Monday, October 25, 2010

Magic: I Walk On Gilded Splinters


Dr. John: I Walk on Gilded Splinters


Johnny Jenkins: I Walk on Gilded Splinters


Darius posted a great example of a hoodoo-influenced blue song yesterday and gave me the idea for this tune, which is a Louisiana voodoo-influenced blues song. Wikipedia tells us the difference between hoodoo and voodoo is that "Voodoo is a religion, whereas Hoodoo is a group of magical practices." This may be a typical Wiki oversimplification – there seems to be a lot of overlap between the two.

Malcolm Rebennack, Jr., was a New Orleans-bred session guitarist turned pianist in the 60's when he created his Voodoo stage persona, Dr. John, the Night Tripper. I Walk on Gilded Splinters is the last song on his 1968 debut album, Gris-Gris, and it features a slow, hypnotic rhythm that sounds like a spell, over lyrics that pledge vengeance against his enemies ( Walk thru the fire, fly thru the smoke, See my enemy at the end of dey rope…. After listening to this, I'm pretty sure I never want to get on the wrong side of this scary dude.

(this song was also featured here by Dean back in 2008, but I thought it bore repeating)

Johnny Jenkins, an American blues artist, covered the song on his 1970 Ton-Ton Macoutte!. The album was intended as a Duane Allman solo LP and includes most of who would soon become the Allman Brothers Band – that's Duane on dobro. Jenkins added the vocals to make what I think is a nearly-superior version. Which one do you prefer? If you can't decide, you might try the covers by Humble Pie (a 23-minute live marathon from the Fillmore East) or the 1995 live cut by Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher.

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