In the liner notes on the expanded version of James Booker's classic "Classified," the writer states that these recordings are not his best work, and that he'd like to think Booker's best performance is still out there among the many tapes that trade hands of collectors. I am one of those collectors with hours of unreleased Booker and I think "Classified" is pretty damn essential.
But I had a revelation this week.
I realized I wasn't as familiar with the additional bonus tracks as I was to the album proper, and when "I'm Not Sayin'" finished playing, I had to get up and confirm what I was listening to.
James Booker can play anything. He can play "Chopsticks" and make it sound like Beethoven. His left hand sounds like three hands and his right hand sounds like four. That being said, "I'm Not Sayin'" is unlike anything I've heard Booker play before.
A friend suggested that this track might have been left in the vault because it didn't fit with the vibe of the album. I say, f**k the vibe of the album!
I will leave it at that.
I hope this knocks you out the way it knocked me out.
And if you don't know James Booker's music, I suggest you listen to all of "Classified," toot sweet.