BIG NOISE

 
JUST GOT LUCKY (WAV)
BIG NOISE
CENTIPEDE CRAWL
MUST HAVE BEEN THE DEVIL
SHERRY TWIST 
BIG MONEY BLUES
 SHE WALKED RIGHT IN / HONEY HUSH
CUTTIN IN
WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID
BLACK DIAMOND (WAV)
I GOT TO FIND MY BABY
FEEL SO GOOD
 
 

Big Noise CD Liner Notes

"Let's have some fun" -- that's pretty much what I try to do," says Bill Stuve, string bassist and sometime vocalist with Los Angeles' Rod Piazza and The Mighty Flyers. "With the original Flyers with Junior Watson and Willy Swartz, that was kind of the philosophy, and it still is. It worked then, and it still works. It's serious music, but try to have some fun with it."    As you might have discerned from Big Bill's off-the-cuff attitude, this is not the all-too-usual self-indulgent sideman-steps-forward record. Far from it, so we can all breath a collective sigh of relief. Stuve has always been and always will be a team player, and he can usually be found on the best team on the scene. Since 1977 his doghouse bass has been at the heart of Rod Piazza's Mighty Flyers, and over the post dozen years he has anchored the bottom on sessions with blues legends such as Jimmy Rogers, George "Harmonica" Smith and Shakey Jake, as well as with California R&B perennials Steve Samuels, William Clarke and Johnny Dyer.    His "solo debut" is really more of a group effort, with Bill handling all lead vocals. Everybody gets his share of the spotlight and shines -- whether it's pianist Steve F'dor on "Big Money Blues," harmonicat James Harman on "Must Have Been The Devil," or baritone saxophonist Jeff Turmes (who can ordinarily be found playing bass with Mr. Harman's outfit) on "Black Diamond." Canned Heat guitar ace Junior Watson (like Stuve, a founding Flyer) splits duties with Alex Schultz, who played with William Clarke before replacing Watson in the MF's. That's Alex's biting, out-of-phase tone on "Just Got Lucky", Junior is the one jumpin' out of nowhere on "She Walked Right in."    Bill's only upright solo is on "Big Noise," the big band hit from Bob Crosby, and it's actually a collaboration with drummer Jimi Bott. "That's James going nuts with the sticks on the bass in there," explains Bill. If the tenor sax solos, on "Just Got Lucky" and "She Walked Right In," sound familiar, they should. That's none other than Lee Allen, who blew with Little Richard, Fats Domino and countless others, and has more recently toured with the Blasters. "He's the Godfather of that sax style," nods Bill.    Quick to credit others, Stuve has nothing but praise for producer Eddie Reed, of L.A.'s Eddie Reed Big Band. "I more or less took care of the musicians and the repertoire," says the bass man, "but he was Mr. Ears. He was great at getting the tones and mixing everything with (engineer) Brent Backhus." The repertoire Bill spoke of ranges from Chicago blues ala Muddy Waters and Otis Spann ("Got To Find My Baby" and "Must Have Been The Devil," respectively) to obscure Rockabilly (Lew William's "Centipede Crawl" and "Was It Something I Said?") to swinging jump blues (Gatemouth Brown's "Just Got Lucky" and Roy Brown's "Black Diamond"). But the program is by no means a patchwork quilt or grab bag. Stuve's good-time sensibilities and three originals ("Sherry Twist," "Feel So Good" and "Big Money Blues") are the salsa that holds this enchilada together.    "Black Diamond" and "Centipede Crawl," in particular, have been show stoppers at Mighty Flyers shows for several years, and it was at the behest of fans and fellow musicians that Bill booked some time at pacific Studio and recorded the proceedings. Incidentally, when I asked him about the source of the latter rocker, he told me, "That's by Lew Williams, who was on some Mercury Rockabilly 45's that Watson found. His songs are so much fun!" The same will no doubt be said of the Stuve sessions one day. -- Dan Forte, 1990