Bo Diddley “The Black Gladiator” | Light In The Attic Records
I must admit my ignorance. Before listening to “The Black Gladiator”, I was sure that Bo Diddley was strictly a blues musician. So under this assumption and previous experiences with Bo Diddley, I got in my dusty little Jetta, and went for what I thought would be a nostalgic, chilled out stroll.
Turns out that instead of taking a chilled out drive, I ended up heading to downtown blasting “The Black Gladiator” in all its soulful, funked out beauty. The shuffles throughout the tracks are unforgettable. Essentially, it feels like an unforgettable stroll in Downtown Los Angeles, through the bars and cluster of people. Listening to “The Black Gladiator” transports me to an era that I have never experienced but always wanted to. The keys on the record remind me of early Ray Manzarek losing his fingers to the groove of psychedelic flushed soul. The entire record uses groove and dirt driven blues riffs.
Diddley’s voice is one that seemingly cannot lie. His sincerity in not only his lyrics but also in his raspy raw notes hit unbelievable levels that continually make the listener close his/her eyes and nod in deep with an expression of understanding. “Power House” is one of the most notorious meshes of soulful expression and funk kick. The riff something simple but with the intertwining melodies of the singing and keys that makes for a quite original piece. ”Thou shall not hate thy neighbor and though shall love thy brother” is said with undeniable understanding.
This record really is a come together of African American music across all borders. This is the melting pot of what has been said and fought for with the music produced from the 50’s to now. This is ride or die music to a soundtrack that is universal. This is bedroom music for intimacy and honesty. This is 70’s music that speaks to us now in 2012. This is the type of album brought together by a master who has influenced “The Pretty Things” and “The Beatles”. John Lee Hooker brought upon Bo Diddley, and Bo Diddley brought upon a future generation of rock and roll so dear to our hearts. We owe Bo Diddley future generations of Rock and Roll. “The Black Gladiator” is, to say the least, very important. Thank you “Light in The Attic Records“.