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Zharth's Music Log

Week 5: Rock Me Baby

Preface: This week we'll explore seven different versions of B.B. King's classic blues track, Rock Me Baby, starting with the original, and working our way through a number of different blues/rock acts who tackled this iconic song. Don't forget to post a comment at the end of the week stating which version of the song is your favorite!

Monday (8/20/07): B.B. King [first recorded in 1960]
Comments: The legend begins! King lays down a mid-tempo groove with a primal lyrical theme that proves irresistable to many following blues and rock acts.

Tuesday (8/21/07): The Paul Butterfield Blues Band [Original Lost Elektra Sessions, 1964]
Comments: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was one of the premier new bands to emerge out of the Chicago blues scene of the mid-1960's. In 1964, they laid down a variety of blues tunes to record, originally unreleased in favor of the more energetic material that made it onto their debut album. Among those original tracks was a cover of Rock Me Baby, featuring Butterfield's signature harmonica treatment.

Wednesday (8/22/07): Jimi Hendrix Experience [Monterey International Pop Festival, 1967]
Comments: Jimi Hendrix hints at his habit of wanting to play new and unfamiliar songs instead of the stuff everybody's already heard yet still requests repeatedly, by adding a new and unfamiliar spin to the classic blues Rock Me Baby, during his performance at the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival.

Thursday (8/23/07): Blue Cheer [Vincebus Eruptum, 1968]
Comments: Named after a type of acid, abrasive protometal rockers Blue Cheer exploded out of the psychedelic San Francisco scene with their "play it harder'n'louder" (though not necessarily faster) attitude, which they apply to Rock Me Baby on their 1968 debut album, which also featured their hit cover of Summertime Blues.

Friday (8/24/07): Johnny Winter [Still Alive And Well, 1973]
Comments: Albino blues rocker, and twin to Edgar, Johnny Winter returns to the scene after a "drug break" involving a heroin addiction, with the rockin' album Still Alive And Well. His cover of Rock Me Baby shows off the "power blues" approach that Winter is known for.

Saturday (8/25/07): Robin Trower [Live, 1976]
Comments: After a stint with the one hit wonder band Procol Harum, Robin Trower embarked on a fruitful solo career which would give him plenty of room to stretch out his amazing guitar prowess. His live album from 1976, from which this version of Rock Me Baby comes, is one of the true gems of the classic rock era. Now sit back and let the guitar do the talking.

Sunday (8/26/07): B.B. King & Eric Clapton [Deuces Wild, 1997]
Comments: Eric Clapton joins B.B. King on Rock Me Baby, from the Deuces Wild album which paired King with a handful of different musicians. King and Clapton's collaboration would eventually lead to the terrific 2000 album Riding With The King.

Afterthought: Honorable mention goes to Jeff Beck's Rock My Plimsoul, from 1968's Truth, featuring Rod Stewart on vocals. I actually forgot it was a cover of Rock Me Baby, due to the modified title. ::smacks forehead::