Monday, April 18, 2011

I see I'm gonna have to get rough....

I consider this tune to be an antidote to the many local "bon ton roulet" anthems. Probably just a matter of personal association, but to me it resonates in a way that makes it the perfect theme song for a bad night out.

Ya see, beyond all the smiles and the "darlin's", New Orleans is a very rough city. Don't let anyone tell you it's not. While we're at pains to keep our many visitors nice and safe in the French Quarter, the truth is our local young men make a game of killing each other, 24/7. In any given year, there will be 8 to 10 times as many murders in New Orleans on a per capita basis as the national average.

There's a lot more I could say along those lines, but I'm sure you get the point. Certainly anyone who's ever lived in the city knows exactly what I'm talking about.

I'm pretty sure this is the second release on the Eight Ball label. It was run by Lionel Worthy when he wasn't seeing to the cars in his auto repair shop. Seems he had a small studio out back.

James Rivers recorded a number of sax-based instrumentals over the years. As far as I know, this is the only record he sings on. It's not the best, or by any means the worst, singing in the world, but that's not really the point. Just wait till the man starts blowing blood through the flute [mostly on the second side]. Holy shit.


  1. Wow, what a coincidence...I just uploaded a couple of River's 45s to Youtube yesterday...

  2. Just a quick comment to say I stumbled across your blog a few weeks back and am MIGHTY impressed with your knowledge. Keep up the great work.

    Soul-Strutter (UK)

  3. Colby...I need to check it out...I'm guessing "Tighten Up" and ???

    Soul strutter...Nice of you to say, but my knowledge is only average. However, my 45 collection is superb. That's why folks keep coming back.

  4. "Crying The Blues" and "Oh Happy Day"

  5. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the flute. Amazing. Excellent song. Thank you!

  6. When i heard bad bad whiskey cut on downtown soulville at the first time, i'm rushed google and soulseek to find and hear full version.All his eight ball works are really amazing, but bad bad whiskey is my fav.Excellent example of really heavy raw deep funk instrumental.Ana-b, thanks a lot for sharing your 45's.

  7. Holy shit indeed!!!! As a (crappy) flautist, thus brings tears of joy to my eyes. Oh bliss.

    And I love the perky girl chorus in pt 1, bad whiskey never sounded so sweet ;-)

  8. You see this just went for $88 on eBay? WTF?!?

  9. Colby...indeed, WTF. I'm certain I didn't pay over $20 for mine. Probably more like $12-15. Actually, I think "Cryin' The Blues" is rarer.

    But then people continue to pay decent cash for "Hook And Sling" even though it was Eddie Bo's biggest hit, with copies literally all over the place [most of them styrene].

    And can somebody please explain why "Every Dog Has It's Day" goes for so much? There are like three copies offered at auction each and every week.

    On the other hand, I recently scored a very rare record for $10 at auction. Only one other copy listed on Popsike. Only the second copy I've ever seen.

    Go figure.

  10. I've got most of his 45s, and I probably paid $3-5 for them....honestly didn't think that many people cared, nice they do!

  11. Colby....most James Rivers 45s are definitely $5 records, but if you got a copy of "Bad Bad Whiskey" for that, then you did very well.