Friday, January 1, 2010

Drunken Oldies

We at The Evil Eye hope you had a happy and safe New Year. Chances are this post finds you nursing a massive hangover from drinking entirely too much last night. Despite your head feeling like it resides underwater, you still want some good tunes to make the day move just a little bit quicker. But the standard punk and metal fare is just too loud and obnoxious for your poor aching cranium, so what to do? Well, The Evil Eye has the perfect solution: a compilation of old drinking songs from some fine R&B artists from the post-WWII era.

R&B used to mean rhythm and blues, and it didn’t have much to do with newfangled hip hop-oriented vocal groups singing harmonies about the kind of love that only exists in movies. It used to mean dancing, drinking, and smoking with reckless abandon in your local honky tonk bar on the wrong side of town. The songs were often written in a way that was probably considered somewhat offensive back then, but you couldn’t help but chuckle when Wynonie Harris chastised his girlfriend with “Bloodshot Eyes.” Although some really uptight people might still say that some of the lyrics are sexist, it’s still a far cry from the bitch-hoe sentiments of modern gangsta rap.

You won’t be able to find this compilation in any record store. In fact, this is a CD-R compiled a few years ago by my late father and an old friend of his for a high school reunion. I think all or most of these songs were ripped from the actual records themselves, so you won’t hear any of the remastering botchery that often plagues many R&B reissue CDs. If you listen to a lot of old R&B and rock ‘n’ roll, you’ll probably recognize quite a few of these songs. Wynonie Harris has four songs on here, probably because it’s difficult to choose just one. Other tunes include Larry Dale’s great cover of “Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee,” “Drunk” by Jimmy Liggins, Red Prysock’s “Thunderbird,” “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer” by Amos Milburn, and “I Got Loaded” by Peppermint Harris. And what drinking songs compilation would be complete without the obvious “Tequila” by the Champs? You get 31 songs in all, with maybe one or two that don’t totally rule.

Of course, all of this talk about drinking might also be enough to send you running to retch out the rest of your stomach lining as an offering to the porcelain god. It’s okay. We’ve been there too.

Get drunk here.

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