Cub Koda has tried a lot of different things in his long career, but he has never made anything close to Box Lunch. It's not just that the album consists of nothing but acoustic material; he has never been this open with his emotions. There are a few rockers – "Double Barrel Hell" is menacing and "Gimme Trash" is a tongue-in-cheek kitsch celebration…..
The Joint Was Rockin' is a raw, rowdy and deliriously fun record capturing Cub Koda live with the Houserockers in the early '80s. The Houserockers bash away like they were supporting Hound Dog Taylor and Cub proves that he can play the blues with true passion and feeling. More than anything, however, The Joint Was Rockin' is a bracing jolt of energy and fun that's just as good as Live at B.L.U.E.S. 1982, his previous live set with the Houserockers.
The addition of bass and special guests Left Hand Frank and Lefty Dizz only distract from the chemistry between Cub and the Houserockers (even more obvious on their belated live follow-up), but this is a strong session, with the ex-stadium boogie boy sounding totally at home with these blues veterans. His vocal duet with Brewer Phillips on J.B. Lenoir's "Talk to Your Daughter" is a joy, and thankfully not every note is perfectly in place — or in the case of Brewer's guitar, in tune. Added treats: Koda's big-toned harp on "Rockin' This Joint Tonight" and humorous dialog with Frank on "Dirty Duck Blues."
Chester Arthur Burnett, known as Howlin' Wolf, was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, originally from Mississippi. With a booming voice and looming physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists. Musician and critic Cub Koda noted, "no one could match Howlin' Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits." Producer Sam Phillips recalled, "When I heard Howlin' Wolf, I said, 'This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies'". Several of his songs, including "Smokestack Lightnin'", "Back Door Man", "Killing Floor" and "Spoonful", have become blues and blues rock standards. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 51 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time."
Cult figure, rock & roll legend and music writer, Cub Koda defined jump blues as an up-tempo, jazz-tinged style of blues that first came to prominence in the mid- to late '40s. Usually featuring a vocalist in front of a large, horn-driven orchestra or medium sized combo with multiple horns, the style is earmarked by a driving rhythm, intensely shouted vocals, and honking tenor saxophone solos all of those very elements a precursor to rock & roll. The lyrics are almost always celebratory in nature, full of braggadocio and swagger.
Cult figure, rock & roll legend and music writer, Cub Koda defined Jump Blues as "an up-tempo, jazz-tinged style of blues that first came to prominence in the mid- to late '40s. Usually featuring a vocalist in front of a large, horn-driven orchestra or medium sized combo with multiple horns, the style is earmarked by a driving rhythm, intensely shouted vocals, and honking tenor saxophone solos - all of those very elements a precursor to rock & roll. The lyrics are almost always celebratory in nature, full of braggadocio and swagger. Jump blues was the bridge between the older styles of blues - primarily those in a small band context - and the big band jazz sound of the 1940s."
This distorted board tape captures Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and an anonymous band, circa 1980, working a small club date. The playing is wonderful and Gatemouth is at the top of his game, both on guitar and violin. However, the bootleg quality of the sound is so off-putting that one can't imagine listening to this disc more than once. For completists only.– by Cub Koda