Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Rockin' Song of the Week No.61 - Willie & the Poor Boys
Willie & the Poor Boys - Saturday Night
When you consider who the musicians are that make up Willie & the Poor Boys, it's surprising that they weren't actually better than they were. Don't get me wrong, some of the stuff is great, but there's a fair bit that sounds like they're going through the motions. I dare say they all loved it and it was one of those labour of loves where the wine flowed and the backs were constantly slapped. They'd make one hell of a pub band, but what pub would be big enough to house this lot. Bill Wyman - bass, vocals, Charlie Watts - drums, Andy Fairweather Low - guitar, vocals, Chris Rea - vocals, Geraint Watkins - keyboards, vocals, Mickey Gee - guitar, vocals, Terry Williams - drums, Ray Cooper - percussion, Jimmy Page - guitar, Paul Rodgers - vocals. I know they've all got credentials, but the star of the show for me is Geraint Watkins. I'm probably biased but sod it, the likes of Wyman, Rea and Jimmy Page don't need boosting.
The Poor Boys boogied their way through a gumbo of rock & roll, country, R&B and soul. It's Geraint Watkins' blorious blast through Roy Brown's Saturday Night that shines above all others. Geriant's vocals have all the exitement of the original and his harsh voice sounds like he's already enjoyed too many such nights. He actually songs a bit, Sunday morning! The horn section and Watkins' own piano lay down a full New Orleans beat, sounding like these British guys were born and bred in the Big Easy. This is rock 'n' roll as it should be played - tight of sound and joyous in nature. Geriant Watkins is a national treasure who should be applauded loudly before he goes the way of Mickey Gee and it's too late.
Recommended listening: Paul Rodgers is pretty good on Otis Redding's These Arms of Mine, Ray Cooper is fine, fine, fine on Lee Dorsey's Can You Hear Me? and would you be surprised that I loved GW's reading of Amos Milburn's Chicken Shack Boogie.