18.11.17

Cadet Electric Blues LPs



"Electric Mud" and "The Howlin' Wolf Album" were efforts by Chess Records to ride the wave of electric blues coming out of the UK, to ape the likes of Cream, The Yardbirds and The Rolling Stones. Marshall Chess, son of Leonard, was written a cheque by his dad, founded the sub-label Cadet and had had a successful experiment with Rotary Connection's debut. The motivation with these subsequent two LPs was teach the young British scoundrels how it was really done.

Curiously both artists used the same epithet "dog shit" to describe the LPs. Pretty much every critic ever has followed suit in describing them pejoratively. Truthfully the records, beyond being first rate curios (I was delighted to pick up a vinyl copy of "Electric Mud" at Permanent Records in Chicago, from its "home" so to speak), are not bad at all.

The band, playfully called "The Electric Niggers" in production, was headed by scorched-earth guitarist Pete Cosey who later went on to work with Miles Davis on his legendary electric double LPs "Agharta", "Pangea" and "Dark Magus". The pair fit squarely in rank with the Funkadelic and Hendrix LPs of the era and also have pre-echoes of the Black No-Wave of James Blood.