The Swamp Boogie Queen - I'm Bad
Katie Webster. Just saying her name conjures smiles.
Having had the opportunity to see her I can attest
that this live recording, The Swamp Boogie Queen
- I'm Bad (Wolf Records), captures her in all her
splendor. She was bad before Marcia Ball and she
just loved to “rock that boogie woogie.”
tunes captured here were recorded in Athens, Greece
in 1990. Katie solo at the piano. Tearing it up. She
was tender, but she was bawdy more often. The
program consists of her brilliant piano and her
Opening with "Got My Mojo Working,"
she boogies through "Katie’s Boogie," with quotes of
"Sweet Home Chicago." "I’m Bad" is played at a mid-tempo
and she sings about driving all the men crazy and
making the women leave home. She’s a Hootchy Cootchy
"Basin Street Blues" is given a relatively
mellow reading. "Sea of Love," the song that put her
on the musical map when she was 13 and played piano
on the original Phil Phillips recording, shares
space with Jimmy Reed’s "Honest I Do." Two tunes from
the Otis Redding catalog, "Sittin’ On The Dock of the
Bay" and "Try a Little Tenderness" are on the set list.
She was Redding’s touring pianist for a few years,
Top to bottom this is a wonderful glimpse
into the magic that was Ms. Katie Webster. Blues,
standards and gospel share space, and it’s a great
space to be in. Those lucky Greeks!
--- Mark E. Gallo