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Little Junior Crudup - The Baddest Man Alive

11 tracks

The Baddest Man Alive is the new CD by Earl “Little Junior” Crudup. Crudup is the nephew of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup. He is the executive producer and “the lyrical genius” along with Michael “Spiderman” Robinson. I was excited to hear what the baddest man alive sounds like. I am familiar with some of the guest performers on the CD, specifically Ronnie Stewart, Carl Green, and of course, Kenny Neal. The track “Good Rocking Daddy” features Judith Harris Coleman in a duet with Crudup. The band is good. They may be guest performers but it is obvious that they have performed together before.

The title track, “The Baddest Man Alive” is pure party pickup bravado. “Going Back To Texas” is yet another song about Texas women. Hey, the rest of us are OK too. “Ooowee Ooowee” is chock full of ooowees, maybe a little bit too many. I’m trying not to visualize the song, “Everything You Drop Is Hot.” The track features Kenny Neal on guitar and harmonica. The woman who is the subject of “Sho Nuff Scared Of You” just ought to hook up with the baddest man alive. They seem to be a matched pair.

“On Fire” with Carl Green is a churchy ode to the woman who thawed his heart. It is followed by the “Gates Of Hell” which is also not a gospel song. My favorite is “Always Wanted You Here.” It is not a “common” libido, bravado, hoochee mama song like some of the rest of them. “Need A Country Girl” is at a bit slower pace, not quite a ballad. The CD ends with “Blues Ain’t Black No Mo.” That topic could be a thesis for a doctorate in ethnomusicology or sociology. I am sure we each have our own opinion on the topic. If you have to sue for royalties, publishing, et al, it has definitely been stolen. If someone else’s name appears in the writing credits with yours and they were nowhere around when you wrote the song, it was stolen. If your version sounds better but someone else gets rich off it, it was stolen.

Overall, the music is good. It’s the highlight of the CD. Crudup bills himself as the lyrical genius. That is a stretch, as is, the baddest man alive. There’s nothing wrong with confidence.

Coming soon: Servant Of The Blues, a feature film starring “Little Junior” Crudup!

Reviewer Sheralyn Graise graduated from the University of Akron a while back. A former Social Services professional, she is now pursuing other interests such as music history, writing, and photography. She has been a member of the Blues Foundation since 2001.

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