In June of 1963, 79-year-old Gus Cannon
went into the studio in Memphis to cut his first recording in close to seven years, all a result of the Rooftoop Singers having made his "Walk Right In" into a number one single. The producers didn't ask for too much out of Cannon
, to judge from the results -- just that he sit there with his banjo and old friends Will Shade
(jug) and Milton Roby
(washboard) backing him, and do his favorite songs. He introduces a few of them in separately indexed spoken passages, and runs through them in leisurely if dedicated fashion: the title track (which is much bluesier than the hit in Cannon
's hands), "Salty Dog" (the best track here), "Gonna Raise a Ruckus Tonight," "Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor," and "Crawdad Hole." The album is almost an audio documentary tour through different corners of Cannon
's life and career that, ideally, might've run to several volumes.