In comparison to the previous Ace CD compilation of Smokey Hogg's work from the late '40s and early '50s on Deep Ellum Rambler, Serve It to the Right isn't as solid. It does cover the same era, the 25 tracks spanning 1947-52, and most were taken from his sessions for Modern, though three of them were done for the Combo label. Yet there's the feeling that this is reaching into the secondary tier of Hogg's quite voluminous body of work done at the time, with nine of the songs being previously unissued takes or alternates, and some of the others similar material that wasn't issued until long after the 1950s. Hogg was playing Texas country blues that was in the process of getting urbanized by early Los Angeles R&B, and it wasn't always the most comfortable combination, with Hogg sounding uncomfortable playing in band situations at times. More crucially, the material's on the generic, early post-war electric blues side, even if it's genial and Hogg's voice is likably gritty. One of the musically more dynamic numbers, the shuffling 1950 single "You're Gonna Look Like a Monkey (When You Get Old)," has lyrics that are pretty mean-spirited, even by the different standards of political correctness in place in the early '50s, and even if they're delivered almost as if they should be taken as compliments. Two of the other most interesting selections are an alternate version of his hit "Little Schoolgirl" (here titled "Good Morning Little Baby"), and "Classification Blues," which comments on the draft for the Korean War and is unusually topical for a 1950 blues single.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger