Sunday, April 28, 2013

Esquerita - Vintage Voola

It's another classic "chicken-or-the-egg" question - who came first, Little Richard or Esquerita? Both had strong New Orleans influences, both were heavy piano pounders, both had outrageous stage personas and both utilized the wild "Oooooh!" shrieks. But in the end, does it really matter as we get to enjoy them both through their fabulous recordings.

Born Eskew Reeder Jr. (at least by some accounts), he started as a South Carolina gospel pianist before finding his mythical "voola" in rock'n'roll. "Discovered" by Paul Peek from Gene Vincent's Blue Caps in 1958, he relocated to Dallas and cut the demos that appear on this CD. Taken from the only surviving acetates, these are rough'n'tumble rock'n'roll numbers, ranging from wild boogies to (comparatively) slow blues. Definitely rawer than anything that would have meant to be released, this is still coola, voola high-energy!

This CD is filled out with a couple of extra obscurities and even a Little Richard interview acknowledging Mr. Rita. Short, but great - well worth it!