Saturday, October 16, 2021

Music Reviews: Tarheel Slim -"I've Got You Covered/Wildcat Tamer"

Since the pandemic begun I've been listening to more old school original rock-n-roll, primarily though not exclusively created by Black people. There are many different iterations of this music. 
As mentioned before on this blog during the time much of this music was created and performed, the music definitions of today had not been created. 
A person might record a slow blues for one market, an uptempo rocker for a different market, a lugubrious plodding gospel tune for the church crowd, a jazzy piece showing off to fellow musicians, or a horn heavy churner for people who just wanted to dance.
So you can call this music rock-n-roll, jump blues, rockabilly, whatever. I just like it. I like to think myself well versed in this stuff but I have been surprised and humbled and even a little angered to discover just how much of this music I hadn't heard before.
One musician I discovered was Tarheel Slim, or as his birth certificate read, Allen Bunn. As his nickname indicates, Bunn hailed from the great state of North Carolina. 
Born in 1932 the baritone singer and guitarist had hits in various genres, including gospel, pop, doo-wop, blues, rock-n-roll, jump blues, rockabilly, and soul. There are two songs of his which stood out to me on the collections I purchased.
The first is "I've Got You Covered". This is a song about infidelity, which is pretty common in blues/early rock-n-roll. It's unusual in that it's told from the perspective of the man who's being cheated on and not as is more common, the man who is doing the cheating. The anger is expressed not at the unfaithful woman but at the other man.  The song is fairly explicit for the times as to what the aggrieved man tends to do to the dirty dog who's been messing with his lady. In contrast to the threatening lyrics Bunn's voice is as smooth as butter. He's calm. He's crooning. Perhaps the song's protagonist is so angry he's gone into a tranquil fury?

I've Got You Covered
You've been fooling with my woman, sleeping in my bed (X2)
You've been going to my table, eating up my bread
Now the back door is barred
The windows are nailed down
Come out through the front door
Let's have a showdown
Cause you've got too much nerve for any man your size
Come out with your hands up if you want to stay alive
I'm waiting with a switchblade and a .44 gun (X2)
I'm gonna cut you if you stand still, shoot you if you run
I walk out thru the front door, you walk in the back
Go to my wardrobe, get as sharp as a tack!
You act to me as if you think you're home
You shave with my razor, comb your hair with my comb

The second song I really liked was the faster rocker "Wildcat Tamer". The singer boasts that he's trained lions in the jungle, wild horses on the range and expects that when he gets the lady he's after there's going to be a great big change. This kind of good natured repartee between men and women doesn't seem to exist in a lot of today's music. There's a lot of tremolo on this song.

Wildcat Tamer
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