49. Yep, this one is full of dark, brooding, pounding, grooves that would make Robert Johnson proud.
Fueled by Larry’s vocals and harp, and Tommy’s crying guitars, this one is a Delta-fied blues lover’s dream. Creaking chains kick things off, as Larry is begging for redemption “down at the river” because “These Chains are killing me,” with Tommy’s hellhound slide adding to the Crossroads vibe. A no-good lover has Larry telling her “You Made Me Cry in the morning, you drove me crazy every night,” before finally giving up on her. That vibe continues with the minor-key ode to a man who’s finally “over” her, “The Moment.” It features fine organ from Patrick Preston, also.
We had three favorites, too. Larry gets stopped by the cops, and admits that “I was driving under the influence of love,” aptly-titled “D. U. I. Love.” A raucous, stop-time romper is “Pie Or Cake,” as Larry’s harp gets a workout as he spins the tale of the “skills” of his latest lover! And, another upbeat shuffle is done in tribute to B. B., where the fellows make a statement that is sho’ nuff true–“The Blues Can Heal Ya!”
The Beat Daddys sum it all up by saying, “sometimes, you have to step outside yourself to see who you really are.” That’s a great lyric, and it fits these guys perfectly–fate brought ’em back together, and “Hoodoo That We Do” is the fine result! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.