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Baker's Dozen

God's Own Medicine: Wayne Hussey's Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , October 10th, 2013 08:06

We put in a long-distance call to Brazil to ask The Mission frontman and former Sister Of Mercy about the gems in his record collection


Texas Alexander - The Complete Recordings
Again, the old south blues, delta blues, whatever you want to call it is something that I’ve gotten into in the last six or seven years. It could’ve been any one of ten, fifteen names I could’ve picked: Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Skip James, Charlie Patton, Bukka White, Robert and Lonnie Johnson. I love all that stuff; I love the sound of one man and his guitar. Maybe it’s to do with the fact that in the last ten years I’ve actually started playing solo, hence an appreciation for Hank and Dylan that maybe I didn’t have before. And Texas Alexander, this guy came out of the fields, he’s a field hollerer, he does the moaning. And some of the lyrics are really explicit, sexually explicit, you know. You probably wouldn’t be able to get away with them these days, but I love that whole mythology about the old blues from the south, and that whole thing about one man and his guitar.

One of my favourites, it’s not on this album, but there’s a track by Lucille Bogan, I can’t remember the name of it now, but the lyrics go - and this is cracking - “I’ve got nipples on my titties the size of my thumb, I’ve got something between my legs that’ll make a dead man cum”. Now, you can’t beat that! But there are similar things on the Texas Alexander record. The one I’ve chosen is The Complete Recordings Volume One, so I presume there must at least be a volume two at some point, but this one is his recordings from 1927 to 1928.

Going back to what we were saying before, a lot of rock music to me is now sounding generic. I’ve gone further and further back in my listening tastes to kind of compensate for that. Saying that, there are things I do like these days; The xx’s first album, I think that’s a great album; I like the last Laura Marling album; I like Smoke Fairies. So there are things I like, but rock music generally I just find too generic, so that’s why I’m going back to stuff that’s really organic, I suppose. And as I said, it could have been any one of ten or fifteen artists that I could have chosen to represent that blues thing that I’m into these days. And this is all the kind of stuff where it is just an acoustic guitar, or just piano and voice, or a combination of just a couple of guitars. It’s before the electric blues. I like Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters and that kind of stuff as well, but not as much as the old south blues.