Trippin Backwards Robert Hokum East Meets West Blues
Having Fun ‘Trippin’ Backwards With Robert Hokum, this Live Retrospective is fun and full of blues, roots and a twist of funkiness. The album is divided into three segments and show why Robert Hokum is a mainstay of the West London Blues scene and should be known far and wide.
Opening an album with three distinct segments is Robert Hokum & The Guvnors from the Album Live in Ealing. The band formed in 1987 and split in 2012 and this album was a limited edition release after the demise of the band. The album’s claim to fame is it was the most listened to album on the British Airways In-flight playlist in the Jazz-Blues category. With six tracks including Tripping Backwards you can understand why. The sound is fat and stylish with horns and a driving blues rhythm that is infectious from Kickin’ It Back through to Don’t Make Your Move Too Soon. Your inner funkiness connected on the title track and as Robert sings, “Don’t Burn Your Bridges it is a dead-end track”. One thing for certain there is nothing dead-end about this funky bluesy maelstrom Robert Hokum is kicking up with The Guv’nors. Into this mix is a stylish cover of Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower via Hendrix’s guitar.
THE GUV’NORS – Formed in 1987 as an outlet for Robert’s BB King Fixation, they developed into ‘A Funky Spanking of the Blues’. Successful on the Blues circuit but mainstream recognition eluded them. The band split in 2012 with a posthumous limited edition (300 copies) CD ‘Live In Ealing’ being produced. In 2015 chance circumstance led to ‘Live In Ealing’ getting on to the British Airways In-Flight playlist and became the most listened to album in the whole Jazz-Blues category……
The mood changes with Careless Love and Dorris Henderson. The mood is sultry and has a gentle bluesy feel mixing folk with jazz. A melting pot of roots music creating a tree that is flowing with musical integrity. Sadly, the recording on ‘Trippin’ Backwards’ was made less than a year before she passed away. The power of Dorris captured in the four numbers she sings and the spoken introduction. We learn about the songs from a woman who was part of the New York Greenwich Village scene, before moving to London in the early ‘60s and probably the first Afro-American to commercially record English Folk Music. We learn about her time in jail and closing this mini set a Southern White Spiritual Wayfaring Stranger. The pass is spiritual and moving and the applause warm as Robert thanks her and Part Two comes to an end.
For the closing segment of the album we are going East of Ealing as we Circle Round The Sun with Blues Sans Frontieres. Inspired when Robert visited Indonesia and on hearing a call to prayer that had the uncanny resemblance to one of Leadbelly’s recordings. We now hear how the blues works in perfect harmony with world music. The roots of musical form are explored adding interesting texture and form. Variety spicing up the blues as the album closes with a holler answered by a sitar on Walking The 1020. Referring to The Uxbridge Road that runs through Ealing and the tonal cadence is pure blues and adding in a multi-cultural collaboration that reflects the diversity of the borough.
It is Ealing that is the blues thread that holds the segments diversity together. The music never losing the connection with blues and is fun to listen to from beginning to the end.
EIGHTdoodle paws out of TEN …
Part One – Robert Hokum & The Guv’nors from the album Live In Ealing
- Kickin’ It Back
- Trippin’ Backwards
- All Along The Watchtower
- Hot Latin Blues
- Don’t Make Your Move Too Soon
Part Two: Dorris Henderson with The Robert Hokum Blues Band from the album Blues on the Loose at Moose
- Careless Love
- Rocks In My Bed
- 30 Days in Jail
- Wayfaring Stranger
Part Three – Blues Sans Frontieres (previously unreleased)
- Circle Around The Sun
- Walking The 1020
ROBERT HOKUM – TRIPPIN’ BACKWARDS – A ‘LIVE’ RETROSPECTIVE featuring: THE GUV’NORS, DORRIS HENDERSON & BLUES SANS FRONTIERES Will not be available on any streaming or download services and will only be purchasable in CD format. It will be available by Mail Order via website at www.ealingclub.com price £10 inc. P&P (UK) £15 inc.P&P (overseas)
Ealing Blues is part of Ealings Annual Summer Festivals – check out and catch the Blues in Ealing HERE