That Blues from the Gutter was one of the first blues LPs Jones heard and was a huge influence on his playing is documented in several sources. But a description of his first time hearing the record is documented in the book Foundation Stone, by Graham Ride, a friend of Jones' in Cheltenham, and apparently the guy who introduced him to the record.
A description of that event, along with a good breakdown of Blues from the Gutter track-for-track, can be found in an excerpt from the book from the author's website. The upshot of Ride's thesis is that before Ride played Jones BFTG* he was something of a trad/jazz snob, but after hearing the record he is a blues convert, saying more than once, "I just have to play this stuff . . . what a sound."
|He got the habit|
Not only that, but it's great from beginning to end, and while a lot of the material is recylcled from earlier Dupree recordings, the decision to gather together all of his material with grittier subject matter in once place was brilliant - I don't know that there was a blues LP before this one that had any kind of thematic unity.
In fact, I don't know of any better "after hours" styled blues record than this one. The recording is excellent, Dupree is in top-notch vocal form (I particularly love his Big Joe Turneresque turn on "Evil Woman") and the band is not only killer, they are extremely sympathetic and supportive of one another - the shouts of encouragement and pleasure that accompany the music are infectious.
The album starts with "Strollin'", and once again, Dupree starts a record by saying "I want all you teenagers and bobbysoxers to gather around this jukebox", although the notion that any bobbysoxer in the late 50s would be attracted to this steaming pile of skid-row squalor (or that their parents would allow such a thing in their home) is pretty hilarious. The CD reissue blew it initially and used the wrong take, and the 45 is edited, so the LP is the way to go. Here's the whole track.
|But the 45 sure is purty|
I'm not going to go through every track, because you probably either already have this record, or you should just go find a copy to have for your own three in the morning nasty boogie woogies. But here's a couple more - the excellent version of "Bad Blood", for me a distillation of what this whole record is about, and the version of "Stack-O-Lee" that closes the record with a classic album ending verse if there ever was one: "Said I want Louis Armstrong and his band to play the blues as they lay my body down/I want 10,000 women to be at my burying ground."
*No, not Back from the Grave, but, hey - anagramology certainly rears its head on that coincidence. Blues from the Gutter begats the Rolling Stones who beget Back from the Grave which means somehow in the twisted world of Dr. Filth rock and roll logic (for this month anyway) Jack Dupree is the father of the Keggs. Or at least "Orphan Boy".