365 Days of Album Recommendations – Jan 23

John Mooney – Comin’ Your Way

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There ain’t a lot of musicianers out there about whom you’d dare to say they’re carryin’ on the spirit of Son House … but John Mooney is, and he’s been doin’ it since this album. It was his debut, and it came out on Blind Pig Records in 1979.

John knew Son House. I s’pect that helped.

This album—and “Chops not Chaps” by Roy Rogers—were WHY I wanted to sign with Blind Pig Records. Blind Pig Records was the only label I wanted to sign with. For better or for worse, they were the only label I even tried to get signed with. And through sickness and in health, sign with them I did.

John Mooney does it all on this album. It’s funky, it’s raggy, it’s delta, and it’s blues. He slides the shit out of a National, hollers the shit out of his throat, just kills “Pony Blues,” and straight up nails a Leon Redbone-meets-Blind Boy Fuller take on “Shake Hands and Tell Me Goodbye” by The Mississippi Sheiks, one of my favorite tunes of all time.

My favorite cut here? Hard to say. I love his take on “Stop That Thing” by Sleepy John Estes. The groove on “I’m Mad” is just absurd. Crazy good arrangement of “Move to Louisiana” in which Mooney very convincingly New Orleanses up Charley Patton’s take on “Move to Alabama.”

But recommended track to start with? Gotta stick with “Pony Blues.” Cuz honestly, when I heard him do it, I kind of finally got a little bit closer to believin’ I might be able to do it … I’m still tryin’, and I owe John Mooney a lot for that … It’s just a timelessly excellent performance.


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