Bob Log III
Trike (Fat Possum)
by Jon Sarre
Depravity bein’ a major part of blues tradition (think of Blind Lemon Jefferson and how he’s been described as a monstrous drunken letch or the Reverend Gary Davis’ alleged pedophilia or all the charming anecdotes about Sonny Boy Williamson – Rice Miller, not the other Sonny Boy who was ice picked to death outside a bar in Chicago – pulling a knife or gun on the unfortunate who crossed the line that defined “messin’ with” the great harmonica player), Bob Log III is a relative choir boy. Still, this “tit clap” thing is pretty goddamned unsavory for this sanitized world, where the Living Blues audience like their artists to be circuit-trained grinning oldsters who spout double entendres sufficiently removed from their original context to lose meaning altogether (which, to stray from the point, is not what the octogenarians at Fat Possum are about – I was privileged to witness T Model Ford almost brain his drummer with a pool cue, in a topless bar no less, the Man was speaking very plainly indeed).
“Tit Clapping,” to get back on track, is a blues innovation pioneered by Bob Log, where well-endowed “professional women,” to quote the bio, clap their breasts in time with his own bizarre slide guitar, kick-drum, one-man band contraption (you can probably picture it, really, use your imagination). I’m guessin’ that “Clap Your Tits,” “Booby Trap #2,” and possibly “Show Time” feature tit clapping, but, for all I can tell, each and every track on Trike may utilize it, and God knows what other demented forms of percussion (pussy snaps, perhaps?).
Log’s sensationalistic skew to the blues is kinda a reminder that the oh-so-American form doesn’t have to be something the listener is supposed to sit back and “appreciate” (especially when he also sounds like he’s singing thru a snorkel [I think it’s a phone poking through the visor of a motorcycle helmet. -Ed]). The guy’s so off the beaten path that he’s even weird for Fat Possum. Is it even blues? Yeah, maybe – fucked up new style blues from some avant-geek from the shopping mall district in Arizona. The delta’s located in a different shopping mall district, don’t ya know.
(PO Box 1923 Oxford, MS 38655)