“Chooglin’” was the term that Creedence Clearwater Revival coined for their sound and if you can imagine an acoustic choogle, that how BabaJack sound. It’s not folk, it’s not blues and it’s not rock’n’roll but it incorporates elements of all of them.
Rooster is the third album from the Malvern-based trio. Most of the songs are original although they acknowledge the inspiration of Charley Patton in the closing ‘Som’ These Days’ and ‘Gallows Pole’ is heavily modified from its traditional origins. There is a homespun feel about the band with Trevor Steger’s winebox guitar and Becky Tate’s hand percussion but combine Marc Miletitch’s double bass with Trevor’s guitars and harmonica and you have a rock-solid foundation for Becky’s vocals.
Look beneath the surface and the songs have deeper meaning. ‘The Money’s All Gone’ was written about our current economic climate but with a couple of minor alterations it could have come from any time in the last century and ‘Plenty More Fish’ is a modern take on the “my man done gone and left me” scenario. ‘Burn All The Bridges’ is a wonderful slow burning tale of heartbreak based on a bass riff underpinned with kick-drum while ‘Crying For My Home’ is a plaintive ballad about exile.
Rooster is an album that is enjoyable on many levels whether your fancy runs to scat singing, slide guitar or a taste of pre-war blues. Dai Jeffries.