Hip Shakin Mama and the Leg Men

Hip Shakin Mama and the Leg Men
Reclaim Your Land

Hip Shakin Music

By Lady K
August 2012

Lady K really wanted to love this CD because she loves the name of the band. Luckily, it was a win-win situation; rocking electric-blues music, sassy lyrics (okay - sassy, naughty, risqué lyrics) performed by a talented vocalist and band!! And it all began north of our border, so we must remember to thank the border-guards for allowing Reclaim Your Land out of Manitoba and into New England.

The Hip Shakin Mama is also known as Shelley Lynne Hardinge (singer, songwriter, band leader). The Leg Men are Gerry Perkin (guitar); Richie Hardinge (bass – also husband of the Hip Shakin Mama); Adrian Kuryliw (bass); Rob Lamonica (keyboard and Hammond); Phil Nevile (keyboard); Dave Oakey (harmonica); and Doug Sullivan (drums). The Hip Shakin Mama spent quite a bit of time writing the liner notes for Reclaim Your Land; each musician received a paragraph of thanks, as did the producer, the photographer, her hairdresser, family, and finally, Wayne. Wayne was the Hip Shakin Mama’s biological father – who abandoned her mother before Shelley Lynne was born. Lady K understands the need to vent, and to rant and rave, and hopes that including this paragraph (and the final track on the CD) has helped Shelley Lynne to heal. I look forward to hearing more music from the Hip Shakin Mama, but I’m pretty much done with Wayne.

As far as the music is concerned, there are no complaints from Lady K. In the rockin’ “Rooster Stew” she threatens her man, when she realizes he been playing around with other chicks: she’s “sick of your cheating and your cock-a-doodle-doo” – she’s got “Rooster Stew” on the menu!! The fast, rocking blues music in “Devious (Scheming Little Thief)” is imbued with some amazing guitar leads. Sadly, her man is doing her wrong – again; he “ain’t worth my trouble, ain’t worth my time . . . you’re a liar, a swindler, back-stabbing “Devious (Scheming Little Thief)”. Phew! “My Claws” is an up-tempo reminder that her man is a dog (acting like a cad), making her “think it’s time to put a leash on my hound; he’s been diggin’ up flowers and burying bones’ all around the neighborhood;” she decides it’s “time to turn you back to my tone . . . you ain’t no match for my claws.” So far, Shelley Lynne’s men pretty much suck!

“Reclaim Your Land” is a sexy mid-tempo shuffle which emphasizes the harmonica, along with a terrific guitar solo. And pretty graphically reminds her man “you’ve been gone for some time and left your mama alone . . . need you to till my soil.” She calls out to him that she’s “sitting on the front porch . . . come reclaim your land . . . you gotta cultivate your soil . . . sow your seed all around . . . come plow my field.” So, while enjoying the rocking electric blues, Lady K learned that Hip Shakin Mama, in addition to possessing the perfect voice for these blues, also has a very adults-only sense of humor. Lady K admits to roaring with laughter (in a Lady-like manner, of course), at the double-entendres AND the in-your-face sexual innuendo included in the lyrics of most of these tunes.

“She Doesn’t Want You” is a mid-tempo bluesy number exploring a woman’s feelings as she considers the alternative to bad relationships with men: “crossing to the other side” so to speak. That she has other options and other people who find her attractive; for instance, a sexy, singer/dancer – another woman. She sings of the new prospect, “She can have it all . . . no need for her to be wanting.” She could have any man in the place: “the whole room is under her spell; she shakes her hips and pulls me closer.” I “told her I won’t, but maybe I will – I feel like a stranger in a foreign land . . . never imagined a world such as this” -- not that there’s anything wrong with that . . .

“Show Me No Mercy” with its quick jive beat, has a honky-tonk feel and contains very explicit instructions for her man: “When we do it all night ‘Show Me No Mercy’”. “When the lights are way down low, want to go more than slow, gonna have fun, I know – ‘Show Me No Mercy’.” “Hey Daddy, you make my bells ring – I love how you shake that thing.” And there’s more great rockin’ blues in the up-tempo “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” with a terrific instrumental section – just try not dancing to this one!!

“Funkalicious Sugar Blue” (OMG) is a slow, sexy, funky tune, explaining what her man does to (and for) her. “He gives me a sweet tooth when his confections are on me; he’s so funkalicious, man he’s delicious . . . the things I would do for my sweet Sugar Blue . . . he’s like my coffee – dark and sweet - he brings the sugar, I bring the heat . . . ‘his sugar-coated mojo has a dash of spice . . . ‘his jelly roll, so nice and hot – never fails to hit the spot.” (And even if you aren’t impressed with Sugar Blue’s mojo – Lady K certainly is - you’re gonna love the harp and Hammond B3 interlude!!)

And then there is the tune about a man’s huge ego, entitled (what else?): “Wanker Blues” (yes, really!!) This is an up-tempo, hilariously funny number, one of those tunes that just keeps replaying itself in your mind – try to avoid singing the lyrics aloud tho’. This victim of the “Wanker Blues” “love his own reflection – there’s only room for him in the space he’s in . . . he’s got a tower of power in the shower. . . ‘he knows all there is: him, himself and he.” The insane guitar takes some of the edge off the lyrics!

“Don’t Put Me Down Too Long” provides more evidence of Hip Shakin Mama’s sense of humor as she sings in the first person – as a guitar! “I love your fret-board action, go ahead and plug me in . . . I need to be tuned up, my g-string’s gone all wrong . . . give me good vibrations – slide some rhythm and blues . . . you can cook up a new piece, just don’t put me down too long.”

“Bigger Man” is a terrific slow-blues tune, and closes the album on a very serious note – Wayne’s abandonment of Shelley Lynne and her mother; the plaintive guitar adds to the somber tone. It’s a heartbreaking tune: “you left your baby crying, never held her in your arms . . . snuck out the backdoor before she was even born. What have you done, what did you do, I’d like to know just who the hell are you? On the day we met I was thrilled to meet your eyes; on the day we met . . . those were my eyes. You called me a mistake, said I shouldn’t have been born . . . you lived your life hating me; how could such a monster be my daddy? I’m a bigger man than you’ll ever be.”

Some good (not so clean) fun, and some food for thought – all on one album.

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