He sure does get there with this his current album, «Gon’ Boogaloo». The title’s referring to a state of mind but also one of the craziest dances, sometimes also called the shing-a-ling, that swept into the clubs and dance halls of American cities with large Latino populations in the 50’s and 60’s. A kind of cha-cha-cha with a backbeat, mixed with doo-wop, guaguanco and other hot Cuban sounds, coupled with some Southern blues.
It’s his 3rd studio album and it actually is a very bluesy record (a rekkid he calls it) and he released it on his own King Hokum Record Label to wide critical acclaim. It’s music he brings to you with his wailing electric guitar and that growling hardscrabble voice that reaches into variations of the blues as well, like vaudeville of the 20’s and 30’s and calypso. But C.W. doesn’t just wax nostalgic although he likes the distortions and imperfections of those old recordings, he says. Rather, he prefers to write his own original blues compositions like he did on the entire «King Hokum» album from 2005.
He’s a laconic fellow, this C.W., full of half ironic and half slick showbiz talk and he cuts a mighty dapper and charismatic figure. Slicked back parted well brilliantined hair, white shirt and pants, two-tone shoes and he’s topping the favorable impression by sporting a white bow tie with blue polka dots. Both of his musical hands are heavily tattooed and add a rough street and working man’s touch to his appearance. But it’s his music that will scuttle you, slush you around and reach deep into you as far as you allow it to.There’s the shouting back-and-forth of the gospel as well. But even more it’s the songwriting that’s at the center of C.W. Stoneking’s very personal universe. You can easily hear that if you make the effort to listen to the words of «Mama Got The Blues», «Good Luck Charm», «The Thing I Done» and «Tomorrow Gon’ Be Too Late». Baby, you just gonna have to go all boogaloo tonite. And don’t be late.