Screamin' Jay Hawkins

I Shake My Stick at You [AIM]

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For many, when you think of early rock & roll, certain images and sounds immediately come to mind -- Chuck Berry strumming his red Gibson while duck-walking, a sweaty Little Richard wailing into the mike, Jerry Lee Lewis bashing the piano, etc. But what's often forgotten is that in rock's dawning moments, horns played a big part in the then-new genre's sound. And Screamin' Jay Hawkins was one of rock's early artists to embrace blaring saxophones -- as well as theatrics. As evidenced by the 1994 release I Shake My Stick at You, Hawkins was rockin' and hollerin' till the very end. Although it's a studio effort (recorded while Hawkins was on tour in Australia a year before the album's release), I Shake My Stick at You manages to capture the energy and looseness of a live gig -- in fact, with the addition of audience cheering, you could be fooled into believing it's a concert recording. Hawkins is at the top of his game on such highlights as the album-opening "Live Love or Die," "Because of You," and the X-rated "Furburger." If you're interested in digging a bit deeper into Hawkins' catalog beyond just "I Put a Spell on You" and perhaps a hits set, I Shake My Stick at You is certainly one of his stronger studio releases (which is quite an accomplishment, considering it appeared this late in Hawkins' career).

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