New Orleans Rock&Roll, R&B, Soul, & Funk Goodies 1955 to 2007
This Vampi Soul collection is arguably the most representative audio portrait of the New Orleans songwriting and performing kingpin, Edwin Bocage. Covering 60 years of music making, its whopping 28 tracks highlight his songs, singles, and productions for other artists. Like all of the best New Orleans music, this baby is sweaty, raw, greasy, and super funky. Some of the classics here include Bo's stellar bit of proto-soul-funk in "I Found a Little Girl" (while it may borrow from Ray Charles' gospel-soul inspiration, it gives back in its prefiguring of the bridge style James Brown used to great success later on), "We Like Mambo" (the Afro-Caribbean style welded hard to NOLA second line), and the great break-driven duet "Lover & Friend" with Inez Cheatham. There are an equal number of highlights in his productions and arrangements including -- but not limited to -- "Horse with a Freeze, Pt. 1" by Roy Ward, the Explosions' "Garden of Our Trees," with its burning bassline and tight horn charts, and Curley Moore & Cool Ones' "Funky Yeah" (which is just damn nasty in the way it uses Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love" rhythm). Then there's the elastic wah-wah guitar and keys in "The Rubber Band" by Bo with the Soul Finders and the straight-up employment of a Motown-style string chart on his 2007 single "Chained." Anyway you want to listen to this slab, chronologically, on shuffle, or one track played over and over until you gotta move to the next, is just fine because In the Pocket with Eddie Bo. is the bomb.