Booker T. Jones Sets Montreux On Fire

Booker T. Jones MontreuxWhen I walked in, late, to Booker T. Jones’ set, Vernon “Ice” Black and Booker T. were trading guitar licks on Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe,” and I can’t recall a better version since I heard Jimi do it himself. Booker T. told some wonderful stories to introduce his songs, including one about Dylan asking him to come down and record for a movie, and they did “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” together, then he repeated the song for us. His drummer is also a rapper, and although I have heard “Take Me To The River” performed by everyone from Al Green to Levon Helm, I never heard it with rap interludes, and never expected it to go so well.

Back at the B3, Booker T started on songs from his new album, Sound the Alarm, and the band went into overdrive. Another Booker T and the MG’s song, “Soul-Limbo,” is familiar to anyone who follows cricket; with its infectious Caribbean rhythms and creative use of cowbell, this song was again enhanced by a little rapping and a jaw-dropping drum solo. With all due respect to the great man Booker T was named after, I think they were one letter off when they filled out his birth certificate–he should be Cooker T, because no matter who that man plays with, his band just cooks.

– Suzanne Cadgene

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