Ride On (Fight On) - Little Axe

from the album The Wolf That House Built (1994)

I am becoming increasingly obsessed with the future of the blues, asking myself "Who will save the blues?"  Who knows, I might just do it myself.

I was discussing this the other day with my buddy, Richie Beans.  He shared a story about going into a tiny record store, many moons ago, where the stoner owner behind the counter turned him on to a record called The Wolf That House Built.  It is effectively dubbed out blues music underpinned with house vibes.

The Wolf, of course, is the late, great Howlin Wolf.   This record weaves sampled bits of pieces of Howlin' Wolf throughout.  It is incredible to here him in this modern context.  If only he were alive today.

The album is the brainchild of Skip McDonald (aka Little Axe).  Previously unknown to me, this dude has had one hell of a musical journey.  He first came to prominence as a session player for Sugar Hill records (the first great Rap & Hip-Hop label).  He actually plays on The Message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, which is on my very short list of the greatest songs of the 20th century.

His journey took him thru R&B, gospel, jazz, and doo-wop.  But then he settled into the blues, beginning with this splendid 1994 recording.  The album leads off with Ride On (Fight On).  The song starts with ten seconds of a beat to establish the house vibe, then POW, we are hit with both the gritty twang of blues guitar and the sacred voice of Howlin' Wolf.  At first listen, it gave me a chill.

Then the song gives us a cool bass groove with outstanding punch and vocals imploring "Sisters and Brothers, Ride On.  Ride on.  Fight On."

I can't tell you how much I dig this record.  Thanks Richie Beans !!! Not only did you drag me out in the snowpocalypse to see Robyn Hitchcock, you turned me on to this incredible record.

Click Here to listen to Ride On (Fight On) by Little Axe.

Comments