Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Screamin' Jay Hawkins|
She Put the Wammee on Me
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
If Wine's Gonna Kill Me I Don't Mind Dyin'
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those with a burgeoning casual interest in the eccentric Screamin' Jay will probably scan the track listing of this disc and decide against buying it since it doesn't have his most famous recording, "I Put A Spell On You", and then settle for either "Voodoo Jive" or "Cow Fingers...", both better suited as Greatest Hits collections. But if that's the case, please come back to "Wammee" after Jay works his way into your heart, because this just might be his best compilation top to bottom.It definitely is a much more eclectic cross section of his career, beginning with the sinewy R&B of the Pre-Spell years, working towards that eventuality but without the over the top bizarre stylings he'd become famous for. The result is incredible - great songs, powerhouse singing and a band that will burn your speakers to ashes. "Please Try To Understand" and "You're All Of My Life To Me" are two scorching ballads deep in a groove from the first notes, and driven home by his bone rattling baritone. The latter cut especially surprises when you realize there's a touching love song buried in the smoky juke joint feel.The rest of the disc, mostly cuts from the 60's, doesn't let up either and proves Jay could've been taken seriously both as a singer and a writer if his normal sound wasn't so abnormal to virgin ears. "Just Don't Care" from '62 exemplifies this straightforward rockin' approach that should've been successful but by that time all anyone wanted was more "Spells". "I Hear Voices" is one of his best in that vein, but it too could not find a wider market, relegating Hawkins to an eternity as a cult legend. He was far from washed up though as the last two cuts from 1970 prove. Both a cover of Paul McCartney's "Monkberry Moon Delight" and the instrumental "Sweet Ginny" (named for Jay's wife) are classics with Jay shining on piano.The liner notes by Cliff White (the best in the biz at that job) are the most entertaining you'll ever find and worth the price by themselves, even if they - purposefully - don't reveal much, but like Jay's music, it's not what he's saying but how it's being said that counts. After awhile, "Wammee" will be spinning in your CD player more than any mere Greatest Hits album, guaranteed.Consider yourself Wammee'd!"
FINALLY! Jay's 1970 version of Monkberry Moon Delight!
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I met Screamin Jay in the early 80's at a show and asked him if he would play his version of "Monkberry Moon Delight"."I don't do that song no more," he growled. "I only recorded that song because Paul McCartney begged me to. Paul sent me a demo and said he was thinking of me when he wrote that song, so as a favor to him, I recorded it. But when I was singing it, I realized that song is a DRUG song, and I don't do no DRUG songs!"Well, although Jay felt he had to change the lyric from "smokin' Monkberry Moon Delight" to "drinkin' Monkberry Moon Delight", he still gave the song a fabulous reading, replete with his trademark demonic laughs, and voodoo jive gibberish.What's really striking is how close he adhered to Paul's arrangement, right down to the girl singers in the background. In fact, I have to wonder whether that might actually be Linda McCartney's voice and maybe Jay just sang over the demo tracks that Paul sent him. Remember this was 1970, the Beatles had just broken up and Paul's version of this song came out this same year on the RAM lp.In fact, out of all Paul's solo songs, I always thought this one sounded the most like a BEATLES tune.Anyway Jay's version is a rare gem which has been out of print for 28 years and you won't find it anywhere else but on this CD!"