Standing on the stage like a tall barrel of beer, the stout and sturdy Wild Child Butler tapped his right foot, swung his hips and authoritatively snapped his fingers. Some musicians keep time subtly. Wild Child does it more obviously than a metronome. With everything, in fact, Wild Child shows his true colors without prompt.
That same cold, October night, he alternated between blowing a furious blues harp and singing with such emotion that his face would give the meaning of each song to even the deaf. And he was wearing a green suit and looking good, without doubt - a sign of how unique this man is. As traditional as the blues on this album are, there’s no mistaking a Wild Child tune. They can’t be played this way by anyone else - not so boisterous, not so Wild Child.
Perhaps it’s the syncopation. The way Wild Child punches certain syllables with either his harp or voice. His blues sometimes sound angry and raw, other times soft and country-polished.
"They’ve always called mine the swamp sound," Wild Child said. "It’s not too fast and not too slow. They calls it snapping blues. Everything is snappy. I was told from Willie Dixon that I had a way-out strange voice. He said he could hear it between Howlin’ Wolf and Lightnin’ Hopkins. He said ain’t nothing been around like that."
Here’s a man whose been heavily praised by Dixon, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Jimmy Rogers just to name a few; a man who those blues legends were proud to accompany.
He’s joined by drummer Sam Lay, one of Wild Child’s old running mates, and guitarist Jimmy D. Lane, the son of Rogers, one of Wild Child’s closest friends. Bob Stroger, also from the old school, plays bass, and APO heavyweight Jimmie Lee Robinson sits in on acoustic guitar on "You Had Quit Me."
Wild Child said the session brought back memories of his tours with Rogers and Lay. Just substitute Jimmy's.
"It’s Little Jimmy and Big Jimmy," Wild Child said of Rogers and his son Lane. "His father was Big Jimmy. The son is a big man, but I call him Little Jimmy. That boy kind of came up under me. I think he’s scared I’m gonna give him a spanking if he do wrong."
This release offers a fine mix of Wild Child’s down-home, acoustic sound, his slow, muscular blues and his up-tempo shuffle or "snapping blues." As Wild Child himself said, "If you can’t dig these blues, you got a hole in your soul. "Talkin’ bout sho’ ‘nuff."
Selections: Side One: Open Up Baby, You Had To Quit Me; Side Two: I Got To Go (Sweet Daddy-O), Can You Use A Man Like Me?; Side Three: Moaning Morning, Slippin' In, Funky Things; Side Four: It's All Over, I Changed.