Release date: 5/2004
"So why do we play this kind of blues? From our first CD "Searching the Desert from the Blues" (Chicken Breath Records) in 1999, which was very much related to the guitar/harp country blues, via "Bootlegger's Blues" (RUF 2001) that brought us deeper into the story, we're now into the whole kaleidoscope of acoustic blues music. This time we brought the upright bass and the drums into the studio. And the accordion. And the piano. And no!! We're not infected by any, we said any, kind of fashion that the blues police give their thumbs up or down to. "Rooster Soup" is where we're at right now. In 2004. That's why we recorded it. Meeting Svenn the Engineer was great. So we were having fun with the guys in the studio. We were talking about understanding, love and friendship. This is not a 60`s kind of love expression, it's the real meaning of the word.
The blues music has changed during the years, and so have we. Society, politics, economics and human dignity are changing. So is the blues music. "Rooster Soup" is, like all the records we've done, a tribute to all the fine people that's fighting for their freedom. All over the world.
The music? It's all blues. But the blues has its brothers, sisters and cousins. And even aunts and uncles. From the deep blues of Robert "Rabbit" Brown in the 20's, to the rockin' side of Louis Prima in the 50's – it's all there! We hope you like the record, and the music. It's all from the very heart. No overdubs. No shit ...
So the essence is in other words:
It's all said in four lines:
Give me a beef steak when I'm hungry
Give me whiskey when I'm dry
Give me pretty women when I'm livin'
Give me heaven when I die.
Peace and love!"
Jolly Jumper & Big Moe
This is an unbelievable story about Elmore James and our good friend Sam Myers. The two friends played in the same band in the early 1950`s, but the money was not there, so they had to make and sell moonshine whiskey to get the bread. There were four categories: Red, white and brown. The brown was the best, and that was delivered to jukes, hotels, bars, and even to the police. The worst category was called rooster soup, and they gave that away to the alcoholics who lived in the area close to Pearl River just south of Jackson, Mississippi. The voices at the beginning of the song is from Charlie Bowman and his Brothers recording "Moonshiner and his Money" in 1929.
SHE'S MAYBE YOUR WIFE
The lyrics are all about the essence of the blues: The relationship between a man and a woman... and another woman. Piano man Cousin Joe Pleasant said it: "I had problems with my woman and I had problems with my wife." On this recording we present 18-year old piano player Daniel Røssing for the first time on CD, and... it won't be the last.
BIG MAMA'S DOOR
Our good friend Alvin won a W.C. Handy Award for "Best New Artist of The Year" in 1997 for the fantastic album with the same title. We ended up in a state of "Nu Blues" when we told Arne to play the drums like he wanted, Moe did his Son House way of raspy bottleneck guitar and Jolly put fire on the old harp amp.
DEATH DON'T HAVE NO MERCY
Reverend Gary Davies, born 1896 in South Carolina, is one of the guitar pickers we admire the most. He played in a string band already as a teenager in 1911, and the way he played was like a school for all acoustic blues pickers. Gary's ability on the guitar is unbelievable. This song has strong lyrics, and it shows Gary's religous side. He passed away in 1972 after a fatal heart attack while he was on his way to a concert in New Jersey.
HANG IT ON THE WALL
Charley Patton. The man. Between 1929 and 1934 Patton made at least 52 issued commercial recordings, and shows what southern black songsters and blues-singers were performing between 1915 and 1934. He played blues, spirituals and other religious songs, and even a few songs of Tin Pan Alley origin. "Hang it on the Wall" is a goodtime happy-go-lucky song that is always fun to play.
HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE
It is difficult to fiddle and sing at the same time, but Blind Alfred Reed did it very well. He was born on June 15th, 1880 in Floyd, Virginia, and recorded this beautiful song in New York City on December 4th, 1929, right after the Wall Street crash. We had no fiddle in the studio, but accordion player Edgar Heringstad dropped in and helped out with his masterfingers.
THE ALEXIS BLUES
The real vacation for two rare blues characters like us, is to sit down in the shadow of the sun at a pool bar in Greece reading a good book and drinkin' gin & tonic. A gesture to Alexis, his bar and hotel in Poros. A beautiful and warm hearted person who really deserves his own blues. We'll meet again ...
LITTLE CHILDREN'S BLUES
Although Leadbelly often used to play this song for the children, it's not at all a children's song. It's about trains, hoboing and the bluesmans way of travelling through his life. Leadbelly died in 1949 and left hundreds of songs behind him as a great legacy to us all. May he rest in peace!
Ray Charles recorded this one for Paramount in 1963. It's got a kind of waltzy rhythm, and we asked Edgar to play the accordion the rarest way he could. The song was written by Harlan Howard who wrote hundreds of songs for other artists during his lifetime. It's got a humorous touch that suites us fine.
BACK TO BASICS
Living the blues? Exactly. That's what we're doing. Don't need no fat cigar or fancy car. We are back to basics. We got pocket money, we got instruments, our wives and nice children. We even got new strings on the guitars. So what more do we need? Well, a little gin & tonic now and then, of course. We're always back to basics. And God bless us for that.
BILLY THE KID
This is an old traditional song about the most dangerous man in the West. No, we're not talking about George W. Bush, it's all about Billy the Kid, the young gunslinger who at last was shot down by sheriff Pat Garret in Silver City. These days, they're talking about digging up the Kid's body, because someone said the Kid lived until about 1950 .... and the never ending story goes on. Moe plays a small string instrument from Greece called Baglamàs on this song.
MY PENCIL WON'T WRITE NO MORE
Bo Carter's repertoire demonstrates his unusual flair for sexual motives and this is a very good un', recorded first time in 1931. As we always include one of his tunes at our live shows, we simply had to record one this time too. We are doing this song in the spirit of Mr. Chatmon ..... the humorous way with a splendid kazoo solo....
JAMES ALLEY BLUES
Learned this one from our good friend "Philadelphia" Jerry Ricks. The song is made by Richard "Rabbit" Brown, and he recorded it March 5th, 1927 in New Orleans. Brown was the first and most important New Orleans folk singer to record. He was famous for his dramatic guitar playing which closely resembles that of Blind Willie Johnson.
CLOSER TO THE BONE
This tune was recorded by the great Louis Prima in the 1957. Written by Louis "Grandpa" Jones, a high respected singer songwriter from Niagra, Kentucky. He got his nickname when he was 22 years old, all because he always sounded like a grouchy old man when he performed at Bradley Kincaid's early morning radio show in Boston. With the help of a friend, Jones further developed his Grandpa character by adding the wire-rimmed specs, fake moustache and painting lines on his face. Closer To The Bone (The sweeter is the meat) is a favourite in our live shows when bassman Johan Brandtzæg and drummer Arne Skognes are with us. It's really swingin'!
RAINY RAINY DAY
One of the finest bluesmen ever, Brownie McGhee, became a filmstar in Alan Parker's movie, Angel Heart in 1987. He acted an old voodoo bluesman with the name of Toots Sweet and with his band he performed this nice tune at the Red Rooster Bar in New Orleans. Songwriter, guitarist and singer Brownie McGhee is probably best remembered today as the longtime partner of harmonica player Sonny Terry. McGhee was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1915 and he came from a very musical family. His father, George "Duff" McGhee, a carpenter by trade, was a multi-instrumentalist who played in both black and interracial string bands. Brownie passed away in 1996.
- Rooster Soup
- She's Maybe Your Wife
- Big Mama's Door
- Death Don't Have No Mercy
- Hang It On The Wall
- How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live
- The Alexis Blues
- Little Children's Blues
- Back To Basics
- Billy The Kid
- My Pencil Won't Write No More
- James Alley Blues
- Closer To The Bone
- Rainy Rainy Day