C.W. Stoneking: King Hokum (Inertia)

 |   |  <1 min read

C.W. Stoneking: King Hokum (Inertia)

Okay, this one had me stumped -- and increasingly impressed. The guy on the black'n'white cover sitting outside a clapboard shack is a round-faced thirty something white guy, but the guy singing on the album is quite obviously a sixtysomething black guy from somewhere in the Old South, maybe even recorded in the Thirties.

I could only think the cover was some kind of joke. Fact is that the "sixtysomething black guy" is the white guy on the cover, he is Stoneking from Footscray near Melbourne who plays banjo, dobro and guitar, and has a band which includes tuba, clarinet, trombone, sousaphone and double bass.

That's a pretty authentic line-up of instruments for his original songs which are located right at the heart of jazz-blues in the Twenties and Thirties. These immediately engaging songs have titles like Charley Bostocks Blues, Goin' The Country, Bad Luck Everywhere You Go, Handyman Blues and Rich Man Blues, all titles which could have come from 78s.

Stoneking isn't parodying or even ripping off this music, he's obviously a genuine aficionado who comes from within the genre with love and respect. He's also made a damn fine album of memorable songs, some a bit raunchy in that old heavy-innuendo style, which is at first bewildering.

You may start by asking, "Why?" but by the end you'll be saying "Wow".

Terrific stuff.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Blues articles index

Savoy Brown: Voodoo Moon (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Savoy Brown: Voodoo Moon (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Many years ago Pete Frame would produce books of meticulously drawn family trees of rock bands. His Sabbath Bloody Sabbath tree filled two tightly written gatefold A5 pages and traced Black Sabbath... > Read more

JAMES “WEE WILLIE” WAYNE CONSIDERED (2015): Not tending to his business

JAMES “WEE WILLIE” WAYNE CONSIDERED (2015): Not tending to his business

Such mystery as there is about rhythm'n'blues singer James Wayne is compounded by the well-meaning writer of the liner notes to the 1980 Dutch compilation Travelin' From Texas to New Orleans,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SJD and Shayne Carter, Mercury Theatre, Auckland, October 10 2015

SJD and Shayne Carter, Mercury Theatre, Auckland, October 10 2015

In his funny, insightful and barely disguised autobiographical novel The Big Wheel of 1990, Bruce Thomas – then the former bassist with Elvis Costello's Attractions – tells of... > Read more

TAR, a film by 12 DIRECTORS

TAR, a film by 12 DIRECTORS

A visual ode to memory, love, loss of innocence and the spectre of impending death because of the events at Three Mile Island, this film is an elusive construction drawing on the poems of the... > Read more