The Norman Transcript

April 11, 2014

Music review: Johnny Drummer brings spark, swagger

by Doug Hill
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Musician: Johnny Drummer

Album name: Bad Attitude

Why you should listen: It’s probably reason enough to spin this record that producer Michael Frank wrote a thousand word introduction for the liner notes. The man who founded Earwig Music Inc. in 1978 and managed David “Honeyboy” Edwards (1915-2011) for 27 years is a scholar of and multi-talented fixture on the Chicago blues scene. Frank details his nearly two decade long professional association with Johnny Drummer, praises these new “well crafted tunes,” and concludes with the advice to “Dig it!” And well you should.

Bad Attitude’s 13 original Drummer songs are a fresh and entertaining set of compositions from a guy who has been lighting up blues stages around the world since 1959. By this point in their careers lots of gents are laid back on automatic pilot, if still performing at all. This is not the case with Drummer. There’s spark and swagger in these tunes that comes from a genuine interest in life, keen sense of humor and strong indications of a still active libido.

No one will accuse Drummer of being overly-refined in his song writing. “Bit Her in the Butt” about a bad dog may be crude but it’s undeniably funny. It contains a lesson both inner city and country kids often learn early, some vicious canines you just can’t turn your back on. “Don’t Call Me Trash” is about living in a double-wide trailer park. Drummer’s solid-sender brass section honks extra stout on this track about the hard working people who don’t reside behind a white picket fence. “One Size Fits All” glorifies Drummer’s personal anatomy. “It makes no difference if you’re short/ if you’re tall/ I got what you want/ I got what you need/ One size fits all,” he sings confidently. That’s just the opposite of a bad attitude.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.