Wednesday, December 08, 2010

NFUs - Keep on Truckin' Mama Jam

First the excuses: This is recorded with an iPod set upon a metal chair -- I don't know what I could have been thinking -- and the result is a wax-and-wane wah-wah effect that makes an already-crappy microphone pick-up worse. Next time, I'll try it on a soft surface and in a better location. It's just to give you an idea -- we sound much better live. Really.

Instrument-wise, we have Nancy on piano; Ian on mandolin; Casey on single-string washtub bass, and two acoustic guitars, Lou and Yours Truly. (Our banjo player Jesse was out sick.) Ian sings the lead, and others of us chime in along the way, including Mira, who also does handbourine(?).

The song, "Keep on Truckin' Mama," pre-dates R. Crumb's use of the keep-on-truckin' phrase by at least thirty-some years -- the earliest version I can find of it comes from the 1930's, Blind Boy Fuller, channeling Blind Blake. Though ragtime claims it predates that by years, I can't find it. Every other singer who did it added verses, and some of them are nasty. I first heard it by Hot Tuna, but even The Temptations did a cover. 

The chord progression is pretty much the same as that Alice's Restaurant, by Arlo Guthrie.

Listen here ... 


Mike Byers said...

The Chad Mitchell Trio had a great cover of this; around 1964 as I remember. It's worth hunting for this one.

Steve Perry said...

I'll have to look around for that one. I listened to a lot of neo-folk musical back in the day, but I don't recall their version