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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


While Hawkins is typically thought of as a rockabilly legend, this record is pure, unadulterated r&b! Hawkins, an American (born in Arkansas) relocated permanently to Canada in 1958, found his brand of rockabilly found huge favor with the rowdy bar crowds in and around Toronto. when he decided to call Canada home, all of his "Hawks" decided to leave the band with the exception of drummer Levon Helm. Young native American (also relocated to Canada) Robbie Robertson joined the band as well; first on bass, then switched to guitar. These two men became the core of roots rock revolutionaries THE BAND after a few years of playing on their own as well as backing Bob Dylan as The Hawks on his tumultuous "gone electric" tours of '65-'66.

Going back to today's selection; as this group progressed, more and more r&b was added to their repertoire which was also a huge hit with the Canadian crowds they were performing for. This is one of the greatest ever white r&b covers, as this group ups the intensity of Bo Diddley's original to near incinerator levels, Helm's drumming is as solid and danceable as it gets, Hawkins is laying out some of the greatest ever hillbilly soul vocals and it's all capped off by Robbie Robertson's BLAZING guitar break.

from 1963...


MM said...

Does this one bring back memories? All of those clubs on the Yonge St. strip - Le Coq d'Or, the Colonial, etc. Thanks Derek. Marie

Rockin' Jeff said...

I've always thought this was a great version of this song. Dare i say- better than Bo Diddley's own.

Todd Lucas said...

It is a great version, just wild!

peter from canada said...

Excellent track - thanks, Derek!

By the way, most biographies list Roberston's birthplace as Toronto.