Cadillac Records

18 August 2010

I’ve been listening to a lot of Howlin Wolf recently, especially since I saw the excellent Cadillac Records film, based on the Chess Records story. I’ve become increasingly interested in blues over the last couple of years, and this film really filled in some gaps for me. I think the main reason I love Howlin Wolf so much is I have a vivid memory of ‘Smokestack Lightning’ from an old Budweiser advert they always used to put between Beavis & Butt-head episodes on Channel Four.

Chess Records electrified Howlin Wolf’s catalogue in 1969, mixing it with Hendrix-style psychedelic rock. Howlin Wolf himself hated it, but I think it is rather good.

I would recommend Cadillac Records. I was slightly put off when I discovered Beyonce was in it, but my scepticism was ill-founded. Mos Def makes a great Chuck Berry, and Beyonce makes a really strong performance as Etta James. I don’t know the actor who plays Howlin Wolf but he is one scary mofo.

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