Bob Log was the guitar-player/singer half of Doo Rag, together with Thermos Malling, who played percussion on boxes and buckets (and sounded like a drummer on a full kit). They opened for the Cramps when they played in OKC in 1995. Someone told me to be sure and get there in time to see Doo Rag and I tried, but as usual was a bit late. I did get there in time for their last two songs. I had never seen or heard anything like it. I got their records, which are cool, but you had to see them.
So when I heard Bob Log was coming to the 66 Bowl in OKC (SAT 7/31/99), I made sure not to be late. Wow, this was a step or two beyond Doo Rag. Bob is sitting there wearing a football helmet with the handset from an old black rotary phone stuck in front of his mouth (which I assume is used as the vocal mic). He's playing manic delta slide blues guitar, while singing and stomping on a bass drum pedal with a drum machine pounding away. (Drum machine was a DrumTraks - a classic vintage model made by Sequential in mid-80's). His left foot is on another bass drum pedal rigged up to hit a trigger which is programmed as a snare drum or a cymbal crash. He turns the drum machine on and off with a foot switch. He had a record, School Bus, out on Fat Possum. I bought a copy from him at the show and man oh man - this is one awesome and unique record. There may be some overdubbing on it or maybe not. He can sound like two or more guitar players at once. I have been very fascinated with the idea of playing drums and guitar at the same time after seeing Hasil Adkins. There's a guy around here (Mike Hosty) who has been doing this with his left foot playing a snare (tilt the stand over and tape a stick on a beater mounted upside down in a bass drum pedal). Bob Log's concept is a bit more complicated - he can switch the drum machine (programmed with some very interesting beats) on and off and have his feet playing bass and snare or cymbal (or any other sample) with or without the programmed beats. I'm surprised there aren't more people doing this type of thing. But I wouldn't expect to ever see anyone do it like this guy. He is totally amazing. Get the record and see him if you get a chance.
OK - he came to the 66 Bowl again on 05/20/00. Same music, just as amazing. I bought a copy of Trike, which had been out for awhile on Fat Possum. He had upgraded his equipment a bit. He had a newer bass drum and three bass drum pedals (Tama, Yamaha and Pearl I think) - one for the drum, one hits a trigger (which triggers a sample of another bass drum, higher pitched than the real drum), and one pedal actually has a cymbal attached to it with a microphone mounted in front of that. There's like a big metal ribbon that comes out from the bottom of the pedal about a foot and loops back over with the cymbal attached to the end. I think I've seen pictures of cymbals mounted like that on the very first drum kits. To the left of these pedals were two foot switches, each connected to a drum machine - one was a Zoom Rhythmtraks RT 123 and one was a Boss DR Rhythm DR 55. I never saw him switch on the Boss (I may have missed it but was watching the pedals pretty closely). It took a while before I saw what the trigger pedal was doing. I wondered why he had two bass drums (or three if there's one in the drum machine program) but towards the end he started using it instead of the real drum and the sound was different and he would switch back and forth and then in one song he used them both together, like a double bass drum pedal. This guy lays down some beats! He had two identical old Silvertone hollow body guitars. They had one knob, a tone control, on the body. Probably were in different tunings.
Well Bob came back to the 66 Bowl a few more times, which I missed, and later came to the Opolis at least once that I missed, but I did get to the Opolis for his Sunday 09/16/12 show. Awesome, as always. I snuck a peak at the drum machine, and he is now using a RhythmTrak RT123 (made by Zoom about 1999). And a smaller bass drum. And he has put out a couple more records since I last saw him. I'll get those someday.
Fat Possum - www.fatpossum.com/artists/bob-log-iii
Review of Trike at Salon.com
Bob Log III:
Trike - 1999 - Fat Possum
School Bus - 1998 - Fat Possum
Log Bomb - 2003 - Fat Possum
My Shit is Perfect - 2009 - Birdman
Chunked and Muddled - 1994 - Bloat records
Pretty much all covers of classic Delta blues songs.
What We Do - 1996 - Dependability
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