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Doctor Ross - The Harmonica Boss

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Album Review

Known alternately as Doctor Ross, the Harmonica Boss, I'd Rather Be an Old Woman's Baby Than a Young Woman's Slave, or simply The Harmonica Boss, this combines earlier singles and album tracks recorded for Detroit's Fortune and Hi-Q imprints. Some of the tracks here — like the original version of "Cat Squirrel" — are cut in mono while the stereo sides emanate from a chaotic and rough and tumble session with the good Doctor being backed by a group known as the Disciples of Soul. This album differs greatly from his better one-man band sides, as everything on here finds Doctor Ross backed by a full band. He negotiates his way through some Sonny Boy Williamson material ("My Black Name Ringing," "Biscuit Baking Woman"), but it's the quirky originals like "I'd Rather Be an Old Woman's Baby Than a Young Woman's Slave" and "I Am Not Dead" (and the line about "arresting my baby, cause she smokin' that dope" in "Good Things Come to My Mind") that make this one well worth hunting down.


Born: 21 October 1925 in Tunica, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Isaiah "Doc" Ross was a throwback to a bygone era; a true one-man band, he played harmonica, acoustic guitar, bass drum, and hi-hat simultaneously, creating a mighty racket harking back to the itinerant country-blues players wandering the Delta region during the earlier years of the 20th century. Born Charles Isaiah Ross on October 21, 1925 in Tunica, Mississippi, he took early inspiration from the music of Robert Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller, and Sonny Boy Williamson I; primarily a harpist -- hence...
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