Who Do You Love?

Musical legend Bo Diddley died today. If you've not heard him, you've been missing out. His style of play was both original and fun, and became a major influence on modern rock. As the New York Times article on his death mentions, he carried a sense of humor with nearly everything he did. But his influence went well beyond rock and blues. Like a song where there's name checking? Bo knows. Like artists who strut their stuff and keep the competition in place? Bo knows.

You've heard the beat before. You'll heart it again. But no one played it like he did.

I first stumbled across Bo Diddley on a blues compilation I picked up the summer before I went to college. I could tell the man had a booming voice, even though the recording itself was pretty weak. And that beat. I'd heard some of his songs before, I'm sure, but it was the range and the wit - the way he played while he was playing that was such a draw to me. How can you not love the wordplay in "Who Do You Love"? How could you not grin just a little at a line like "When Bo Diddley comes to town the streets go empty and the sun goes down."?

So with that in mind, here's a link to one of my favorite Bo Diddley tracks, a simple little number with pianist Otis Spann (maybe most famous for his work with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and other staples of the Chicago blues scene).

Click here to hear: Signifying Blues (xtended Version) - Bo Diddley


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