Shock Records; March 2008
C.W. Stoneking calls himself a composer of blues, Hokum, and jungle music, but in reality he’s a true blues savant. His album, King Hokum, manages to include found sounds and samples while still maintaining an authentic 1930s Southern blues sound-thanks to some help from the Primitive Horn Orchestra and producer J. Walker. Born in Australia and raised in the remote aboriginal community of Papunya, Stoneking is a weaver of fantastical, witty tales. “Don’t Go Dancin’ Down the Darktown Strutter’s Ball,” “You Took My Thing and Put It in Your Place,” and his slightly out of tune tenor banjo and steel dobro instrumental style are all album highlights. Although King Hokum doesn’t quite convey the energy and comic pace of his live show, here’s hoping that the follow-up, Jungle Blues, can do just that.