“L.A., Memphis & Tyler, Texas”: Ain’t No Bum Trip, Man

Dale Hawkins takes great satisfaction in dedicating this song to the three cities that he had the pleasure of recording this tune in – give a listen, and you’ll hear the names of each one:

“L.A., Memphis & Tyler, Texas”     Dale Hawkins     1969

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“It just goes to show you, man, you can take the soul pickers out of the soul country, but you can’t take the soul out of the pickers,” Hawkins sagely declares before the slide guitarist peels off a series of down-home, gutbucket riffs.

Ain’t No Bum Trip, Man

Dale Hawkins LP

How could the title track from Dale Hawkins’ 1969 album also not be the opening song – which, obviously, it is.

Song was written by Hawkins along with, interestingly, Randy Fouts, who played piano with Mouse and the Traps on their 1965 Dylanesque garage hit, “A Public Execution”  This song is also used to kick off A Light in the Attic’s monster compilation, Country Funk 1969-1975.

Country Funk 1969-1975Bell would release two singles from this album in 1969 – “Little Rain Cloud” (written by Hawkins & Dan Penn) and “Heavy on My Mind.”

Album review from RecordCollector.com:

“Best known for his landmark 1957 recording of Suzie Q on Chess (which featured James Burton on guitar, who also turns up here), this first-time reissue of the one-time rockabilly pioneer, radio DJ, TV host, producer and A&R man’s second album reveals a largely unsung swamp-rock tour de force.

“Originally released on Bell in 1969, it echoes late 60s Elvis, Tony Joe White and even early 70s Polydor-era Link Wray.  The three title cities were the places Hawkins stopped off while en route to his forgotten magnum opus.  The LA tracks feature James Burton and Ry Cooder, while the selections from Memphis come cooked up in the company of Taj Mahal, Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham and the Memphis Horns.  Those from Tyler come together with the assistance of Mouse & The Traps.

“Chief among the highlights of the album’s 30 soulfully rockin’ minutes are a memorably unhinged cover of Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town and the driving, horn-heavy powerhouse that is the closing Hawkins/Penn composition, Little Rain Cloud.  It’s hard to believe an album so rich could have so spectacularly disappeared from sight when it was originally released. Time for a long overdue catch-up.”

James Burton:   Instrumental to Dale Hawkins’ Early Success

Legendary guitarist, James Burton, reveals on his website that he is the unacknowledged composer of the main guitar riff for Dale Hawkins’ big 1957 hit, “Susie Q.”