Artist: Ronnie Wood Album: The First Barbarians: Live from Kilburn
Bass Player: Willie Weeks Year of Release: 2007 (Recorded 1974)
Thanks for checking out this entry in my Bass Transcription of the Week blog! Today, I’m looking at a song that has been requested by my bandleader at the Nick Moss Band, Nick Moss: the song is called “Crotch Music” from Ronnie Wood’s live album The First Barbarians: Live from Kilburn, with Willie Weeks on bass!
The Song: “Crotch Music” originally appeared on Wood’s first solo album, I’ve Got My Own Album to Do, which also featured Willie Weeks prominently. In fact, the song is credited to being a composition of Weeks’ creation, which isn’t surprising considering how bass-driven the song is. The form of the song is built around two main sections. There’s the main bass line which begins the song, and a funky vamp on a B flat chord. These two sections make up the bulk of the song, with an additional C section appearing with a vi-ii-V-I progression, marked as letter D on the transcription. Weeks incorporates a few different bass line patterns into these different vamps, which I will get into below.
The Bass: Willie Weeks’ bass line begins with a pulsing rhythmic figure that makes for a quickly recognizable intro for the song. It is built around an A pedal tone with a descending chordal movement in the higher register, built from a Dorian scale. The B flat vamp sections vary in bass line depending on which part of the song you’re in; the first, letter B, is a very simple funk groove. Letter E is even simpler, with a galloping sort of rhythm throughout. Letter G is when things become more complicated with more ghost notes being thrown into the mix, and a move to a much higher register in measure 61. After the drum break, measure 84 introduces a new melodic idea that eventually gets echoed by the rest of the band as Weeks reincorporates the high register groove from measure 61, but displaced by two beats, followed by a lightning fast B flat Major 6 chord outline as the song winds down back into a simple B flat groove and eventually ends.
Favorite moments: Weeks does very cool and interesting melodic things at letter D; letter G, where things start to get very intense for the band; the figure that begins on beat 3 of measure 120, because it’s one hell of a workout.
Thanks for checking out this entry in my blog! If you enjoyed it, please leave a note saying so, and if you have any requests, you can comment or email me on nickfanemusic.com! Be sure to check back later this week for a new entry in my Bass Cover of the Week series on YouTube, and have a great day! Thanks for reading!