Beware of the Dog

Artist: Hound Dog Taylor And The House Rockers
Released by: Alligator Records
Release Year: 1976

A live album can tell you a lot about a musician. It reveals the truth. These days with additional studio overdubs, the truth may be a little harder to find, but it’s in there somewhere. Beware Of The Dog doesn’t have any overdubbing. It’s just three guys, Hound Dog Taylor on guitar and vocals, Brewer Philips on guitar, and Ted Harvey on drums. And these three guys hammer out the blues. There’s all kinds of blues music. There’s the kind with guitar gods who spiral off into the stratosphere, with their eyes closed, and their guitars conveying their pain. And there are the guys who locked into a groove and ride it for all it’s worth. Hound Dog Taylor And The House Rockers fall into the latter category. The sound is pretty raw. No bass. No keyboards.

01. Give Me Back My Wig
02. The Sun Is Shining
03. Kitchen Sink Boogie
04. Dust My Broom
05. Comin’ Around The Mountain
06. Let’s Get Funky
07. Rock Me
08. It’s Allright
09. Freddie’s Blues

There’s no filler on this album. Each track on this album is straight ahead blues. Give Me Back My Wig, Kitchen Sink Boogie and Dust My Broom are full tilt rockers. Let’s Get Funky locks in on the ultimate blues groove. Only for Freddie’s Blues do they pull back and show you what they really can do. Hound Dog Taylor And The House Rockers were there to entertain and that’s what they did – and with this CD the music lives on.

What I find truly remarkable, it that when these shows were recorded in 1974, Hound Dog Taylor was 58 years old, and he was still playing three shows a night. Sadly though, the following year, Hound Dog Taylor died of cancer. Maybe he had it when he recorded this album. I don’t know, but it goes back to what I was saying earlier – each live album reveals the truth. And this one reveals that Hound Dog Taylor had a huge heart and soul, and was foremost an entertainer.

Beware of the Dog