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on January 4, 2013
I want to point out, for the sake of accuracy, which the record co. that released this album seemed to not care too much about, that my pal J.D. Nicholson was the keyboard player on this album (NOT J.D. Nichols!!).... in 1977 i drove cross country with that old scalliwag in a beat up van, with the esteemed Derek Semler and dearest Lake in another beat up jallopy, to be J. D.'s lily white back up group in South Central... oh, those were the days.... Big Mama sitting at my drumkit in J.D.'s living room playing better drums than i could dream of, at the time.... J.D. yelling up the stairs of my apartment, "Brian... you big ole lazy BABY!! get down here!!" THE REGIS CLUB!! the ROSE ROOM with the SIMMS TWINS singing sans a PA over an electric band.... occasional gunplay.... J. D. falling asleep at the keys and you'd know it when the CHORD OF DEATH came welling out of his amp...(one night i asked Big Mama, "you knew Janis Joplin din you?" she set me straight right away!! "JANIS JOPLIN KNEW ME!!! I WAS HER BIGGEST INFLUENCE!" and, of course she was dead on!)..... how sad we have lost this rich american musical heritage to the money grubbin' mega-crap producing machine that's been getting worse every year for too long.... i guess only an actual culture can produce music of any actual worth because our present consumer culture ain't doing the trick! anyway, i'm grateful that i was allowed a small part in the creation of a line of work that stretched from Charley Patton to Otis Rush... Baby Dodds to Jack DeJohnette...at the time there was no "alternative music" because, frankly, it was ALL ALTERNATIVE!! black blues, long haired white boys on sunflower seeds, jass, Buck Owens, Sun Ra, you name it.... Ike and Tina squallin' in their front yard in Laurel Canyon! it was all make it up as you go! now it's pretty much GO AS IT's ALL MADE UP FOR YOU! but, all that ranting aside, we lost Big Mama years ago... J.D. died in 1991, result of a tragic fire... oh, that i could recover that time to play that damn shuffle beat RIGHT, DAMMIT!!! (hats off to Dip, Little Willie, Bigfoot, etc) this album was recorded during Willie Mae's long decline but still, the grit and soul show through.... she couldn't hide.... she'd wander into a club in a pinstriped black suit with a wide brim hat and the only hint of the deep soul hidden inside was her soft lady gaze.... YOU AIN'T NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG!!!! DAMN RIGHT!!!