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

BRUCE IGLAUER OF ALLIGATOR RECORDS: The bossman of the blues

BRUCE IGLAUER OF ALLIGATOR RECORDS: The bossman of the blues

On a per head of population basis, Bruce Iglauer – the founder of Alligator Records – has been the man who has let you hear the real minority stuff. As he said when we spoke in... > Read more

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Delta Blues, Reborn and Remastered (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Delta Blues, Reborn and Remastered (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Tommy Johnson is one of the more interesting figures in the shadowland of the Delta blues of the Twenties: he recorded fewer songs than the acclaimed Robert Johnson who was no relation (just 16... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (1977)

Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (1977)

In the rush to acclaim Kraftwerk as electro-pioneers, it is often overlooked how they grew out of the German avant-garde/post-hippie prog-rock scene. As Organisation and on the first two Kraftwerk... > Read more

Various Artists: Three Day Week (Ace/Border)

Various Artists: Three Day Week (Ace/Border)

Think of the musical landscape of Britain in the early Seventies: the glam-camp of Bowie and T Rex and Wizzard; prog-rock by Genesis and the Moody Blues, the heavy boots of Led Zeppelin, Black... > Read more