When Snooks Eaglin was led into the Southlake Studios down in Louisiana to cut his first album, 1987’s Baby, You Can Get Your Gun! for Black Top, the blind guitarist, affectionately known as the “Human Jukebox” for his ability to recall a reputed 2,500 songs covering everything from jazz standards to R&B hits instantaneously, was all but retired from the business. That October ‘86 session, however, the start of a five-album run with the New Orleans label, would resurrect Eaglin’s solo career—a career first documented on tape by folklorist Harry Oster in 1958 when the academic discovered the Crescent City native playing country blues on the streets of the French Quarter for tourists.
Now posthumously reissued by Hep Cat, Baby, You Can Get Your Gun! reminds you just how damn good a guitarist Eaglin was. Backed by a stellar line-up including former B.B. King keyboardist Ron Levy, David Lastie on tenor sax and a rhythm section of Joe “Smokey” Johnson on drums and Erving Charles Jr. on bass, lifted directly from Fats Domino’s orchestra, Eaglin’s Ray Charles-style vocal lilt, explosive snakin’ guitar runs and innovative finger-picking style wander an eclectic path that bops with the blues on “You Give Me Nothing But the Blues”, goes surfing with a flamenco flourish on the Ventures tribute “Profidia” and gets low-down and funky on the James Brown-influenced “Drop the Bomb”. Say hello to a rarely heard classic.