Johnny "Guitar" Watson What the Hell is This?
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- Released: January 17, 2006
- Originally Released: 2006
- Label: Shout Factory
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel: Johnny "Guitar" Watson (vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass); Bill Haley, Albert Wing (saxophone); Gregory Davis, Walt Fowler (trumpet); Tony Coleman, Bruce Fowler (trombone); Bobby Howard, Deon Estus (bass); Emry Thomas (drums, percussion).
Personnel: Johnny "Guitar" Watson (vocals, guitar, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Clavinet, electric bass); Johnny "Guitar" Watson; Bill Haley, Albert Wing (saxophone); Gregory Michael Davis II (trumpet); Emry Thomas (trombone, drums); Tony Coleman, Bruce Fowler (trombone); Deon Estus.
Audio Mixer: Clint Bennett.
Audio Remasterer: Keith Blake.
Liner Note Author: Ernest Hardy.
Recording information: Kendun Recorders, Burbank, CA.
Photographer: Jim McCrary.
Arranger: Johnny "Guitar" Watson.
Given the gleefully irreverent album cover (featuring the bewildered artist in seriously bold threads, sitting on a tricycle flanked by three female gas station attendants), listeners know that they're in for a fun time before WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? even begins. This 1979 record finds Johnny "Guitar" Watson in a serious funk mode, a fact made immediately clear by the surging opening title track, on which the Texas-born Watson muses about the YWCA and ponders unemployment over a dense, Parliament-worthy backdrop. While Watson does indulge in some of his signature bluesy, pyrotechnic six-string playing, this is a giddy funk/R&B outing that's steeped in thick keyboard and bass lines, and it stands as an underrated gem of the late '70s.
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