Friday, February 25, 2011

Various Artists (2004) -Sugar In My Bowl

Artist: various
Album: Sugar In My Bowl: Hard Drivin' Mamas - Vintage Sex Songs, 1923-1952
Released: 2004
Quality: mp3 CBR 320
Size: 114 MB

Although it's a popular notion that America's fascination with all things sexual burst into the open during the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, this ribald collection of sex songs drawn mostly from the 1920s and 1930s shows that things were bubbling along well before that. Sung here by female blues and jazz singers, these suggestive songs use various food metaphors to talk about sex, and give credence to the possibility that food and sex have been linked together in the American mindset for a good long time. All manner of condiments, hot dogs, peanuts, and jelly rolls parade through these tracks until one feels like driving straight to the nearest convenience store for some late-night snacks, which, come to think of it, Americans do all the time. Bessie Smith even manages to get sugar, hot dogs, and jelly rolls all into one line in the opener and title tune here, "I Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl," while Lil Johnson goes so far as to name names in "Sam the Hot Dog Man." There are some surprises, too, like gospel guitarist and singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe doing a pair of decidedly secular tunes, "I Want a Tall Skinny Papa" and "Rock Me," which features some pretty cool guitar, by the way. The most startling track is the final one, Lucille Bogan's "Shave 'Em Dry" from 1935, which dispenses with metaphor altogether and talks about sex with a stunning directness, even using the F-word with a precise exactness that contemporary rappers often seem unable to grasp, for all their use of the word and its derivations. Bogan's recording has horrible sound, but it somehow all adds to the stark, unforgiving honesty of it, and "Shave 'Em Dry" gives off an unbelievable intensity. Food is the last thing on her mind. ~ Steve Leggett

1. I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl - Bessie Smith
2. I Want A Tall Skinny Papa - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
3. King Size Papa - Julia Lee
4. He's Just My Size - Lillie Mae Kirkman
5. Just Give Me A Man - Mabel Scot
6. A Man For Every Day In The Week - Sippie Wallace
7. Sam The Hot Dog - Lil Johnson
8. Nobody In Town Can Bake A Sweet Jelly Rol Like Mine - Bessie Smith
9. Hot Nuts (Get 'Em From The Peanut Man) - Lil Johnson
10. My Lovin' Papa - Dinah Washington
11. Rock Me - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
12. I'm A Mighty Tight Woman - Sippie Wallace
13. Garter Snake Blues - Victoria Spivey
14. If It Don't Fit (Don't Force It) - Barrel House Annie
15. What's The Matter With Me? - Albinia Jones
16. Rocket 69 - Connie Allen
17. Gotta Gimme Whatcha Got - Julia Lee
18. Shave'em Dry (Version 2) - Lucille Bogan


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