Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Bo Diddley - Hey Bo Diddley / Bo Diddleydotdotdotdot
artworkBo Diddley invented rock 'n' roll, or at least he put the rock in it. His classic sound inspired generations of players. Where others merely played the guitar, he rode it with a grin, having great fun and making great noise. For my money, Bo Diddley is the first guitar god. It is from his wellspring that flowed the earliest rock 'n' roll guitar glissandos, and he is the earliest rock practitioner of that glorious vibrato. He used many different guitars over the years, many custom made in various shapes, most notably his signature square guitar. Bo's sidemen have included the likes of Willie Dixon, Jerome Green, the Duchess, Peggy Malone (Lady Bo), Billy Stewart, and many more.

He displays more humility than anyone of his stature, except maybe Davie Allan. He knows what he's done, but it isn't an ego thing, it's just who he is. A real gentleman. Still rockin' with steady rhythm today, Bo Diddley is one of a kind. This CD couples a pair of UK releases that compile work from as early as 1955 and as late as 1963, and includes six instros.
Picks: Detour, Shank, Diddling, Bo's Bounce, Sad Sack

Track by Track Review


Detour dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

An adventure down a path less taken, especially for Bo Diddley, "Detour" presents a rolling open two-lane cruise on a Hog. The wind is in your face, and Bo is playing in fine form. Much more melodic and less rhythmic than his classic "sound," this features tremolo and a round sound. No relation to the Duane Eddy tune.

Shank dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This track is more typically Bo Diddley, rhythmic, vibratoed, and 15 IPS echoed. It has the sense of highway flight, and sports exquisite glissandos. Chunky and oh-so cool!

Diddling dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Diddling" is in a cool bluesy groove, jammin' with smooth picking and throbbing second guitar vibrato. Deluxe damped chops, a relentless rhythm, and a semi-menacing sound. Very good.

Bo's Bounce dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is almost Freddie King like, with a bouncy blues riff and a great rhythmic chunk. Quite jam like, but Bo's slidin' chokin' guitaristry is too much fun. It fades long before it should end, probably because it was an improvisation at the time of the recording.

Sad Sack dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

What a cool track! A walking bass line, exotic drums (though they're mostly indistinct in the mix), and a mysterious guitar line more like something out of 1968 than the late fifties. A huge pre-psychedelic event, mystical and very adventurous.

Bo's Twist dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a moderately interesting number, much in the vein of the frat rockin' fifties, jam guitar riffs and a Leslie console churning. Just OK.