Bring It On Home [Traerlo a Casa]
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I done got my ticket and I got my load
I’m gonna bring it on home to you
Lyrics and Music by Willie Dixon.
Probably the most influential and prolific Chicago blues songwriter, Willie Dixon is considered one of the key figures in the creation of Chicago blues. He worked with Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Rush, Bo Diddley, Joe Louis Walker, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor, Little Milton, Eddie Boyd, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lowell Fulson, Willie Mabon, Memphis Slim, Washboard Sam, Jimmy Rogers, Sam Lay and others.
Dixon was an important link between the blues and rock and roll, working with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley in the late 1950s. His songs were covered by some of the biggest artists of more recent times, such as Cream, Jeff Beck, the Doors, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix. The debut albums by the first six of those artists all feature at least one of his songs, a measure of his influence on rock music. Dixon is an inductee in the Blues, Rock and Roll, and Songwriters Halls of Fame.
In 1987, Dixon reached an out-of-court settlement with Led Zeppelin after suing them for plagiarism in their use of his music in “Bring It On Home” and lyrics from his composition “You Need Love” (1962) in their track “Whole Lotta Love”. There is no doubt that Jimmy Page’s claim of writing the middle section of the song is true, but the intro and ending are pure Dixon, and he should have at least been given credit. I’m happy he eventually got a presumably nice stack of cabbage from the settlement.
Rev. N.L. Williams playing blues guitar while “Blind” Johnny Brown plays a resonator guitar, by Brenda McCallum.
In The Odyssey, Ulysses hears the blind singer Demodocus perform (in fact he tells the story of the Trojan Horse and another tale involving Ulysses and Achilles). I felt that doing a cover song of Willie Dixon’s Bring it on Home (which incidentally Dan McHugh has performed live for years) would be a perfect vehicle to take us out of our narrator’s role and into the shoes of the “blind singer”, who in this case is singing of another man’s desire to return to his home. I’ve sometimes wondered if Willie Dixon’s lyrics were autobiographic, i.e. did he write the song on his way home after a tour to the clacking rhythm of the train tracks?
The song came together very quickly – I played the guitar while Dan sang and played the harp at the same time, so it is the most “live” track on the album. I actually kept time to Dan’s foot tapping on the floor, he has always had a tremendous sense of time, it was like playing to a metronome. We briefly considered overdubbing some things, but after listening to it a few times we decided to leave well enough alone – Dan’s natural musicianship really shines on this cut.