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July 25, 2024

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Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup
Rock Me Mama (Tomato Records)

By: Mark A. Lawrence the IV

You can taste the influencing flavor of Crudup's "Katie Mae" when you hear John Lee Hooker's "Baby Lee." If there was such a thing as Crude-Blues, this is what it would sound like and it would be bubbling up in the fields of Mississippi from the deep-rooted heart and soul of America. Rock Me Mamma is an album that captures a moment where a man at the truest peek of his gift leaves a lasting mark on the world. Every song has the smell of truth and drips with a pure emotional sauce heavy with the essence of anguish, desire, even lust. "I'm In the Mood" is such a powerful confession of want for a woman; you can taste the salt of her skin on your lips. On the other end "Angel Child" is a similarly honest portrayal of the wreck a woman can leave a man. Crudup's style is so much like the earlier, delta infused, work of Hooker, that anyone who loves one, will surly love the other. The way he sings his dusk-heavy voice onto the simple country blues is so telling of who this great man was and where he was from. The music he created should be looked upon as a national treasure; a treasure we are all able to cherish with this great recording. Rating: A
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