Johnny Guitar Watson – A Real Mother (1977) – Lp
John Watson, Jr. (February 3, 1935 – May 17, 1996), known professionally as Johnny “Guitar” Watson, was an American blues, soul, and funk musician and singer-songwriter. A flamboyant showman and electric guitarist in the style of T-Bone Walker, Watson recorded throughout the 1950s and 1960s with some success. His creative reinvention in the 1970s with disco and funk overtones.
Artist: Johnny Guitar Watson
Title: A Real Mother
Label: DJM Records
Catalog# DJF 20505
Johnny Guitar Watson at the top of his game – working here in a sublime mix of funk, blues, and soul – all crafted into a groove that was uniquely Watson‘s own! Johnny may have started the 70s in relative obscurity – down from some hit work in the 50s and 60s – but by the time of this set, he was back on top, and working in a confident groove that few others from his older era could ever hope to achieve! There’s a youthful sense of sex and soul that run through the entire set – an effortlessly slinky groove that never goes too over the top in the funk department, and which makes just the right use of electric instrumentation and tripped-out production, but never gets too wrapped up in either – and often comes off with some great jazzy touches as well.
Based around a throbbing Moog bass line and some ferociously funky drumming,the title song sets the stage with Watson’s signature guitar licks keeping the blues attitude as he sings about one of his favorite running topics: the financial entropy of the mid 70’s fuel crisis. “Nothing Left To Be Desired” is a powerfully cinematic love ballad-opening with Watson talking in his “big boy” voice about how love has simplified his needs and made him more compassionate. “Your Love Is My Love” is a high hat-oriented groove dominated by powerful horn charts and Watson singing and scatting through his talk box.
“The Real Deal” is a dynamically arranged cinematic type slower funk groove with a lot of double tracked scatting and a melodic refrain somewhat reminiscent of “This Masquerade”. “Tarzan” follows the lead of the title song somewhat-again with one of his narrative lyric themes and this time with a witty,playful sexuality. “I Wanna Thank You” is another appreciative love ballad-this time with high pitched,sparkly synthesizer flourishes leading the way. “Lover’s Jones” ends the album with some flat out,straight up hard funk filled with Watson’s clever sexual observations.
1. A Real Mother For Ya (5:00)
2. Nothing Left To Be Desired (5:42)
3. Your Love Is My Love (4:38)
4. The Real Deal (5:53)
1. Tarzan (4:58)
2. I Wanna Thank You (6:05)
3. Lover Jones (5:23)