Robert Davis – Vocals except #6, Harmonica, Acoustic guitar track #3
Fraser Melvin – Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Lap Steel, Vocal on track #6
Yasel Giralt – Tres, Laud, Acoustic Bass, Marimbula
Pedro Pérez Quintero – All percussion: congas, bongos, güiro, maracas, campana & botija
Rosario Escobar – Electric Piano track #8
Produced by Robert Davis
Recorded and mixed by Yenkys González Gómez at Padre Vandor Studios, Cuba
Track 10 recorded by José Ramón González with additional engineering by Roberto Ledesma
Mastered by Ron Skinner at Heading North
CD design by Stephanie Lang
Cover photo by Raúl Ernesto Gutiérrez Garcia (El Yuca)
Tracks and Notes:
1. I’ve Got My Mojo Working: (Foster/Dare Music Inc) – Get your mojo working with a Cuban conga often heard at a street party!
2. Bluechacha: (Bibb, Leyvan Ordonez/Bug Music Ltd) Our cover of the title track from a Manuel Galban album recorded in Cuba and released in 2012. The original had bluesman Eric Bibb on vocals.
3. Sittin’ on Top of the World: (Vinson & Chatmon/PD) This Mississippi Sheiks’ songs is a great platform for Yasel to showcase the Cuban laud. Listen for the botija – a potbellied earthenware jug; and the marimbula for the bass line.
4. Hi-Heel Sneakers: (Higginbotham/Lily Pond Music) José Feliciano’s cover changed the original blues beat using a latin flavour and so that’s our inspiration. Yasel plays marimbula for the bass line.
5. House of the Rising Sun: (Trad. arr. Robert Davis) This arrangement gets a Cuban intro that is used as a bridge throughout. Yasel plays the laud and the bass line on a marimbula which is a Cuban invention.
6. Mother in Law: (Kador/Manitou Music) Fraser Melvin sings about la suegra in this cover. La suegra gets the last word with Norma (the studio cleaner) chastising him in Spanish.
7. Up North Blues: (Rachell/BMG) Another blues song that features Yasel – this time on the Cuban tres. The 1941 original has Sonny Boy Williamson throwing in quips to Yank’s sung lines. True to that version I throw in some comments between the lines in Spanish.
8. Summertime: (Gershwin, Heyward/Chappel & CO) This instrumental track adds some piano to the album with Rosario playing in a latin style on this classic. Fraser takes a guitar solo too.
9. Bo Diddley: (McDaniel/ ARC Music) The Bo Diddley beat is a clave rhythm which is a staple in Cuban rhythms. The chorus of voices sings “Listen to the clave!”
10. Me and the Devil: (Johnson/PD) Bonus track. Straight up Robert Johnson. A live recording from a solo acoustic show I performed at the Sala Margarita Casallas of the El Mejunje Cultural Centre in Santa Clara on June 30, 2017.