First recorded by Hambone Willie Newbern this song has since been covered or adapted by Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Cream, Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Bob Dylan.
So of course we had to have a crack at it.
Newbern, by the way, is yet another blues player whose history isn't all that clear. It seems he was popular around Tennessee and that he recorded six existing tracks, one of which was "Roll and Tumble Blues", in Atlanta in 1929. According to the All Music Guide he was "by all reports an extremely ill-tempered man, Newbern's behavior eventually led him to prison, where a brutal beating is said to have brought his life to an end around 1947."
Our version harks back to some of the earlier versions, trying to avoid Muddy's influence. I was never quite happy with the way I'd been singing this in practice so this time I tried a lower, growly style and, although it's not quite perfected yet, it fits this song quite well. Obviously, though, this had to be one of the last recordings of that particular session...
Stream away, stream away!
Download it here.