(It's Friday, Friday - that means it's time to feature a bass part/player that kick much ass.)
This morning, I had settled on doing an entry about Lee Rocker. Lee's fame comes primarily from his work as the bassist for the Stray Cats, but he also has some pretty solid solo work that seems to be his primary focus right now. I heard the album "Built For Speed" when it came out in 1981 and liked it - I was really crazy about "Rock This Town" - though I couldn't relate to a lot of the lyrical content of the tunes. Nonetheless, "Built For Speed" put rockabilly - and by extension, roots music and upright bass - onto my very narrow musical radar.
Truth to be told, Lee Rocker's playing never blew me away. Don't get me wrong - it's perfect for Stray Cats and it's much better than I can play. The biggest debt I have to Lee Rocker was that he was my gateway to the rockabilly slap method. In my mind, that's plenty to merit a Fat Friday Feature for the man.
In the process of looking for a suitable You Tube clip of Lee Rocker, I found this, in which he mentions Willie Dixon. That's when good ol' Lee Rocker again became the gateway to a different player. (Poor Lee Rocker!) Willie Dixon, some would say, was the guy who invented slap bass. If he didn't, he sure as hell was an early master and pioneer of it's use. Of course, Willie Dixon was known for writing some of the greatest blues tunes of all time as well. But check out his slap skillz below - fucking. Awesome. There is not a better way to spend your Friday, Friday - so get partyin' partyin' (yeah!) with Willie Dixon. Oh check out this clip too - the playing is still amazing, but I actually like this tune as a whole even more than "Bassology".