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Friday, October 13, 2017

Mordicai Jones - Mordicai Jones (1972 us, raw blues country roots 'n' roll, feat Link Wray, 2010 korean remaster)

In the early '70s, first-generation rock guitar hero Link Wray was looking to make a comeback, and after his self-titled 1971 album for Polydor -- in which he set aside the raw, feral guitar tone of his early instrumental hits for a more casual country blues mood -- failed to make an impression with record buyers, Wray and his buddies decided to try making an end-run around the charts with this album. The Mordicai Jones of the title was actually Bobby Howard, who played piano and mandolin on the Link Wray sessions and whose strong, blues-leaning voice lacked the idiosyncrasies of Wray's TB-ravaged instrument; on the surface, "Mordicai Jones" seemed like a more appealing frontman than Link (who by this time was already 44 years old), and his name was on the front cover when the album hit the stores. 

However, the music had the same casual and laid-back tone as the Link Wray sessions, and Link kept his trademark barking axe just as far under wraps as he did on his own album. However, the album has a tough and heartfelt vibe that sets it apart from the more pastoral country-rock albums of the time -- while lots of musicians were talking about getting back to the land, Mordicai Jones sounds like music made by folks who actually worked the farm they lived on, and the rough and flinty energy of these sessions wears a lot better than what most of their contemporaries were doing. Link also plays some fine slide guitar, too, even if "Rumble" fans might wish for more meat. Cuts from Mordicai Jones later surfaced on the compilation Guitar Preacher: The Polydor Years, and it was included in its entirety on Wray's Three Track Shack. 
by Mark Deming

1. Walkin' In The Arizona Sun - 2:56
2. Scorpio Woman - 3:49
3. The Coca Cola Sign Blinds My Eyes (Link Wray, Bobby Howard, Yvonne Verroca) - 6:23
4. All I Want To Say - 3:14
5. All Because Of A Woman - 3:19
6. On The Run (Link Wray, Bobby Howard, Yvonne Verroca) - 5:46
7. Son Of A Simple Man - 4:24
8. Precious Jewel (Roy Acuff) - 2:17
9. Days Before Custer - 4:01
10.Gandy Dancer (Link Wray, Bobby Howard, Yvonne Verroca) - 3:33
All songs by Link Wray, Yvonne Verroca except where stated

*Link Wray - Electric Guitar, Dobro, Steel Guitar, Bass Guitar
*Doug Wray - Rhythm Guitar, Proccnail Can Percussion, Vocals
*Mordicai Jones (a.k.a. Bobby Howard) - Lead Vocals, Piano, Mandolin, Harp
*Bill Hodges - Organ, Piano, Scratcher Percussion, Vocals
*Steve Verroca - Drums, Vocals
*John Grummere - Electric Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Norman Sue - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Ned Levitt - Foot Stomp, Hand Claps, Vocals

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