“He may be a one-man show,” say RAW RAMP, “but you’d never guess, from the sheer compass, scope, and breadth of his adventurous mix of open-air blues, arrogant rock, & flirtatious folk roots.”
And now the incredibly creative multi-instrumentalist and assiduous re-worker of American roots ‘n’ blues sounds, Englishman MIKE ROSS has released Bukka White’s ‘Shake ‘Em On Down’ from a planned extension to his ‘Clovis Limits’ albums, this one titled “The Clovis Limit – Tennessee Transition” due for release on 28th May.
The single is out now (video shared below.)
“’Shake ‘Em On Down’ is a pre-war Delta blues stomper,” Mike explains. The number was recorded in Chicago in 1937. The phrase “shake ’em on down” comes (in part) from how the early musicians would extort money from any hobos they might happen across as they freighthopped their way north, during the early ‘30s.
British rock band Savoy Brown recorded the same song for their 1967 debut album.
a hard man living in hard times…
“It was written by Mississippi native (and BB King’s cousin) Bukka White. The lyrics tell a stark story of a hard man living in hard times.”
“Part of the idea for Tennessee Transition’ came about after listening to Bukka’s ‘Shake ‘Em On Down’ and becoming a bit obsessed with the idea of recording a version myself. It’s such a powerful song and has been done in all kinds of styles over the years…”
Mike’s version of the number is a zesty-picked sweetroot of insalubrious regret and woebegone plight; And it’s exceptionally-well handled by the musician who delivers the vocal with rabbit punch effectiveness… while his nimbly picked guitar is a rickrack of superb improv and brilliant brandish. Yep, this is quintessential!
Words: @neilmach 2021 ©
Main image: Neil Collins