The original recording of Hound Dog was by Big Mama Thornton and it was definitely a blues. For years I’ve played it as a good-time blues rumba, and on Friday, after we finished “Yes Indeed,” we had time for another, so we took a crack at Hound Dog.
For this one I play my old Yamaha acoustic through a Fender 30 amp that Nik stuck in the bathroom! The Yamaha is in a dedicated high G tuning (G on the top and bottom) and it really bites when I dig in.
I’m not a fan of rock blues, so in order to keep this from descending into a loud wank-fest, I had Jesse play upright acoustic bass on it to keep the whole thing woody. Nik also mic’d the guitar acoustically to have that sound available in the mix.
Adam played drums with towels on the drumheads and clothespins on the cymbals for that down-in-the-gutter trashcan sound.
Another unusual thing about this arrangement is that it’s gospel-style three-part harmony throughout, with Tannis and Jane swooping along with me. This was really fun to lay down—the perfect antidote for an intense recording day.
Jesse on upright—the wood is good.
We plugged that old amp in and let the tubes heat up for a while to get some nice, crunchy, old-school distortion. Cozy on the ‘loo, too!