This week, Killer Opening Songs has gone bonkers. Yes, my lovely little puppies. K.O.S. has finally lost its marbles, gone loopy and bananas. The reason? Bob Brozman.
Last week K.O.S. went on a tour of the Deep South. It drove around the weather-beaten houses and on the dusty roads of Memphis, jumped on a boat down the Mississippi river and near the Dockery's plantation crossroad it ran into Robert Johnson's ghost.
At some point on its journey K.O.S. came across a railroad track stretching for miles on end, and whilst wearing its jeans, workman's boots, braces and check shirt, it had an idea that became an action before it had time to think of the consequences: to hop on a freight train that would take it anywhere up north. And would you believe it? As if on cue, a gigantic metallic beauty shuddered to life and started rolling down the track.
Wagon after wagon filed past in front of Killer Opening Songs' eyes, until a flat, steel platform beckoned Our Weekly Rendezvous to jump on board and who did it find there, sitting cross-legged on the middle of the floor? Why, Mr Bob Brozman himself, sporting a beatific wide smile and holding his eternal companion, a slide guitar.
It was rather a payback visit really as Brozman had already arrived chez Killer Opening Songs last summer just gone via a compilation of African Blues performers ('The Rough Guide to African Blues'). Amidst the outstanding collection of singers and musicians in the album, the American bluesman 's collaboration with the kora player Djeli Moussa Diawara made K.O.S. sit down and listen in awe. 'Maloyan Devil' became the hit of a summer that never was. The song was included in Bob and Djeli's 2000 album 'Ocean Blues' and as you can ascertain by clicking on this link, even on Amazon's market place (one of K.O.S.'s favourite haunts, by the way), the price remains quite high for this record. The song, however, had enough drive and energy to set K.O.S.'s pulse racing and that's why the men in white turned up one day unexpectedly at K.O.S.'s doorstep to ask certain questions about arms flapping aimlessly whilst walking on the pavement and dance steps à la Gene Kelly in 'Singin' in the Rain' performed on the road, thus, bringing the traffic to a halt every now and then.
Still recovering from this out-of-this-world experience, Killer Opening Songs has made a compilation of some of the most outrageous and mind-blowing clips of Bob Brozman for you my dear readers. What's the Killer Opening Song, then, I hear you ask K.O.S.? Like here and here, K.O.S. is breaking the rules, it is cheating again, but you know what? It doesn't care, this guy (although born in new York and not a hobo per se) is right there in the pantheon of the greats with Robert Johnson, Howling Wolf, Woody Guthrie, Jimmie Rodgers, Mississippi John Hurt and Boxcar Willie and fret not, my little puppies for these blues luminaries will have their special session here at Killer Opening Songs.
The first two clips are typical mouth-waterers. They last just over one minute each, but Bob's virtuosity is palpable. The third and fourth clips are main course and dessert rolled into one, especially the last one. I don't usually upload dodgy youtube videos filmed with a hand-held camera in a sweaty bar and with lots of people talking over the music. However, I felt compelled to put this one up on my blog this week because it is a beauty and no, there is no one talking while they are playing, and the quality is fairly decent. Bob is accompanied by Djeli Moussa Diawara on the kora and the Japanese Takashi Hirayasu playing the sanshin, a three-stringed banjo-like instrument.
I hope you enjoy this musical offer. Killer Opening Songs would like to join, too, but its movements are somewhat limited by the straitjacket.