Richard Hawley – Rollin' and Tumblin’

Yorkshire blues boy makes ancient whiskey-and-women trance-song regenerate, psychedelically.

Richard Hawley – Rollin' and Tumblin’

RELEASED ON 10" BLACK PLASTIC for this year’s Record Store Day, Richard Hawley breaks nearly two years’ silence with a brooding, hellhound-pursued, rainy night take on the venerable Delta blues perennial first recorded in 1929 by Hambone Willie Newbern, a hot-tempered sort who was reputedly beaten to death in a jailhouse brawl in 1947, and later covered by Canned Heat, Cream and Dr.Feelgood, among others. Continuing the psych-bluesy, otherworldly sounds of 2012’s Standing At The Sky’s Edge, Hawley’s take references Muddy Waters’ and Elmore James’ various versions of the song (and is that, amongst the heavily-treated vocal, a muttered reference to Blue Suede Shoes?), and introduces conceivably more Anglo-flavours of getting blindo’d in the pub, waking hungover and seeing the world differently.

“I love the idea of how an ancient song can be interpreted again and again with verses pulled from other random songs in the lyrical mix, but it still retains its basic shape,” explains Hawley. “We did it in one take live, and some of the verses I sang are from all over the place, from the back of my mind and from songs in the blues idiom I've heard since childhood - some recognisable some more obscure, plus it gave us the chance to let rip on a one chord boogie for a change and let our mate Clive shine like a diamond on the harmonica.”

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