Bo Diddley - "Hey, Bo Diddley"
It isn't easy or all too necessary to write much to accompany this. For a while I was thinking to connect Bo Diddley to Harpo Marx, in the unabashed goodness shared in each man's presentation. Then I tried to think of others who shared this, and thought of Roger Miller and Black Sabbath. The work of these people makes me feel clean and powerful, grateful and useful.
Bo Diddley shares something awesome with Merle Haggard insofar as each man kept giving their live audiences the effort and respect that those audiences had earned, all the while never ceasing private labor on themselves and their music. The evidence of Bo Diddley's live concerts show a man who gets the audience agitated and exuberant; his records are deep and wild and different as the years went on. Bo Diddley doesn't (just) deliver happiness, he elicits it. Pow!
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Will Oldham will be writing from Louisville every Wednesday about loved and significant music.