Rollin' and Tumblin' - Jeff Beck
For the first time ever, I think, I'm playing two consecutive numbers from the same album in a row . Listen and you'll hear why. This is one of those songs that make me wish I was still doing discos. It's also the "other" non-instrumental track on Jeff Beck's album "You Had It Coming" (see yesterday's post) and once again features Imogen Heap, as you've never heard her before.
Like most people, I first heard "Rollin' and Tumblin" on the Cream's first album "Fresh Cream" (1966) but the song is one of those blues rock touchstones which trace the history of the format. Cream sourced the song from Muddy Waters, for whom it was a standard dating as far back as 1929 when it was recorded by Tennessee blues man Hambone Willie Newbern.
Here Beck's guitar play is soaked in its US roots, the rhythm line, licks, and fills articulating the song's forebears back through Muddy Waters and BB King, to the King of the Delta Blues, Robert Johnson, to Newbern himself, while never losing its contemporary rock context. Has to be played loud.