[35] Baby Huey – The Living Legend

6 Dec

From the very first wail of Huey’s enormous voice, I know I’m going to love this ride.

The Living Legend

The Living Legend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The horns are tight and funky, the guitars loose and jangly, and the groove is rock steady but this recording should be all about the primal screams, shouts and grunts that go hand in hand with the expressive, melodious vocals.  It sounds like even James Brown was taking notes.

The vocals on the opening track are so impressive that I am initially shocked at the number of instrumental songs present.  That lasts only until I discover that the 400-pound body behind the voice died before the recording could be completed.

Not that there is a thing wrong with the instrumentals found here.  Just the guitar solos – cutting through the huge and uplifting wall of sound – are as fluid and expansive as anything I cut my musical teeth on and would have blown my mind the way Zeppelin, Floyd, Frampton and Hendrix did.

And speaking of Jimi, Huey’s name will always be linked to that of the original guitar hero, dying as they did in the same week.

Same week as Janis Joplin, for that matter.

At least in this case I begin to get an answer to my recurring question – why isn’t this artist or that better known?  Given the choice of listening to Jimi, Janis or Huey sing there really is no contest, but Huey was dead before ever really hitting the big time, while the others were arguably at the peak of their popularity.

Here is another recording I had to find on vinyl since it seems all but unavailable any other way.  But this may have heightened the experience, since I can vividly imagine listening to Huey and his Babysitters around a record player in the living room of one of my best friends in High School, marveling at everything that is going on here.

The Living Legend hits all of the sounds and influences we loved back then, and it is far from shabby today.  It is music for teenagers and the young at heart, a roadmap for learning and growing – hopeful, articulate and with that all important whiff of danger, of parental disapproval.

No more borrowing a turntable, though.  After this, the second of thirty-five albums on the list to date that I have heard and thoroughly enjoyed at 33 rpm, I am convinced I need to own my own.

Owned before blogging? No. (2 of 35. 6%)
Heard before blogging? No. (4 of 35. 11%)
Recommend? Yes. (29 of 35. 83%)

Next Week: Johann Sebastian Bach – The Brandenburg Concertos

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One Response to “[35] Baby Huey – The Living Legend”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [45] The Balfa Brothers – Play Traditional Cajun Music | . . . To Hear Before I Blog - February 14, 2014

    […] the switch from the As to the Bs, I also made the switch from purchasing physical CDs (and records), to streaming almost everything […]

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