Home > Sunday Morning Music > Sunday Morning Music: Ohoopee River Bottomland

Sunday Morning Music: Ohoopee River Bottomland

September 2, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

by Cat Johnson

School is in session, y’all. Check out the making of a deep country groove as Larry Jon Wilson and the band rework Wilson’s classic country funk song, “Ohoopee River Bottomland” for the documentary Heartworn Highways. As Larry says at the conclusion, “Aw, hell yeah.”

Here’s some background on the recording session, taken from the liner notes from the reissue of Wilson’s Monument LP.

“Jim and Graham [the writer/director and producer of Heartworn Highways] were in love with the deep, corrugated voice of Larry Jon Wilson. Knowing it would be at its deepest in the morning, Jim wanted to record the session as early as possible, before Larry Jon had much of a chance to use his voice at all. He wanted it deep and rusty with unuse. The session turned into a bit of a lesson in “be careful what you wish for.

“…This song was the first thing we were going to shoot for the movie, which Jim had been envisioning for months, and we worked like late-season beavers lighting and setting up for the arrival of Larry Jon Wilson. Then we waited. And we waited. After an hour of standing around in the bitter cold … finally Graham jumped in a car and went to the motel in which Larry Jon was staying and, quite literally, dragged him out of bed. The night before, it turned out, Larry Jon had a gig that rolled happily into a party, which ended some fuzzy moments before dawn. Going to work in a studio was not his idea of post-party fun. But Graham cajoled and implored, and Jim got his wish. Larry Jon came to the studio having said nothing much more all morning than “What? Now?” and “Yeah, yeah, I’m coming”. Somehow, the whole thing just worked – his performance was amazing and now we felt like we just might be on to something great after all.”

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