• Writer: Robert Walter Zabor
  • Percentage: 100%
  • Admin: CD Baby Publishing
  • Songwriter ID: 677515
  • Pub Co: 12 Volt Music


Robert Walter Zabor


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Master and Publishing

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CD Baby Publishing

Recording Type



United States - Michigan


  • Language: English
Jawbone "Walter John"
Walter John
  • Performed By: Jawbone
  • Album: dang blues
  • Album UPC: 5029432005327
  • Album ID: jawbone
  • Label: Jawbone
  • CD Baby Account: CDB00036058
  • CD Baby Track ID: 677342
  • ISRC: uscgj0636423
  • Released: 01/01/03

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Jumper cables. An old car battery. A bent 6-common nail. A cat-clawed amp. A paint bucket. A discarded child's toy tambourine. Jawbone combines these garage floor leftovers with guitar, harp, and a chop-shop drum kit to create an original, raw blues.


From liner notes:

The whole original idea behind jawbone was just the harmonica. Just harmonica songs and some singing. I had a handful of songs I had written on the harmonica, you know, just driving around in the car. Old-timey blues hollers, field calls, stuff like that. My version of those things, anyway. It was fun, and somewhere in the back of my head was the idea that if I could come up with enough stuff, enough material, that I would try to put some kind of an act together. I took the name from the side of a panel truck that I'd see in our neighborhood from time to time. Just big, blue hand-lettering on the side panels. It's actually some kind of home business moving company of some kind, I think, Jawbone Movers or something like that. I have no idea what it means, why they chose that name, but I liked it enough to use it myself.

-Harp. And guitar.-
Anyway, I'm not a great harp player, and playing the harmonica alone by itself can be a little limiting in the end. I mean, where can you play, really? Maybe some coffee houses, but I was never too into that. A while back I was in New York busking in the subway and when I would do my harmonica bit I got the feeling that people thought that, because my style is pretty primitive and I'm not a virtuoso, that it was all a come-on for drug money or something, or that I was maybe a little crazy. But if you've got a guitar then you're legitimate, it's all pre-meditated, you're a serious musician then, not something from outer space. And I wanted to play rock and roll clubs, and be loud, and try to make some excitement, you know? So the guitar was an inevitable addition. That's why the drum, too. Bunji-cording a tamborine to my foot always got a laugh from onlookers, which is ok I suppose, but they look at the bass drum differently. It's a real instrument. Musically, it gives you that bottom end, sure, but more important -- BAM! BAM! BAM! BOOM! -- it's got authority.

-Car Batteries, jumper cables.-
I wanted to be able to play anywhere, sidewalks, flea markets, beer tents, barbeques, parking garages, airport runways, wherever. So aside from the aesthetics, there's a practical reason for the cables, too. It took a while for me to get through the mechanics of it, but it works really well.

-Slim Harpo. Flint's Dr. Ross.-
You know, there's actually a long tradition of one-man bands. The blues is full of them: Joe Hill Louis, Jesse Fuller, Frank Frost, Dr. Ross, the harmonica boss. And, even though it's more rare, there's rock and roll solo acts out there too. With computers and stuff nowadays, you see all kinds of one person shows, djs and the like. And that's good, at least, it can be. I like the physicality of playing the instruments, but there's room for drum machines and samplers, too. I am not a purist. If anything, I'm anti-purist.
Interview by J.T.Pretty
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  • Colson Gower
    August 30, 2017, 4:31 pm

    lofi fuzzy sound, distorted vocals and harmonica

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