Born Chester Arthur Burnett on June 10, 1910, today would be Howlin’ Wolf’s 93rd birthday.
He was one serious 300 pound mass of black manhood, a force of nature. He had such a presence that even playing a 50 year old record seems palpably like having a big serious grizzly bear in the middle of the room. After hearing HIM sing the definitive rendition of Willie Dixon’s “Back Door Man” you will absolutely laugh at hearing it come out of some puny little punk-ass white boy like Jim Morrison. When he said that he “eats more chicken than any man seen,” you’d better believe it.
I particularly favor a relatively obscure track “Goin’ Down Slow.” He communicates a really interesting sense of slow, grinding satisfaction as he narrates from his death bed on his pleasures that even kings have never experienced. “I have had my fun if I NEVER get well no more.”
I especially recommend the Howlin’ Wolf/Moanin’ in the Moonlight twofer disc. These are his first two albums, which are made up of his first ten years worth of singles, mostly from the 1950s. The 71 track box set obviously rates pretty high, but for a casual fan these two original albums will give you a good start.Powered by Sidelines