Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Raunchy Food Blues - OC Weekly
Five Platters of Raunchy Food Blues
As we discovered in an earlier post, many songs about food are mostly about trying to get laid but it would appear for a lot of early blues musicians every song about food was about sex.
Now perhaps it's just my prurient imagination and I'm misinterpreting these great blues classics but when a man sings "I tasted last night, the night before. If I keep this appetite I'm going to taste a little more," he is probably not referring to sitting at the dinner table.
Here are five raunchy blues classics that might inspire you to put on a bib of your own.
Tampa Red, "What is that Tastes Like Gravy"
"Now the gal that let me taste it, they put her in jail but she didn't need nothing to go her bail. She had stuff tastes like gravy and I bet you don't know." Tampa Red, who confusingly made a name for himself in Chicago, not only sang this little ditty but also gave us "Tight Like That" and "Let Me Play With Your Poodle." It is not likely he's singing about putting things on mashed potatoes.
Blind Boy Fuller & Sonny Terry, "I Want Some of Your Pie"
"You got to give me some of it 'fore you give it all away." As a blind, blues-slinging jailbird Fuller had limited options for a career. In just five years in the mid 30s he recorded over 120 songs including this sly ode to a rather popular lady with an assist from fellow blind blues legend Sonny Terry.
Bessie Smith, "Nobody Can Bake A Sweet Jelly Roll Like Mine"
"It's worth lots of dough, the boys tell me so. It's fresh every day, you'll hear 'em all say." The double entendres weren't limited to dirty old men. There was also room for dirty old women. Blues shouter Bessie Smith was one of the most influential early female vocalists and this slow jam proves she could wink and nod as well as any of her male counterparts.
Memphis Minnie, "My Butcher Man"
"Butcher man, in the morning, won't you please stop by my house. I've got enough butcherin' for you to do if you promise me you just only hush your mouth." Memphis Minnie could not only sing but she could wield a mean guitar. Here she makes a convincing argument for shopping local.
Bo Carter, "Banana in your Fruit Basket"
"Now I got the dasher, my baby got the churn. We gonna churn, churn, churn until the butter come." This one is just dirty, dirty, dirty. Carter, born Armenter Chatmon, also gave the world "Your Biscuits are Big Enough for Me" and the less than subtle "Please Warm My Weiner." In retrospect "Banana..." is probably one of his more tasteful tributes.
Five Platters of Raunchy Food Blues @ OC Weekly