At Cover Me, we like to give stuff away. Read on to learn how that stuff can be yours.
Tribute albums to famous artists are a dime a dozen. Tribute albums to famous labels though…well, that’s something else entirely. The Morlocks Play Chess is a great title with a greater concept behind it. San Diego garage rock quintet the Morlocks cover the hits of Chicago’s legendary Chess Records. And what hits! Without the 45s of Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and other Chess artists, rock and roll wouldn’t be where it is today.
Though shut down in 1975, the label has experienced something of a revival in the popular imagination recently. The 2008 film Cadillac Records spotlighted the label with help from Adrian Brody (who played Leonard Chess), Mos Def (Chuck Berry), and Beyoncé (Etta James). Just a few weeks ago Chicago podcast Sound Opinions devoted a whole show to unearthing some of the label’s history.
Enter the Morlocks. The band first popped up in southern California in 1984. Three years and a few local hits later, things collapsed. They returned a decade later with their raw garage sound as frenetic as ever. The Chess Records catalog fits them perfectly and they know it.
“Early Rhythm & Blues had a raw and visceral quality,” the band says in a press release. “The rhythmic elements are primal — you can feel them in your guts. They’re readily absorbed by garage bands who then reinterpret them according to their own life experiences. Without Chess Records, we wouldn’t exist.”
The Morlocks Play Chess contains covers of tunes penned by legends like John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf alongside the Berry and Waters set. Here’s an MP3 of the Morlocks’ roaring take on Diddley’s “I’m a Man.” Below, find out how you can win the full set.
Now the important part: We’ve got two copies of the CD to give away. To enter to win, post your name, email address, and favorite early rock and roll song in the comments section below. The contest ends at midnight on Tuesday, August 31st is closed. Check out the full tracklist below.
The Morlocks Play Chess Tracklist:
01. I’m a Man (Bo Diddley)
02. Help Me (Sonny Boy Williamson II)
03. Killin’ Floor (Howlin’ Wolf)
04. Smokestack Lightning (Howlin’ Wolf)
05. Who Do You Love? (Bo Diddley)
06. Boom Boom (John Lee Hooker)
07. Promised Land (Chuck Berry)
08. Sitting on Top of the World (The Mississippi Sheiks)
09. You Never Can Tell (Chuck Berry)
10. I Feel So Bad (Chuck Willis)
11. You Can’t Sit Down (The Dovells)
12. Back in the U.S.A. (Chuck Berry)