Gus Cannon

Walk Right In

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In June of 1963, 79-year-old Gus Cannon went into the studio in Memphis to cut his first recording in close to seven years, all a result of the Rooftoop Singers having made his "Walk Right In" into a number one single. The producers didn't ask for too much out of Cannon, to judge from the results -- just that he sit there with his banjo and old friends Will Shade (jug) and Milton Roby (washboard) backing him, and do his favorite songs. He introduces a few of them in separately indexed spoken passages, and runs through them in leisurely if dedicated fashion: the title track (which is much bluesier than the hit in Cannon's hands), "Salty Dog" (the best track here), "Gonna Raise a Ruckus Tonight," "Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor," and "Crawdad Hole." The album is almost an audio documentary tour through different corners of Cannon's life and career that, ideally, might've run to several volumes.

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