Release Date: Mar 23, 2010
Record label: Anti
On his 1997 album Slant 6 Mind, foggy-voiced folk bluesman Greg Brown details every detail of a shitty dive bar where the waiters treat him like crap, the owner insults him and, worst of all, threatens not to pony up his cash when the show’s over. The song is called “Mose Allison Played Here” and it lays out every working musician’s waking nightmare, set to a swampy blues shuffle punctuated by an inspired Bo Ramsey guitar solo. Then comes the pay-off, one that not-so-subtly explains the reverence with which Allison is held among veteran musicians like Brown and Ramsey: “But as I set up, I’m proud to be here / ‘Cause once last November / Once last November / Once last November / Mose Allison played here”.
Mose Allison basically retired from studio recording after 1998’s dynamite Gimcracks and Gewgaws. Retired, that is, until producer Joe Henry met him in 2008 and dogged him until he graciously caved in. He coaxed Allison into his basement studio and cut the seven originals and five covers that became The Way of the World with a host of players from his own stable in five days.