The songs can be downloaded at the end of the order.
Groundbreaking first album from the true inventors of Folk-Punk
Steve Baker came to Germany in 1976 with Have Mercy, a crazed Anglo-American acoustic blues and jugband whose members also included Henry Heggen and Rory McLeod. German blues expert Werner Weber, who saw the band performing in London and spontaneously invited them to play in his hometown of Aachen, described their music as “Rocking Harmonica Blues”, but in spirit it was in many ways closer to the energy of the punk rock scene then emerging in Britain. Have Mercy ended up in Hamburg, the northern port city which played such a vital role in the development of British beat music, where their riotous performances swiftly earned them the reputation as one of the hottest acts on the thriving “Hamburg Scene”.
Thanks to their highly individual but undeniably authentic style of rocking roots music and their inspired live shows, Have Mercy gained a considerable degree of notoriety in their adopted hometown. They were soon offered a deal with Antagon Records, a Hamburg label which had recently released LPs by Scottish folk icon Alex Campbell and jazz singer Bill Ramsey. By coincidence, Boodlam was recorded in Hamburg during the same two week period in February 1977 when The Clash were recording their eponymous debut LP in London.
As well as the title song, the album includes ripping versions of J.B. Lenoir’s “Mojo Boogie”, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee’s “Poor Man But A Good Man” and Leadbelly’s “Midnight Special”, plus several originals, among them Steve Baker’s “Hustle On Down” and two early songs from Rory McLeod, “Collector Man” and the whimsical “Somebody Else Will”. Powered by massed harmonicas, with Heggen and McLeod’s formidable lead vocals, plus backing vocals from everybody else, and driven by the double Dobros of Brian Barnett and Dick Bird, the album oozes manic youthful energy. It also gives Have Mercy a serious claim as inventors of what later came to be known as Folk Punk. For the first time since the band parted company in the late 1970s, their seminal debut album is now available again, as a download from Timezone Records including original artwork.
Steve Baker: harmonica, vocals, kazoo, guitar
Brian Barnett: guitars, vocals, kazoo
Dick Bird: guitar, vocals, mandolin, washboard
Jon Echols: harmonica, vocals, percussion
Henry Heggen: lead vocals, harmonica, jug, washboard, kazoo
Rory McLeod: Lead vocals, harmonica, jug, washboard, spoons
Werner Weber: rhythm guitar (Dallas Rag)
1. Mojo Boogie (J.B. Lenoir)
2. Hustle On Down (Steve Baker)
3. Somebody Else Will (Rory McLeod)
4. Poor Man But A Good Man (Terry / McGhee)
5. Stealin '(Gus Cannon)
6. Biggest Kick (Henry Heggen)
7. Dive Bomber (Have Mercy)
8. Viola Lee (Noah Lewis, Gus Cannon)
9. Dallas Rag (Trad. Arr. Dick Bird / Werner Weber)
10. Blind Man (Lafayette Leake)
11. Collector Man (Rory McLeod)
12. Wine (Sticks McGhee)
13. Midnight Special (Leadbelly)
14. Boodlam Shake (Trad.Arr. Have Mercy)