Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley
This is one of my all time favourites. The first song we ever released (Woo Eee Ha Ha!) had a very strong Bo Diddley influence. Some people thought we were trying to sound like the Rolling Stones doing Not Fade Away. But it was Bo all the way!
Iko Iko – Dr. John
This song has actually got a Bo Diddley beat too now I listen to it. I love Dr. John’s sound – upbeat but kind of dirty. It’s pretty amazing how he was one of New Orleans’ best guitarists until he got his finger shot off (and sown back on). So instead he became one of New Orleans’ best piano players.
Honky Tonkin’ – Hank Williams
We some times play this one busking but I have real trouble singing the chorus, just getting the timing right! It’s so simple, but I can’t get my head round it. It’s a great song.
No Buts No Maybes – Professor Longhair
Professor Longhair did a lot to shape the sound of rock and roll. There’s an idea that rock and roll is just black R&B mixed with white country, but Professor Longhair added so much more to the mix – latin rhythms, African stuff, mambo. It’s all in there.
Sweet and Dandy – Toots & the Maytals
Toots is one of the best songwriters of all time. Bob Marley is the icon we all know, but Toots is a great of Jamaican music.
The Bright Mississippi – Allen Toussaint
This is a Thelonius Monk tune. I think Thelonius Monk and Charles Mingus both influenced a lot of music other than jazz. Allen Toussaint is the greatest. I met him once.
El Canelo – Los Lobos
Los Lobos are a definite influence on our band. They just play whatever they want, breaking down the barriers. Rockabilly, cajun, mariachi, rock and roll. That’s cool.
Hook N Sling (pt II) – Eddie Bo
Eddie Bo is another great New Orleans piano player. I’m not sure what he plays on this track though. I can’t hear any piano. The guitar line is superb. For our new single ‘If You Ain’t Livin’ I wanted the drums to sound like this a bit.
Bacon Fat – Andre Williams and His New Group
I don’t know anything about this tune! I just like the slow groove and vocal delivery.