Rock and roll music got its start with the spread of blues music. From the Ohio River to the southern tip of Illinois where it meets the Mississippi River, to the Mississippi’s delta in Louisiana, blues music has influenced just about ever style of music along the way. This is why there is no escaping it. That being said, it is hard to come by a “good” true blues song nowadays, but when it happens, it’s usually pretty special.
For this reason, I found it hard to believe that Samuel L. Jackson’s song “Stack-o-lee” from the movie Black Snake Moan didn’t get a little more publicity. It’s got everything a true blues fan could ask for. It’s got cursing, sadness, and it’s alcohol fueled. It’s got a great guitar riff and a smooth rhythm backing the lyrics.
While the lyrics may be a bit on the vulgar side, it actually works very well in this blues song. The song is full of passionate hate and revenge, basically everything you would expect from Samuel L. Jackson, along with guitar playing that you probably wouldn’t expect from him. The rhyming is perfect for a classic blues song and Jackson even finds a way to make use of his cursing in the rhyming scheme, which gives the song instant credibility. Had the lyrics strictly been written to allow Jackson to curse like he usually does, it would have been a flop, but the way it actually turns out extremely well.
Sit back and enjoy a trip back to when blues was gritty, dirty, and full of sadness and anger. Imagine Robert Johnson electrifying his guitar, getting drunk on moonshine, and going off and singing about revenge in a dirty hole in the wall bar in the bayou. That’s what you get when Samuel L. Jackson picks up a guitar and is told to make a dirty blues song.
*Warning: Explicit Lyrics*