Bad Temper Joe - The Memphis Tapes (12" Vinyl-Album)
TZ1988Regular price $22.34
Slowly but purposefully, the Bielefeld blues musician, guitarist, singer and songwriter Bad Temper Joe is making his way through the musical 21st century. His music does not claim to be suitable for the masses. Nevertheless, nobody will be able to escape the sounds of his Weissenborn guitar once he or she has gotten involved with it. With "The Memphis Tapes", BTJ is now releasing a very special piece of music for all blues lovers: an EP on vinyl, artistically designed (artwork: Gerald Oppermann) and recorded at the famous Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee - right there, where blues greats like howlin? Wolf, Junior Parker, James Cotton and last but not least Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash have recorded many of their songs.
"The Memphis Tapes" lets six songs from Bad Temper Joe's earlier productions sound completely new in a different guise: in that sound that only the Sun Studio and only one record makes possible. The recordings take the audience into the night of February 2, 2020 on Union Avenue, where the venerable studio is located. A surprisingly warm wind is blowing outside for the time of year. The tape machine is already rattling inside. A single chair is provided. Joe, as always with his guitar on his knees, sits down. A few microphones are arranged and sound engineer Daniel Crockett gives the signal through the glass pane: the recording is in progress. Just one day earlier, the East Westphalian blues bard was still on stage at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis, playing his songs in front of an enthusiastic audience of more than 2,000. The theater - also known for the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line" - was the venue for the finals of the International Blues Challenge. Bad Temper Joe not only held up the colors of the German blues at the challenge. He was also given the special recognition of being the last European remaining in the competition to appear in the final. He had already delighted the American audience in various clubs on Beale Street the previous days.
So, well prepared, we went to the Sun Studio. In a single night, Joe records multiple takes of the six tracks that will now appear as The Memphis Tapes. The result is worth listening to: the recordings, mixed by Henning Strandt, give the listener the feeling of being right there: in Memphis, in the Sun Studio, right next to BTJ. The spirit of Johnny Cash seems to hover over the late 20s when the country ballad "Girl from the East" rings out. Quite a few of the blues spirits should nod approvingly when he once again sings about tears and diamonds. Finally, Joe takes his audience onto the highway to bid the grumpy singer/songwriter farewell—not without a last standing glass—made only for the traveling life. There are probably only a few artists who succeed in captivating their audience with such a minimalist setting. With "The Memphis Tapes" Bad Temper Joe shows once again that he succeeds from the first to the last note. The Memphis Tapes will not change the world. But if you get involved with the crackling of the vinyl record, you will forget the fast pace, the ups and downs and the back and forth of our time for almost 30 minutes.
01 If Tears Were Diamonds
02 Hell’s Gonna Fly
03 Girl From The East
02 Sleeping Giant Blues
03 Man For The Road